Proper bailing on a skinny?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Proper bailing on a skinny?

    Hey guys. So I'm pretty new to riding skinnies and have only tried ones that are relatively short in length and low to the ground so I haven't really needed to bail, or if I had it was pretty easy to just ride it off. I'm just wondering how you guys bail when you start getting up to higher heights if your front wheel slips off or something. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExCactus
    Hey guys. So I'm pretty new to riding skinnies and have only tried ones that are relatively short in length and low to the ground so I haven't really needed to bail, or if I had it was pretty easy to just ride it off. I'm just wondering how you guys bail when you start getting up to higher heights if your front wheel slips off or something. Thanks!
    I don't know if I've ever had a good crash when the front wheel slips off. I just focus all of my energy on not letting it slip, but sometimes it happens, and when it does there isn't much you can do to recover. Back wheel isn't such a big deal (relatively speaking). Losing balance and jumping off, well, at least you can choose to bail or not. But yeah, losing front wheel, you can count on it, things are going from rad to suck really fast.

  3. #3
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    Only thing I can suggest with the front wheel slippin on a high skinny is to bear hug the crap out of the stunt you're on and try not to smash your face.
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  4. #4
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    So your saying to try and stay up on the stunt and just let the bike fall as opposed to trying to land on your bike or something? Maybe I'll just try not falling period... More practice!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptordude
    Only thing I can suggest with the front wheel slippin on a high skinny is to bear hug the crap out of the stunt you're on and try not to smash your face.
    Freakin' right on! Dat's classik rite dere.

    Having fallen off 47,000 skinnies, I'm somewhat of an expert on this one. My style is about avoidance, you can scamper off unscathed if you realize *real* danger is near.

    I don't have the style'n'grace of the 'real' north shore stompers though. Their style is jump straight up off both feet while holding onto the bar, use your hands to swivel into a 10-point dismount on the side of the skinny while bowing and collecting flowers from the ladies.

    Neither of these will help you if you're too late and your front wheel actually dumps off the side. When that happens, you . . . will . . . die. Sorry, bummer, shoulda thought of that first. It also won't help when you're 10+ feet off the ground. For this reason, many well-built structures are wider when they're higher. Something 12' up and 4" wide is gonna blow stuff up, guaranteed. When things get high, your concentration better be really, really good. The mysterious stopping pedals have no place way up high.

    Practice will teach you where the bail-out line is. If your weight is irretrievably sideways, get yo ass off quick. But, don't bail when there's still a chance to recover. You can use the inside leg as a counterweight. Sometimes it looks cool, others you look like a tool. It usually doesn't work but you can try it.

    Keep your eyes 10-15 feet ahead, Always look where you want to go. As soon as you look off the side you're done. Never stop the tires rolling, once they stop your chances of success plummet. Brakes are OK but go light. Back brake is better than front, front brakes cause more fork diving and weight shift where you're trying to stay as neutral and 'light' as possible. If you notice your weight pitching at all when braking you're too heavy on the levers. If the skinny is uphill, pedal dammit pedal. Don't let your feet stop or you're done, gotta keep that weight moving right.

    Practice hasn't made perfect in my case but every time you make a new one it's a rush. Hells, I still get worked up over ones I've made 50 times.
    Last edited by miklorsmith; 07-02-2009 at 02:52 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Most skinnys i've bailed from have been less than 5 feet high,if you feel like your tipping off just hop over with the bike and land on the wheels ,riding off or tipping over, if you let your suspension take up some of the hit, your better off than bailing off the bike entirely.Even a nose dive landing on the fork followed by an endo is better than jumping off your bike at a high point and taking an uncontrolled landing on one foot or a direct body slam to the ground.

  7. #7
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    If I can see it coming I'll try to wheelie drop it otherwise it's time for the old bear hug. I've gotten some weird scrapes that way
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklorsmith
    Freakin' right on! Dat's classik rite dere.

    Having fallen off 47,000 skinnies, I'm somewhat of an expert on this one. My style is about avoidance, you can scamper off unscathed if you realize *real* danger is near.

    I don't have the style'n'grace of the 'real' north shore stompers though. Their style is jump straight up off both feet while holding onto the bar, use your hands to swivel into a 10-point dismount on the side of the skinny while bowing and collecting flowers from the ladies.

    Neither of these will help you if you're too late and your front wheel actually dumps off the side. When that happens, you . . . will . . . die. Sorry, bummer, shoulda thought of that first. It also won't help when you're 10+ feet off the ground. For this reason, many well-built structures are wider when they're higher. Something 12' up and 4" wide is gonna blow stuff up, guaranteed. When things get high, your concentration better be really, really good. The mysterious stopping pedals have no place way up high.

    Practice will teach you where the bail-out line is. If your weight is irretrievably sideways, get yo ass off quick. But, don't bail when there's still a chance to recover. You can use the inside leg as a counterweight. Sometimes it looks cool, others you look like a tool. It usually doesn't work but you can try it.

    Keep your eyes 10-15 feet ahead, Always look where you want to go. As soon as you look off the side you're done. Never stop the tires rolling, once they stop your chances of success plummet. Brakes are OK but go light. Back brake is better than front, front brakes cause more fork diving and weight shift where you're trying to stay as neutral and 'light' as possible. If you notice your weight pitching at all when braking you're too heavy on the levers. If the skinny is uphill, pedal dammit pedal. Don't let your feet stop or you're done, gotta keep that weight moving right.

    Practice hasn't made perfect in my case but every time you make a new one it's a rush. Hells, I still get worked up over ones I've made 50 times.


