One of the most basic yet most valuable skills you can have on your mountain bike is the ability to bunny hop. It gives you control over the trail and adds fun and speed to any mountain bike outing. Once you learn how to bunny hop, you can traverse paths with a new-found sense of confidence and style.
Become One With Your Bike
If you are a rookie mountain biker, you should find a patch of soft ground that is either covered in softly packed dirt or grass. Spend some time riding around and moving your weight back while lifting up on the handlebars at a low speed. Then you should get the feel for the bike by pushing down on the bars and seeing how the suspension rebound plays into your rearward body position. Once you are familiar with one wheel leaving the ground and how much input is necessary for the desired lift then you are well on your way to learning how to bunny hop your bike.
Pedal Well Like Cannondale
Practice pedaling into the front wheel lift and use your legs to get that wheel up. Once you are comfortable with this you should be able to effortlessly lift that front wheel over most obstacles using a downward push on the handlebar followed by a pedal stroke to bring the front wheel in the air. Now, things get fun. Remember that you should always keep your pedals parallel with the ground as you go into the full bunny hop. This ensures even lift up and a safe and stable landing. Pedal forward and practice pushing down on the pedals and using the rebound momentum to lift the back wheel. It will be difficult at first but once you get the feel for lifting the rear wheel just a little then you will easily be able to do it once you have the momentum of the front wheel lift on your side.
Learn the Bunny Hop
Beginners can learn how to bunny hop their mountain bike by having a fixed object to focus in on but must avoid anything that could harm them during these early learning stages like a large curb. Set up a small stick and practice bunny hopping over that. Pedal your bike forward and combine the first step of lifting the front wheel with the second step of bouncing the rear tire off the ground. It will feel awkward at first but once you get the rhythm you will be able to carry the momentum in a fluid motion from the front wheel to the rear wheel, allowing you to bunny hop over larger objects and tackle new terrain.
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