Big Jump at Fountainhead

Printable View

  • 09-20-2012
    beggaz
    Big Jump at Fountainhead
    Hey,
    Has anyone gone full speed off the wooden jump at Fountainhead? This is the down hill ramp that you can get tons of air off of. I think there is an "experts only" sign.

    I want to launch off that thing but could use some advice from someone that has done so.
    Should I use a full suss or a hard tail? clipless or regular pedals? should i pull up on the bars a little? i figure i'd hit it about 20 mph and dont want to ge too mangled.

    greg
  • 09-20-2012
    scorchedearth
    2012 Bike 180: Day 51 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Here is a photo of a guy on a rather unique bike launching off of that ramp.

    I roll off of it myself since I don't consider myself a great jumper yet.
  • 09-20-2012
    repoman
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by beggaz View Post
    Hey,

    I want to launch off that thing but could use some advice from someone that has done so.
    Should I use a full suss or a hard tail? clipless or regular pedals? should i pull up on the bars a little? i figure i'd hit it about 20 mph and dont want to ge too mangled.

    greg

    Looking at the questions you've asked, you might want to start with something smaller and work up to full gas on that jump - unless you like the emergency room.;)
  • 09-20-2012
    TintedOut
    That getup is great. Love the colors. Cant add much on how you approach it but I have rode down it. Looks bigger then it is. You got it. Just hit it.
  • 09-20-2012
    beggaz
    cool. I dont know if there are any smaller jumps out there. I am 43 years old but raced BMX back in the day.

    If anyone is heading out there in October that launches of that thing, let me know cause I'd like to hang.

    Wiping out isnt nearly as bad if you have someone to withness and laugh at you.
  • 09-20-2012
    jabberwocky
    I've done it several times at max speed. Its doable, but kind of a flat landing if you're going fast. At moderate speeds its ok. Its basically like any other drop: keep the bike level and land both tires at once (or slightly rear wheel down).
  • 10-01-2012
    bobby_tables
    You don't need a lot of speed to huck the entire thing. It's pretty easy, just keep the front end up. But as jabberwocky pointed out, it's a decent drop to flat which if you are running XC forks/shocks, they will take quite a hit.
  • 10-02-2012
    Stumpjumpy
    Just hit it progressively faster until you are launching at warp speed. Might take a half a day to work up to that.
  • 10-03-2012
    Iridethedirt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    Just hit it progressively faster until you are launching at warp speed. Might take a half a day to work up to that.

    This drop is not one to hit at a moderate speed... I've seen, and talked to too many riders who hit it at a medium speed, cased it with the back wheel and got bucked over the bars. be careful of this.

    Its truly not to flat, but is slightly downhill. the speed you roll into it from the lead in is a good speed. you dont need to hammer to gain speed, or scrub a lot with the brakes. you also dont need to yank the front end up, just keep the bike level, and land with both tires at once, a slight favor for a rear wheel landing is better than a nose down lander though.

    I do recommend working your way up to this drop. baby steps.
  • 10-03-2012
    PantslessWithWolves
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    Just hit it progressively faster until you are launching at warp speed. Might take a half a day to work up to that.

    No, don't do that. Most crashes I've seen at that drop have been from people rolling it at a moderate speed and going OTB as a result. Roll it at slow speed or hit it going fast- there's no in between here.

    I've hit it on both my HT and my FS bike. Obviously, FS is going to feel a hell of a lot better, but it's easy enough on a HT.

    Also, if you're asking questions about what position you should keep your bars in, you may want to consider working your way up by hitting the other, smaller drops along the trail and getting comfortable with those first.
  • 10-03-2012
    fleetwood
    sounds to me like I need to get to Fountainhead...
  • 10-17-2012
    ludachris
    I rode that trail for the first time a few weeks ago on my SS. I had a lot of fun. (No, I didn't jump the big jump)It's kinda short, but two laps on the SS worked my fairly well. 2,000 for 16 miles is quite a bit. I also went down that old trail and was surprised at how steep it was. Was wondering what all the damn signs were for. LOL! Liked it so much that I did it on the second lap.
    If I don't go out of town I plan to hit it Saturday afternoon if it's open. Hit me up if ya want ride. I am new here and have only ridden that trail. I'm not fast, but am a steady rider and can hammer occasionally. :) I just wanna have fun and riding trails is fun for me.
    christopher dot randle at gmail
  • 10-18-2012
    bobby_tables
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ludachris View Post
    I rode that trail for the first time a few weeks ago on my SS. I had a lot of fun. (No, I didn't jump the big jump)It's kinda short, but two laps on the SS worked my fairly well. 2,000 for 16 miles is quite a bit. I also went down that old trail and was surprised at how steep it was. Was wondering what all the damn signs were for. LOL! Liked it so much that I did it on the second lap.

