Building a skinny in my yard for practice

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Building a skinny in my yard for practice

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    • #83012

      Anyone else ever felt the need to do this? I never have before but I rode by some stuff on my ride the other day that I would’ve hit with no problems before but since it’s been a few years I wussed out.I just feel the need to start small and build my confidence up on something close by and since I live in a canopy of trees so thick you can barely see the house,it’s in a perfect spot and wouldn’t be an eyesore to anyone else.

      I was thinking something 12" wide by maybe 24" off the ground for 8-12’…maybe one minor turn.

      Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this?

    • #83013

      yeh man build one and post some pictures so we can check it out! should be sweet

    • #83014

      JUST DO IT,you wont regret it.I’m in the frame of mind to build some stuff too,it’s driving me nuts to get it done.

    • #83015

      I meant to put this in the freeride section,haha…explains why I had a hard time finding it.

      The pump track is an awesome idea and looks like it would be a ton of fun to ride,I’d love to try one of those one day.Unfortunately,I don’t have that kind of room so I was just thinking of a small ladder bridge through some trees.I have some old 2×4’s that I could use so I’ll have to start scoping out a line to build on.

      One thing I don’t like is the center of gravity on the bike I’m riding,that or the wheelbase is too long…something doesn’t feel right about it for ladder bridges.

      I’ll try to borrow a saw and get started on something this week. 😃

    • #83016

      This is a good idea, now I’m tempted to build one, but unfortunately I do not have a back yard or any place to put it. Maybe I can use my parents…. haha yeah definitely post pictures if you do happen to make one.

    • #83017

      Haha,you succeeded in confusing me for a minute there bro.I appreciate the effort to get it viewed more though,thank you.

      When I can round up a camera,(my old trusty one just died) which could be this weekend,I’ll at least get a pic of what I have to work with so everyone can put up suggestions.I’d already have pics up of the bikes and trails if I still had the camera,I’m a picture whore!

    • #83018
      One thing I don’t like is the center of gravity on the bike I’m riding,that or the wheelbase is too long…something doesn’t feel right about it for ladder bridges

      Riding skinny’s and tight lines really magnifies how a bike feels,what does it feel like or what is it that is happening that makes you think this??

    • #83019

      Let’s see…the best way I can quickly describe it,it feels like my margin for error is sufficiently reduced.Like I have limited lean from side to side.I also don’t like how heavy the front end feels for quickly getting it up for a drop off the side or end.

      It’s really a more XC style frame so I’m guessing it’s the frame geometry screwing with me.

      I think the handlebars are too short as well,I need another inch or so on each side for more control.

      I’d like to build a frame thats better suited to this type of thing here soon,this current bike is just a donated,temporary thing to get me out riding…

      Image

    • #83020

      Sounds like your right on all accounts dude,keep on pushin for a new bike because everything you said in your post is keeping you from riding like you want to.That bike is almost just a paper weight,I mean,when you say the front end is heavy and your having a hard time getting the front tire up for dismountaing the skinny,then just think what will happen when you hit a spot on a real trail that has a whole bunch of spots you need to get the front end up for.Plus,when you get the bike your happy with,you will be a whole lot more interested and be more motivated to settle into your riding and keep on workin on all these things as much as you can.

      One time my brother and his wife went and bought bikes at Wal-mart and one day we went up to a trail near here and he wanted to switch bikes.Man,that thing was sooooo bad,the handle bars were litteraly in my knees and every pedal stroke I struggled to keep my hands on the handle bars because my knees would almost knock them off with every single pedal stroke.I couldnt even ride the thing,I had to push it all the way back to the parking lot.Just HORRIBLE geometry,and it was sized for my brother who is 6’5" and I’m 6’2" so it should have come pretty close to the right size for me.I dont know how he rode it up the trail as far as he did,but when he got on my bike,he took off like the wind and left me there on his P.O.S…HAHAHAHA.That’s when I went back to the parkin lot and waited for him to get back with my bike.

