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  1. #1
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    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!

    So I finally asked my in-laws if I could build some jumps in their yard and they said YES! Iíve been scoping this land for eleven years. Their house is situated on 3.5 acres of old avocado grove. Many of the trees have died, exposing a hillside of endless possibility. I want to get better at jumping, but Iím tired of driving far away to the few spots that have jumps that Iím comfortable riding, or cruising out to those spots to find that my ďperfectĒ sized jumps just got built up to something massive that Iím not ready to hit yet. Iíve always thought, ďMan, I wish I had my own spot.Ē During my life time of riding bikes Iíve already had a complete ACL reconstruction, torn MCL on the other knee, and a fairly recent broken collar bone. After being on disability and relying on state issued debit cards to help pay the bills (& mortgage) my confidence level on jumps has diminished. But I still want to have fun! I still enjoy riding DH and flowy jump trails, but I just donít feel comfortable on bigger doubles with high commitment factors. Well, what better way to build up my confidence than to build my very own jump lines?

    Iíve built jumps before, done plenty of trail maintenance, and have dug on a few DH specific trails, but most of that has been rehab work on existing trails. This will be my first experience digging out lines from scratch. Iíve already spent a lot of time just looking at the layout of the land and riding my bike in different directions to try to find the right place to start. My goal is to build a few jump lines with different types of hits. I know they are going to be short, but I think there will be enough room to build a few different optional lines. I want all my jumps to be somewhat user friendly, but still large enough to help develop skill. I also plan to build a line for my wife, who is fairly new to mtb (or at least the FR/DH side). Her trail will consist mostly of berms and smaller hits and maybe a few smaller drops. I may even put in some ďhelperĒ bridges or options on the bigger trail so she can to ride down that as well.

    Sorry for the long narrative. Iím just stoked with this opportunity and wanted to share it with the like-minded.

    Hereís a little of what Iím working with:
    (Sorry these are all phone pics. Once I make some real progress Iíll take better ones)


    First pic: Upper back corner. This will be the starting point.

    Second: Panoramic from top to try to show the full scope.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-pano_20130112_144620.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Terminator Z; 01-25-2013 at 02:32 PM. Reason: 3rd & 4th attached pics not showing up?

  2. #2
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    More pics:

    Here is a side POV. Then a start of a scratch line of the middle section.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  3. #3
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    Ha, looks like some of my attached pics areít transferring through. Oh well, more pics to come when I get some progress. Hopefully Iíll get some digging in this weekend!

  4. #4
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    Nice property to build on, looking forward to your build.
    Best of luck
    Lynn Woods
    JRA cycles
    YETI cycles.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks Scarsandtears!

  6. #6
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    Will you be running any heavy equipment ?

    Based on the description of your background and goals, I recommend starting with a "roller-table" design. The lip to landing distance I have drawn as 10 feet, is actually pretty medium. You can go down to 8, but anything shorter than that is pretty pointless, you'll just have to add on a week later. A reasonable speed will get you over 8 feet a lot easier than you think... Later on, you can build the tables higher, and the 8-10 gap will still work well.

    When spacing to the next jump, double the distance of your gap is a good rule of thumb, although when there's a decline you can add more space than that, like 2.5x or 3x. So 20 feet from landing to next lip.





    Lay out the sets in a line (does not have to be dead straight--it's a little more fun when there some slight turning involved between sets.



    EDIT: I'm looking at your pics and it's real hard to tell how steep that is. Looks pretty steep !! If you run the jump line straight down it. . . . you'll end up clearing 12' - 14'+ pretty fast. If you don't want that style.... you may want to do more of a switchback trail, with berms on the ends and jumps in the middle of each cross-gradient section.... kind of like super old school bmx tracks that used to be built on hillsides in the 70's (or like 4-cross tracks on mountain sides).

    These may or may not be relevant to what you want to do, but these are good examples of really well done tables. The "camel back" shape on the right tables are what bmx racers call roll-able doubles--note how the landing side is a little bit taller (stepped-up). The only thing that makes these less rollable is the hard edge on the lip. If it were me, and this line was intended for people to roll or manual a lot, I would round off that lip corner. It won't affect the jumpability at all... but it definitely affects your rear wheel's ability to smoothly roll it in a manual.



    This pic is a great example of both the camel back design, and the rolled-over lip. Although at first this style of jump is harder because you have to learn to not nose-case the "camel" hump... later on it's smoother.. because a taller landing necessarily allows for a longer landing with more wheelbase space for your bike to land on.

    A bmx-style pump track uses a lot of these camel-back style tables, you can manual over the lip and drop your front wheel on the backside of the landing's hump... See this:
    Chelmsford BMX Pump Track - Built by Dirt-Traxs BMX track builders - YouTube

    Last edited by cmc4130; 01-27-2013 at 12:48 PM.

  7. #7
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    Great advice CMC! Thanks for the pics and diagrams. Unfortunately I wonít be using any heavy equipment. (I wish though!) Everything will be hand dug.

    Youíre right about the slope, it is pretty steep. I do plan on having the trail traversing the property. I already have a starting point to the first two jumps. The first jump is pretty much a step down/road gap across an old grove trail. I needed more room to build up speed to clear the ~12í gap So I started a berm and scooted the start point further back to the very top corner of the property. (like in that first pic I posted earlier)

    The step-down then leads into a right turning berm that leads into a litter kicker. This basically follows that pic with the ďscratch trailĒ. I havenít ridden this section yet but I can tell I will start picking up a lot of speed at this point. I think to follow the contour of the hillside, there will be some staggering between the take offs and the landings. The first to jumps are just part of the lead in. I want the next couple of jumps to be slightly bigger. From what I have planned out so far, the next jump will have about a 15-18í gap. I like the thought of the table tops, I just donít think Iíll have enough dirt to fill in the middle. Also, given the slope, I might have to settle for more of ďstep-downĒ type jumps with extended landings.