    One full lap (not taking any by-passes) at FH on a SS is a pretty intense workout. Two is impressive.

    I'm assuming you are referring to the old ShockOBilly. It's much more sketchy now with those small ladders in place than it was before with the old waterbars. The old SOB section used to be one of the best parts at FH until some d-bags decided to rip out the waterbars. Now we have those ridiculous ladders as a result... :madman:
  • 10-18-2012
    ludachris
    Yeah, it's definitely sketchy. I went slowly.
  • 10-18-2012
    PantslessWithWolves
    FYI, the drop at Fountainhead we're all talking about is this one:

    Salamander Drop at Fountainhead Regional Park- GoPro CableCam - YouTube

    Getting a ride in there this weekend. Can't wait to soar off that thing!
  • 10-21-2012
    one incredible donkey
    I hit it on my 29er hardtail at a good clip. It's butter smooth when you hit it right, and great practice for learning how to do drops.
  • 10-21-2012
    PantslessWithWolves
    I was out there today, and had a pretty funny "teachable moment" with some non-locals at that drop. My friend and I were off to the side about to push our bikes up and drop it again, and two guys joined us and were asking about it. I was explaining that the key was either to roll it slowly or send it and launch, and this guy came down the trail and said, "Oooh, a drop! I'm gonna do this nice and smooth!" and proceeded to roll it at that aforementioned bad in between speed. He promptly went OTB, landed on the back of his head and bounced off his back so hard his bike flew about three feet in front of him.

    It was one of those crashes that there's only one of two possible outcomes: the rider is either totally fine with nothing more than a bruised ego, or they're hopelessly screwed. Fortunately, it was the former, and we all had a laugh at it at the side of the trail (including the guy who crashed.) However, he did split his helmet in two in the back.

    The drop itself is really easy from a technical point of view- you just have to commit to it.
  • 10-22-2012
    jabberwocky
    I personally think they need to just turn it into a straight-up drop. The ramp convinces people they can half-heartedly drop/roll it, which is when you get into trouble.
  • 11-21-2012
    tsunayoshi
    I know of a couple broken collarbones, an elbow, and a nose, and some ribs from that ramp. I hit it the first time the week it opened, and jabberwocky is exactly right in that there is no in between speed. Either roll it so slow you are embarrased to be seen doing it, or commit to launching it with decent speed. I tried a middle speed and almost joined the elite group of people with broken bones.
  • 11-22-2012
    bobby_tables
    +1 on removing the ramp all together and just making it a drop. The few times I've seen people crash on it was when they tried to roll it. There's already a ride-around for anyone who doesn't want to do the drop.

    I disagree that you need much speed to make the drop though. A couple of pedal strokes is more than enough (but that is already too much to roll it).
  • 11-22-2012
    one incredible donkey
    Just throwing this here - Fountainhead posted this PDF, detailing the upcoming work on the back trails. I hope they make it a real challenge, but fun. Right now it's a real challenge, but it's not much fun in my opinion.
  • 11-24-2012
    Jwiffle
    First time I came up to this drop, I initially figured I'd scope it out first, but as I slowed up before it, realized it was no big deal, let the brakes go and dropped it. Since then, I've hit it with more speed, which is fun, get a bit more air.

    Not sure I understand the whole "medium speed won't work" thing being passed around. Not that hard to get enough speed - you don't even have to pedal into it. Just coming down the hill to it can get you enough speed. That said, my friend didn't have quite enough to clear it the first time and his rear wheel landed on the end of the bridge, but no big deal, didn't cause a crash. (he was a fs)

    Haven't taken my rigid ss out there since it's been up. Will have to attempt it on it.
  • 11-26-2012
    Stumpjumpy
    I don't get the "no medium speed allowed" warning, either.

