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Downhill Elementary: Obstacles

Many times, it is easier to go over an obstacle than around it. Adding this move to your skill range expands your options when you need to make a split second decision. Also, it can save your bones for damage.

watch previous episode: Turns


1. Front wheel over the obstacle

These instructions work well for objects less than half a meter tall. Approach the obstacle at medium speed in the attack position (knees bent, elbows out, butt off the saddle). Start your move at a distance equal to the obstacle. If it’s half a meter high, the right moment is about the same distance in front of it.


Your dominant foot should be forward as you may need to continue pedalling to propel yourself over the obstacle. Just before you come into contact with the object, compress your body by bending your arms and pushing down towards your handlebars. Almost instantly, push your body upright and pull up on your handlebars. This will help you get the front wheel over the obstacle. If not, you can set the wheel on top of it in order to ride over.

2. Rear wheel over

As soon as you roll your front wheel over the log, it’s time to start working on the rear one. Throw your weight over the handlebars and at the same time push your feet down and back against both pedals like if you wanted to pedal backwards.


This motion will help you to lift the rear wheel off the ground.

3. Front and rear and you’re over

Think of the whole process as a move with two distinct, but quick parts. After you push forward on your bars to get the front wheel over, slide your weight back over the rear wheel to keep it from bouncing over the log and sending you over the bars.


Now you can ride far more places without having to dismount your bike. There’s also the possibility not to ride, but jump over obstacles. The so-called bunny hop belongs to the more advanced skills category, so let’s talk about it during some future lessons.

Do you want to learn more?

watch previous episode: Turns