      I think that is your biggest worry dude,gettin yourself into the bike you want because everything else you wrote in your post is just learning how to ride as best you can.Except the handle bars being wider,that will help you out because wider bars are better for balancing.Here’s hoping it wont take too long for you to get the bike you desire.

    • #83021

      This post reminded me and made me think of a house warming party I was at on Sunday.. My wife and I are still holed up in an apartment, we probably won’t buy a house with a yard for another 18-24 months but now that I am riding, the rules of home buying has changed!!!!

      The backyard I was in on Sunday was just amazing.. small, maybe 3-4/8ths of an acre, but rocks to roll down a plenty, roots, a nice 2 foot drop. I really can’t wait til we start looking. It’s all about the yard now, I could care less about the house! 70s shag carpeting? Babe, did you see that roller out there???? LOL

      Galaxy, if you build it they will come..

    • #83022
      "Tusker" wrote

      Galaxy, if you build it they will come..

      Fark yeah!

    • #83023
      "GALAXY" wrote

      [quote="Tusker":r23nw3aw]
      Galaxy, if you build it [i:r23nw3aw]skills[/i:r23nw3aw] will come..

      Fark yeah![/quote:r23nw3aw]

      ->; 😬 :?: 💡

    • #83024

      If I build it,skills will be refreshed and heightened!

      Just so everyone knows,I’m building a ladder bridge in the yard for practice,not a pump track.I’ll have to try that pump track out at Santos soon!

      Sucks about that shock on the Snare huh? I bet it could be plush and long travel with the right shock.The frame geometry perches me on that Snare right and feels real close to the Disco Monkey.I did 30+ miles on it that first day and it felt good.I did 5 miles on the donated mongoose and wanted to die,haha.

      I found an alternative to the Snare,this is $100 more and I love the feel of the suspension and the lean I can get out of it as well as more control with the wider bars.Only complaint is the crap SRAM drivetrain and triggers.

      Here’s a link to another members bike which is what I looked at last night..It’s a K2 Sidewinder FS with 4 inches front and rear (until that fork gets changed)

      [url:16cw19tu]http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=15339[/url:16cw19tu]

      If I can scrape up $400 befor they sell it,they gave me a 30 day raincheck on the sale price of $400,normally $699.I know that’s not a current model and has been sitting for at least a year so I expect it to be around in 30 days.

    • #83025

      I realize that K2 looks like a Xc style almost but in no way does that plush rear suspension back up that look.Just like that Snare,this bikes look is deceiving as well.

      I feel it would be a good All Mountain/Freeride bike with some upgrades…even dirt jumping which I like as well.

    • #83026

      Not diggin that Crush and thanks for the information on the Sidewinder…I’d be better off building a Disco Monkey frame.

      Thats fuct he stole your sons BMX,hope he gets the mak,hate bike thieves.

      I’m home already so we may go ride and get started on the ladder bridge.

    • #83027

      he get into drugs? Thats odd he stabbed you in the back after being your friend and it usually seems like its hardcore drugs that does it.

    • #83028

      Thats shitty to hear and I’m sorry you lost a friend.

      I should have a camera this evening so I may be able to get pics up of where I have to work with

    • #83029

      JDH
      "GALAXY" wrote

      Anyone else ever felt the need to do this? I never have before but I rode by some stuff on my ride the other day that I would’ve hit with no problems before but since it’s been a few years I wussed out.I just feel the need to start small and build my confidence up on something close by and since I live in a canopy of trees so thick you can barely see the house,it’s in a perfect spot and wouldn’t be an eyesore to anyone else.

      I was thinking something 12" wide by maybe 24" off the ground for 8-12’…maybe one minor turn.

      Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this?

      I ran into that problem when I first started riding up here in AK. I practiced by riding all the curbs around my house for a few weeks, (The curbs are only about 6" wide with curves). After riding the narrow curbs for a couple weeks crossing a 1′ wide log bridge seemed like a breeze.

