How to jump the gap between logs when there's only a bike length between them...
Something you might come across on poorly maintained trails after heavy winds, or more commonly on an endurocross track, is logs across the track with only a bike length between them. You can jump the gap if the logs are positioned correctly, or take it easy and ride over them. Jake Stapleton shows us how it’s done.
1. Slow it down
Approach the first log with less speed than you would if it was just a solitary one, because you don’t want to hit it too fast leaving you no time to prepare for the second one. Stand in a neutral position and cover your brakes and clutch.
Use the standard double-blip technique to get your front wheel onto the first log – that is, give the engine a burst to get the front wheel up, then again to give you enough momentum to get your rear wheel up onto the log and rolling down the other side.
3. Get a grip
As the rear wheel hits, back off the throttle to allow the rear tyre to grip and roll over the log, rather than spinning on the log. Be careful not to jump off the log. Let the front wheel come down and get your weight over the rear wheel to help with traction.
4. Rebound loft
Before the rear wheel touches the ground you need to push down on the fork to compress it, and use the rebound from the compressed fork to help lift the front wheel to allow you to loft it over the next log. Don’t use too much throttle at this point; just use your weight and the rebound of the fork.
5. The second log
Give the clutch a little flick as soon as the rear wheel hits the ground, and position your body towards the back to increase traction to the rear tyre and to help with lifting the front wheel. Use the double blip again, as you did with the first log.
6. No spin
If there is not another log following the second one you can be a bit more aggressive getting over it, but ensure you don’t get on the throttle too hard and cause the back tyre to spin on the log.
WALK THE WALK
Visualise how you will tackle a series of logs by walking the section of track and picking the spots where you will double-blip the throttle.
OTHER WAYS OF GETTTING TO THE OTHER SIDE
If you are confident at jumping, and the logs aren’t so big that they’ll kick you over the handlebar, you can approach with more speed and use the first log as a ramp to clear the gap between the pair. This is only really possible if you are trying to clear two logs; if there are multiple logs this technique could end up sending you over the handlbar.
A slower and sometimes more difficult method of getting through a double log section is to sit down and ‘walk’ the bike over each log. You can use your feet to stabilise the bike while you’re on top of the log, and you can take your time to line-up the second one.
WHAT TO DO
– Approach the first log with only enough speed to roll over it slowly after doing the double-blip
– Compress the fork after the front wheel touches down between the two logs to help loft it over the second log
– Use the clutch to bring up the engine speed and then quickly engage it to get maximum drive to the rear wheel
– Cover the rear brake so that you can control how high your front wheel goes without killing the engine
WHAT NOT TO DO
– Smash into the first log with too much speed and hinder your chances of smoothly getting over the second log
– Get on the throttle before the rear wheel touches the ground because it could cause wheel spin on the log
– Keep your weight forward as you are trying to loft the front wheel over the second log