    It's a boardwalk drop, not a jump - so it's not like the "ramp" compresses the bike's suspension and then launches it upon suspension extension and therefore speed/timing is critical.
  • 11-26-2012
    jabberwocky
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    I don't get the "no medium speed allowed" warning, either.

    It's a boardwalk drop, not a jump - so it's not like the "ramp" compresses the bike's suspension and then launches it upon suspension extension and therefore speed/timing is critical.

    Its more an issue of people coming up at medium speed and leaning forward expecting to roll it (since it has a down ramp), but instead launching it (because the down ramp is steep) and endoing. At low speeds its an easy roller, at high speeds its a small drop. Theres an in-between that doesn't work very well though.
  • 11-27-2012
    bobby_tables
    I just hope that whatever they have planned for the black loop, they cut out this "ramp" nonsense on features and just make proper doubles/tables/drops/etc. I know ramps like this one on the drop and the ones on old Shockabilly are meant to make it seem more beginner friendly, but all they've done is just made things more sketchy in a bad way.
  • 11-28-2012
    jabberwocky
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobby_tables View Post
    I just hope that whatever they have planned for the black loop, they cut out this "ramp" nonsense on features and just make proper doubles/tables/drops/etc. I know ramps like this one on the drop and the ones on old Shockabilly are meant to make it seem more beginner friendly, but all they've done is just made things more sketchy in a bad way.

    I've made the same comment previously on MORE (this feature was discussed here and here). I think they're trying to skirt the line between beginner friendly and advanced, and the issue is that they make the obstacle easy to roll, but kinda dangerous if you ratchet up the speed and aren't ready for the drop. From what I hear, almost everyone who has crashed and been hurt on that obstacle has been people hitting it a bit fast, but leaning forward like they wanted to roll it (which results in an unexpected launch into a front wheel landing and endo, especially if you mix panic braking in there somewhere).
  • 11-28-2012
    progfan1
    I totally agree about the ramps on Shockabilly. I HATEHATEHATE them! They post plenty of signs that it is an advanced trail feature, so beginners simply should not attempt it (I walked it several times when I first started riding Fountainhead a few years ago). Plus, the ramps actually make it MORE difficult in some ways. Before the ramps, you didn't have to aim so carefully. The first time I rode the new version, I caught just the edge of the last ramp with speed and almost bit it. I think the ramps make it more dangerous, if anything. I hope MORE people read this and that the "improvements" to the Black Trail will truly be advanced features. No more uphill BMX track, please. Laurel Hills and Wakefield already offer plenty of beginner options in the area. It will suck if advanced riders in Northern VA have to drive to Gambrill or Elizabeth Furnace to get something challenging.

    End of rant. All this being said, I haven't launched the big ramp yet and I agree that it should just be a drop.
  • 11-28-2012
    scorchedearth
    For all of those who have a strong opinion on the outcome of the new work being done at Fountainhead, there is a comment period open for you to voice your concerns:

    http://www.nvrpa.org/uploads/Files/F...pubcomment.pdf

    I am in the process of writing my suggestions and I would welcome all who enjoy the park to state theirs as well.

    The comment period ends on December 5.
  • 11-28-2012
    progfan1
    Thanks for posting that, scorhedearth. I send my comments in yesterday via the link on Fountainhead Project's Facebook page. Let's hope they listen.
  • 11-28-2012
    PantslessWithWolves
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    I totally agree about the ramps on Shockabilly. I HATEHATEHATE them! They post plenty of signs that it is an advanced trail feature, so beginners simply should not attempt it (I walked it several times when I first started riding Fountainhead a few years ago). Plus, the ramps actually make it MORE difficult in some ways. Before the ramps, you didn't have to aim so carefully. The first time I rode the new version, I caught just the edge of the last ramp with speed and almost bit it. I think the ramps make it more dangerous, if anything. I hope MORE people read this and that the "improvements" to the Black Trail will truly be advanced features. No more uphill BMX track, please. Laurel Hills and Wakefield already offer plenty of beginner options in the area. It will suck if advanced riders in Northern VA have to drive to Gambrill or Elizabeth Furnace to get something challenging.

    End of rant. All this being said, I haven't launched the big ramp yet and I agree that it should just be a drop.