    ^^^pretty much covers every facet of skinny bailing
    That last little paragraph there....spot on. One of the stunts at our park, the Roller Coaster, gets butterflies in my stomach every time. You can see it in the Insane Stunts thread to get an idea of what I'm talking about. It's also in that little trailer vid thread I posted a coupla weeks ago.
    I took a nasty 'front tire slips off' spill at Ray's the year before last. I was coming down the last expert skinny, front tire slipped off to the left and the next thing I know, I'm trying to shoulder tackle the concrete floor (with NO success). I still have a scar from where I scraped off some skin on my shoulder blade.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  9. #9
    clyde in training
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    this guy demonstrates exactly what you want to do when in that sort of situation.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/AK9oHseVI3k&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/AK9oHseVI3k&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

  10. #10
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    All I can say is for skinnies (which I hate by the way ), don't make the classical pilot error and try to save it till its too late.

    Bail when you see it comming, when you have time to think but it hasn't happened yet!

    ie do it on your terms, not gravity's!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08nwsula
    this guy demonstrates exactly what you want to do when in that sort of situation.
    Is he auditioning for Jackass or something? EFF that noise!!!
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklorsmith
    When that happens, you . . . will . . . die. Sorry, bummer, shoulda thought of that first. It also won't help when you're 10+ feet off the ground.
    I think this is why skinnies are probably associated with shorter biking careers (and rotor and derailleur lifetimes) :'(.

  13. #13
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    I remember hooking up a bunch of vids just like this where you just cant work out what the plan actualy is. Just seems like people want to take a dive for the sake of it.

  14. #14
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    I avoid them if possible. Thats the best way to avoid wrecking or having to bail. Besides, they are too slow anyway!

  15. #15
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    The west coast dismount is not hard to learn and will save your ass if you make it instinctive. Basically it involves jumping off both pedals to the side, leaving the bike where it is and landing on your feet. I can only do it when the brakes are applied and I can't do it in clips at all. You really have to practice it.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  16. #16
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    I rolled my ankle badly doing that type of dismount. It was just too steep where I jumped to, ended up up dropping almost 10 feet onto a rock (trying to ride a barrier wall btw, not exactly the smartest thing I've done)...
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    The west coast dismount is not hard to learn \.
    There is a video called West Coast Style that shows this dismount. Haven't had the opportunity to try it yet but it seems pretty strait forward. I found this video in the $5 bin at the LBS.

  18. #18
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    grab
    the vines in the trees like tarzen and scream
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 07-03-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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  19. #19
    clyde in training
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    grab
    the vines in the trees kike tarzen and scream
    why didn't Tarzan have a beard?

  20. #20
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    I had the unfortunate opportunity to need to bail last night. It could have ended badly, last time it happened I partially dislocated both shoulders. This time I managed to ghost ride the bike of the end and jump off behind the bike. I tried to stop on the bridge but there was no way I could, and I was going to slow to hit the trail gap at the end. The only option was bail!

    I hurt to watch my bike helicopter down the hill , but nothing ws damaged and I didn't hurt myself at all.
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  21. #21
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    I second the notion that you don't wait until the last minute. If you do it's going to get ugly. Bail while you still have enough balance to do so gracefully. Otherwise you're going to fall in an ugly manner, rather than on both feet. Jump up off the pedals like you're throwing a no footed can, and use the bars to keep stability as you jump up and off to the side away from the bike. Obviously this isn't going to be the best option if you're way up in the air. There's no easy way to just step off the bike and onto the skinny unless the skinny is.. well.. not skinny. Avoid losing the front wheel off the skinny at all costs. You may be able to gracefully dismount if the rear falls off, but if the front goes, it is unlikely you'll be able to bail.

  22. #22
    North Van/Whistler
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    screw the graceful dismounts if you\'re really high. Dump the bike. Before you get on the skinny look for a nice landing spot so you have a clue where to go. Ride the skinny and if things go wrong, unload the bike somewhere a way from you. Jump and hope to land. This works for things up to about 10 feet high. Higher then that and hope for a nice bed for ferns to land in
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  23. #23
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    I agree that you should make your decision to bail before it's too late- when you slip a front tire off, the bike pretty much disappears under you and you go splat before you realize what's happening. If you can, simply wheelie drop or ride off the side and try to land it- if you have to bail off the side, rather than trying to jump over the top tube, I find it easier to to swing the outside (falling side) foot out, keep the inside foot on the pedal initially, and lay the bike down sideways under you as you go off the side. I find this is more effective for really low speed or stalled out bails, and now that I've gotten better at keeping moving, I don't use it much anymore. You can't go too fast on skinnies, but if you go too slow you'll fail for sure...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08nwsula
    why didn't Tarzan have a beard?

    LMAO!

  25. #25
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    try bailing off this skinny!
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  26. #26
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    Bail early, jump with both feet off one side and shove the bike as far away from the landing area as you can.

  27. #27
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    Wear flats, the Westcoast Dismount works well up to about 4 ft, depending on your height. When it gets real high like 10ft...that's why not many people ride those, if you fall it is going to hurt no matter what, and you better try to save it.

    Scout the line first, look down(when scouting), not just up, so that you know your escape routes...bushy areas vs. rocky areas
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  28. #28
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    I rode Panorama this last weekend and heard about a guy that did the "proper" bail off a skinny. He jumped both feet to one side and landed on the ground with his hands still on the grips, textbook perfect. The only problem was that the spot where he landed had a small tree just a little bit taller than crotch height there. It pierced his bag and he ended up getting some stitches where you really don't want stitches. Tough one to avoid in a bailout situation.

  29. #29
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    Ah! Hate reading stuff like that... Had a similar situation but luckily it stoped short of the boys. Thanks for all the advice and whatnot guys, guess I'm just going to have to start hitting the skinnies and keep my focus up ahead of me so I dont have to bail!

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