    • #83030

      I used to like to ride paralell to a curb and bunnyhop sideways onto it and see how long I could ride it…was pretty fun but there aren’t many curbs in out neighborhood,maybe I should go find some.

    • #83031
      I used to like to ride paralell to a curb and bunnyhop sideways onto it and see how long I could ride it…

      Have you tried these curb enhancing skill builders as well???

      Another cool thing is to try and ride along the curb with the side of your tires right next to the curb,somtimes it’s easy,but somtimes if your balance is’nt right you’ll ride into the curb and it wont let you turn to correct your balance and over you’ll go.Riding right next to the curb like that builds the same skill as hopping up on top of the curb,but you also get that little bit extra challenge from not being able to turn your front wheel to correct your balance with,so you HAVE to have a more perfect line without turning to keep your balance.Ride one way with the curb on your right side,and then turn around and ride the other way with the curb on your left side.
      Also,instead of bunny hopping the whole bike upon the curb,just get the front wheel up on the curb and see how far you can go.The idea here is to steer your front wheel slowly away from the curb while the back tire is still in the gutter of the curb,your back tire will start to slide on the curb and turn your bike with it so that your balance is being thrown off and you learn how to stay on the bike as it slides out of control.Try to stay on the bike without putting a foot down,somtimes you’ll come to a stop and start pedaling again, and somtime’s you’ll slide the rear wheel out as far as you can and bring the front wheel back next to the curb without putting a foot down,either way the idea is to keep your feet on the pedals. This can be hard on your rear tire though,so be prepared for a pinch flat because when you get your front wheel far enough away from the curb,your rear tire stays in the track of the curb gutter and slides and will pinch your sidewall to the rim somtimes.I’ve repaired a few flats from doing this practice,hahahaha.All in the name of fun and coolness though.Hahaha.

    • #83032

      Your right Chili,but I just have to be able to show up for work come monday morning,if I’m in traction,I cant make any money.I got bills to pay ya know??Hahahahaha.

    • #83033
      "steve32300" wrote
      I used to like to ride paralell to a curb and bunnyhop sideways onto it and see how long I could ride it…

      Have you tried these curb enhancing skill builders as well???

      Another cool thing is to try and ride along the curb with the side of your tires right next to the curb,somtimes it’s easy,but somtimes if your balance is’nt right you’ll ride into the curb and it wont let you turn to correct your balance and over you’ll go.Riding right next to the curb like that builds the same skill as hopping up on top of the curb,but you also get that little bit extra challenge from not being able to turn your front wheel to correct your balance with,so you HAVE to have a more perfect line without turning to keep your balance.Ride one way with the curb on your right side,and then turn around and ride the other way with the curb on your left side.
      Also,instead of bunny hopping the whole bike upon the curb,just get the front wheel up on the curb and see how far you can go.The idea here is to steer your front wheel slowly away from the curb while the back tire is still in the gutter of the curb,your back tire will start to slide on the curb and turn your bike with it so that your balance is being thrown off and you learn how to stay on the bike as it slides out of control.Try to stay on the bike without putting a foot down,somtimes you’ll come to a stop and start pedaling again, and somtime’s you’ll slide the rear wheel out as far as you can and bring the front wheel back next to the curb without putting a foot down,either way the idea is to keep your feet on the pedals. This can be hard on your rear tire though,so be prepared for a pinch flat because when you get your front wheel far enough away from the curb,your rear tire stays in the track of the curb gutter and slides and will pinch your sidewall to the rim somtimes.I’ve repaired a few flats from doing this practice,hahahaha.All in the name of fun and coolness though.Hahaha.

      I’ve done most of that,especially "scrubbing" the back tire to a stop against the edge of the curb with the front wheel on the curb.