    The reason why they had to put those ramps in at SOB is because some idiot tore out the old waterbars. I, too, am not a fan of those ramps, and it really sucks when someone ruins it for the rest of us who actually know how to handle a bike.
  • 12-03-2012
    bobby_tables
    Quote:

    The reason why they had to put those ramps in at SOB is because some idiot tore out the old waterbars. I, too, am not a fan of those ramps, and it really sucks when someone ruins it for the rest of us who actually know how to handle a bike.
    Yup, the d-bag(s) who ripped them out ruined one of the better spots in the whole place but that's not a reason for why the ramps had to be put there. Those down-ramps are doing nothing for sustainability. Adding on to what Jabberwocky said...the only point is as an attempt to dumb down that section to keep it inline with the blue trail and the whole "stacked" trail system.
  • 12-03-2012
    progfan1
    I agree. It seems like the wooden boards dug into the hill (like the drops on other parts of the trail) would be enough for sustainability purposes. I wish they would take the ramps out and keep SOB an expert section like the many warning signs say. SAB is a perfectly good alternative, so PLEASE don't dumb down the rest of the trail in the "improvements" to the Black trail.
  • 12-03-2012
    jtcallahan
    Make sure you submit your comments for the next phase of development on the Black loop. This link shows a map of the proposed places to make changes.

    http://www.nvrpa.org/uploads/Files/F...ent.pdf#page=4

    Note the green-dashed and solid-red trail segments where relocation or closure is recommended. It looks like there will be more trail miles under the new plan, but at the expense of the last couple of difficult sections in the park including Lung Buster :madmax:

    Here is FAMBE's map of the current Fountainhead for comparison with the proposed changes:

    http://www.fambe.org/maps/fountainhe...tion%20001.pdf

    You can send your comments about these changes to NVRPA here by December 7th (I did):
    plandev@nvrpa.org
  • 12-10-2012
    Stumpjumpy
    Tom's Taco at Fountain Head - YouTube

    Another example of launching the jump with aplomb.
  • 12-10-2012
    GelatiCruiser
    I'm going to have to head out to Fountainhead.
  • 12-10-2012
    LiquidSpin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    Tom's Taco at Fountain Head - YouTube

    Another example of launching the jump with aplomb.

    Does anyone here know what rims he had? Because I don't ever wanna buy the same rims haha

    He would have been fine had it not been for his back rim giving out.

    I did the "Salamander Drop" 3x...the first was more a bunny hop and my back tire cased the ramp but no crash. 2nd time I landed but almost crashed....3rd time I wiped out hard and ended up eating dirt. Luckily nothing broken on me or the bike hehe

    I don't think I'll attempt it again.
  • 12-10-2012
    CharacterZero
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by liquidspin View Post
    does anyone here know what rims he had? Because i don't ever wanna buy the same rims haha.

    29" ;)
  • 12-10-2012
    Ltdan12a
    I came around the corner towards the ramp pretty quick, and didn't even see the bypass till It was behind me... Then came a pretty good pucker moment as I went off the ramp... LOL
  • 12-10-2012
    jabberwocky
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LiquidSpin View Post
    Does anyone here know what rims he had? Because I don't ever wanna buy the same rims haha

    Alex DP20, and the rider weighs #240.
  • 12-10-2012
    bobby_tables
    Looks like he came down hard on his seatpost too...ouch.
  • 12-10-2012
    Stumpjumpy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ltdan12a View Post
    I came around the corner towards the ramp pretty quick, and didn't even see the bypass till It was behind me... Then came a pretty good pucker moment as I went off the ramp... LOL

    Kudos to you! You hit dat sumbetch with wild abandon and stuck the landing. :thumbsup:

    I am certainly no expert on these things, and have never launched off Salamander like that, but with a little more shock absorption from the arms/legs, I bet the wheel would have survived.
  • 12-10-2012
    Berkley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobby_tables View Post
    I just hope that whatever they have planned for the black loop, they cut out this "ramp" nonsense on features and just make proper doubles/tables/drops/etc. I know ramps like this one on the drop and the ones on old Shockabilly are meant to make it seem more beginner friendly, but all they've done is just made things more sketchy in a bad way.

    May be a liability issue. Ramps make it less of a problem.