I can remember the first time I went to a dedicated mountain bike trail. I came across a small log on the trail and nearly freaked out! Smaller than 6 inches in diameter, but I walked my bike over it. Then I came across more logs. If I was going to mountain bike, I was apparently going to need to learn how to ride over logs. After a couple starts, I got brave enough to just try riding over the smaller ones. As they were only about 3-4″ in diameter, I was able to just bang my way over the log without too much trouble. Not pretty, but I got over them.
So, how does one get over a log? Especially one you cannot just bang over (if you try, you’ll stuff your front wheel into and go over the bars, getting a face-first view of the log!). I’ll describe the most basic way to get over a log, and provide a video for demonstration.
There are several ways to get over a log: bunny hop, rear wheel trials-style hop, or what I refer to as the one-two method. The one-two method is the easiest and most basic way, and is effective for logs of a wide variety of sizes.
The first thing to is to ride at the log at a moderate speed. Two slow and you won’t easily clear the log on the second part of the move. Too fast and you’ll have a tough time reacting quickly enough to pull the second part off and will likely stuff the rear wheel, bringing you to a sudden halt. So, ride at the log at a moderate speed; in video below I’m probably between 5-10 mph. As you approach the log, you’ll level your feet, or bring your dominant foot just above level. As you near the log, you’ll give a small kick downward of you dominant foot (in my case the right) to help bring the bars up as you pull up on them at the same time. The goal is to get the front end up just enough to get the front tire on top of the log.
Once your front wheel touches the log, you’ll push the bars forward while rotating your wrist forward. This will help you propel the bike forward and bring the rear wheel up. Done correctly, your rear wheel will just touch the top of the log as you go over. You’ll notice in the video that I actually manage to clear the log completely with the rear tire.
And that’s it!
Two easy steps:
- Lift front wheel onto the log
- Push forward and rotate wrists to bring rear wheel onto the log.
With practice, 6 inch logs will seem like nothing. Here’s a pic of me riding over a 6 inch log that is suspended about a foot in the air. In this pic, I’m just finishing the second part: getting the rear wheel on top of the log.
Remember, always wear your helmet, and enjoy the ride!