      I didn’t get ahold of a camera yet but I raked a trail through most of the yard this evening after my 5 mile mud ride.I have a good idea of where to put the ladder bridge/bridges but I’ll work on the loop first.

    • #83034

      I got a good trail going,I put 3 miles into it this evening and made a small stack of logs to cross.It’s basically a figure 8 but I’ve just been riding the front loop trying to pack it down since it was through pretty thick woods…I’ve succeeded in tearing up the sand real good with the knobbies through there.

      I got ahold of a camera but I need an old 256 meg SD card.

    • #83035
      "GALAXY" wrote

      I got a good trail going,I put 3 miles into it this evening and made a small stack of logs to cross.It’s basically a figure 8 but I’ve just been riding the front loop trying to pack it down since it was through pretty thick woods…I’ve succeeded in tearing up the sand real good with the knobbies through there.

      I got ahold of a camera but I need an old 256 meg SD card.

      Sweet glad to hear that’s going well! Sounds like fun man!

    • #83036

      Haha,I told my friend I rode 3 miles in the yard and he thought I was pretty wierd.

    • #83037

      I’ve got about a third acre lot. I wonder how much trail I can pack into that!

      Looking forward to hearing about and seeing the final result.

    • #83038

      That’s what I have to work with,I’ll have to get a measurement of each part with the trip computer,it’s not very long but its fun.(feel free to insert joke here)

    • #83039

      Hahaha!!!!

    • #83040

      Log crossing needs to be bigger,it’s not a challenge for anyone anymore.

      I’m gonna try to put a 2X6 up in the air a little and see how that goes.

    • #83041

      Here’s a few pics finally,if I go out my front door and make a U turn I start heading toward this part…

      Image

      Around that corner is this straight with the low hanging vine…

      Image

      The trail then curves to the left side of the tree and T’s into the longest straight on the trail.To the right of this tree is where I plan to put the raised ladder bridge…

      Image

      If you go left after that tree it loops back down the straight to the first photo…

      Image

      If you go right after the tree,the trail loops around the house to the left. I plan to put a decent size jump in the straight after the curve.The ladder bridge will also rejoin the trail here at this point for a good amount of speed for the jump.

      Image

      I went and picked up a bunch of 2X4’s for the ladder bridge this evening and kinda laid out where my 3 supports will go and the path the bridge will take,I hope to get started building on it this week and I gathered a few bigger logs for the weak ass log crossing you see in the pics.

    • #83042

      Very cool. Looks like it is really coming together. How long is the trail at this point?

    • #83043

      I have not yet measured it but allow me to chill for a few and I’ll go hit it with the bike and measure it.

    • #83044

      yeah Galaxy,that’s pretty cool stuff dude.I’m jealous man,I got a buddy with a yard and I think I’ll bug em to give the go ahead to build a pump track,hahahaha.

    • #83045

      I’m sure I’ll have to do some pedaling but I’ll do what I can to get it flowing good.I like being able to walk out the door and ride in the dirt mostly,haha.My chillin out for a bit turned into a nap earlier so I’ll measure the length tomarrow.

    • #83046

      dude, some awesome photos! looks like a fun time! i would love to have some room to let my creative side go to work and build something unique… totally a cool opportunity

    • #83047

      Thanks man and I am Very lucky being that it’s a rental property and my Landlord is cool.

      I have my ladder bridge 70% complete guys!!!! its 30 inches tall at its highest and level and 31 inches wide.I need suggestions on my exit lines so let me get pics and I’d love to have singletracks members give input.

    • #83048

      Can’t wait to see the pics! FYI, you can upload them to singletracks then use the "Share" link to get the forum code. Then just copy/paste.

      http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photos.php

    • #83049

      As promised,PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!

      I have to build a dual exit ramp,one sloped down at a 45 degree for speed,the other skinny and higher up to a drop to a transition

      Image

      32" at it’s tallest height and 31 inches wide in the level platform

      Image

      And one from the side…

      Image

    • #83050

      I’m working on some kind of drop!