    If these pics load up, here are two from my first weekend of digging:

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    One is the start of the step-down/road gap and the start on the entrance berm. Since then there has been more work done on both of these and work started on the following section.

  8. #8
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    Check out this thread:

    Pumptracks with varying elevation?

    In particular, note this cross-gradient pump track on a hillside:


  9. #9
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    Wow, the slope on that hill looks almost like the one Iím building on. Just read over that thread. Good stuff! Thatís probably what Iím going to be molding my second line after. Hadít really thought of it like that. I knew I wanted build berms in opposite corners with jumps or features in between, but also wanting it flow more like a ďpumpĒ track. So why not just build it like one? Ha, thatís rad! If Iím able to build berms like that, Iíll definitely have more trail to ride! Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4130 View Post
    Will you be running any heavy equipment ?

    Based on the description of your background and goals, I recommend starting with a "roller-table" design. The lip to landing distance I have drawn as 10 feet, is actually pretty medium. You can go down to 8, but anything shorter than that is pretty pointless, you'll just have to add on a week later. A reasonable speed will get you over 8 feet a lot easier than you think... Later on, you can build the tables higher, and the 8-10 gap will still work well.

    When spacing to the next jump, double the distance of your gap is a good rule of thumb, although when there's a decline you can add more space than that, like 2.5x or 3x. So 20 feet from landing to next lip.





    Lay out the sets in a line (does not have to be dead straight--it's a little more fun when there some slight turning involved between sets.



    EDIT: I'm looking at your pics and it's real hard to tell how steep that is. Looks pretty steep !! If you run the jump line straight down it. . . . you'll end up clearing 12' - 14'+ pretty fast. If you don't want that style.... you may want to do more of a switchback trail, with berms on the ends and jumps in the middle of each cross-gradient section.... kind of like super old school bmx tracks that used to be built on hillsides in the 70's (or like 4-cross tracks on mountain sides).

    These may or may not be relevant to what you want to do, but these are good examples of really well done tables. The "camel back" shape on the right tables are what bmx racers call roll-able doubles--note how the landing side is a little bit taller (stepped-up). The only thing that makes these less rollable is the hard edge on the lip. If it were me, and this line was intended for people to roll or manual a lot, I would round off that lip corner. It won't affect the jumpability at all... but it definitely affects your rear wheel's ability to smoothly roll it in a manual.



    This pic is a great example of both the camel back design, and the rolled-over lip. Although at first this style of jump is harder because you have to learn to not nose-case the "camel" hump... later on it's smoother.. because a taller landing necessarily allows for a longer landing with more wheelbase space for your bike to land on.

    A bmx-style pump track uses a lot of these camel-back style tables, you can manual over the lip and drop your front wheel on the backside of the landing's hump... See this:
    Chelmsford BMX Pump Track - Built by Dirt-Traxs BMX track builders - YouTube

    thanks a lot for this post ,,I too am building a backyard skill track,,,i found this info extremely helpful ,,,cause im just learning to jump the kicker is im 375lbs 6'5 currently riding a ht ,, so learning to jump is not as easy as I thought lol ,,but I am determine I just recently got some floating docks ,im gonna try and use as bridges or drops or some other type of training obstacle,, so if you have any more tips I've got my notebook ready ...lol....oh forgot my wife is also training as well I will post some pics of space & stuff as soon as I have enough post to be able to post pics

  11. #11
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    Update! Phase 1: Upper Section complete!!!

    Iíve been meaning to post some new pics for a while. We had some good rain a couple of weeks ago and I was able to put in some good work on my jump line. So far Iím calling Phase 1 complete. The Upper Section consists of: starting point to entrance berm, to little trail gap, down to berm #2, leading into ďlilĒ kicker, and flowing right into the step down.

    Here are some pics of the progress so far. Again sorry for the crappy phone pics.

    Starting point.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_145454.jpg

    Entrance berm.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_145430.jpg

    Berm #2

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_151302.jpg

    Step down. (The pics donít really do it justice.) The gap from lip to lip is right at about 19 feet. The gap from lip to start of table top landing is at 10 or 11 feet.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_153415.jpg

    Step down from above.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_153715.jpg

    Step down from below.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130309_153549.jpg

    I know Iíll be doing some modifications as I continue to ride it, but for now, I have to move on to phase 2: ďMiddle Section.Ē

    Got some big plans for phase 2! Hereís a preview of the landing I started.

    Project: Jump line at the in-lawís house!-img_20130310_154752.jpg

  12. #12
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    more pics!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD27 View Post
    more pics!
    Ha! I know, thanks for reminding me!

    Iíve since done so much work to that newer middle section. Iíve ridden it a bunch and didnít like how it felt. It just wasnít flowing right. So I leveled some of it and began to start over.The top sections remain the same, but Iím sort of at a stand still on what I want to do next.

    Iíve been busy with other projects around the house and havenít been able to do much digging lately. But now those projects are almost wrapped up and Iíll be able to get back to digging at the in-lawís soon enough!

    Iíll up load some current pics once I get back to it. Thanks for checking it out!

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