    • #83051

      How about narrowing it off to about 6 inches and have it go for about 20ft then decend….That will be great practice.

    • #83052
      "element22" wrote

      How about narrowing it off to about 6 inches and have it go for about 20ft then decend….That will be great practice.

      Yeah, having some narrowness will definitely give good practice. However I’m impressed thus far. Only wish I had space to make one of my own 😏

    • #83053
      "element22" wrote

      How about narrowing it off to about 6 inches and have it go for about 20ft then decend….That will be great practice.

      i was thinking something narrower as well. but it is seriously looking sweet already!

    • #83054

      If this was for me alone to ride I’d have saved a ton of wood making it skinnier but my girlfriend and son need to learn how to ride ladder bridges so its more of a training technical trail feature.It needed to be wide enough to be able to put both feet down if you had to hit the brakes suddenly because you were headed in the wrong direction.

      I like the idea of the 20 foot extension 6 inches wide,but it would go out level to a drop.There’s definitely room for 2 exits off the platform so now I’m simply limited by the amount of wood I have left.

      Thanks for the comments and suggestions guys,much appreciated!

    • #83055

      I’m not much of an architect, but would it be possible to add on another entrance ramp from one of the sides? You could possible have that be narrow for when everybody is willing to give it as try. But then again, maybe there isn’t adequate spacing for the addition.

    • #83056

      That is possible and a good idea as well man,I have space,just need to acquire the lumber.

      Thanks for that one! 😎

    • #83057

      looks fun..

    • #83058

      Got one exit ramp!!!! pics tomarrow!!!!

    • #83059

      Nice work GALAXY. Looking forward to seeing the exit ramp(s).

    • #83060

      Started raining on me finishing up tpnight bit here is a wet shot of the side of the exit ramp

      Image

      Here’s a shot of the end of it from the ground…

      Image

      And one more wet one of the side…notice the stickers on the bridge?

      Image

      I plan to make a nice skinny offshoot to a drop maybe 6 inces wide…it would go over a sharp ass spanish sword plant so incentive not to fall,haha

    • #83061

      dude looks so AWESOME!!! wish i had one of those in my backyard!

    • #83062

      I can’t wait to ride it!!!!!

      I’ll get better pics tomorrow during the light with a mockup of the drop off.Glad you like it bro!!!

    • #83063

      Took me a few days to get this up but here is a good finished shot.

      Image

      It rides nicely on the way up but hits hard on my weak ass front forks on the way down,slowing my speed a good bit.I may just add another angle toward the bottom to keep things moving.

    • #83064
      "GALAXY" wrote

      Took me a few days to get this up but here is a good finished shot.

      Image

      It rides nicely on the way up but hits hard on my weak ass front forks on the way down,slowing my speed a good bit.I may just add another angle toward the bottom to keep things moving.

      so jealous!

    • #83065

      It’s flowin’ alot sweeter now and I’ll get pics up as soon as possible of what I did to improve flow and ride ability.Still no drop but its a great day for building one so we’ll see what happens.I’m still the only one that rides it so if anyone is in Gainesville and would like to ride it,PM me! Post ride beers and green is on me.

    • #83066
      "GALAXY" wrote

      It’s flowin’ alot sweeter now and I’ll get pics up as soon as possible of what I did to improve flow and ride ability.Still no drop but its a great day for building one so we’ll see what happens.I’m still the only one that rides it so if anyone is in Gainesville and would like to ride it,PM me! Post ride beers and green is on me.

      Last I checked, I do believe I’ve gone over it a few times. 😛

    • #83067

      Did you hit that bridge? I didn’t remember you riding over that part so I apologize,haha.

      I built another one this morning that’s just a small foot wide by about 10 feet long.Its only about 8" off the ground with only a ramp on the entrance side,other side is a small drop.I’ll try to get pics of that up soon.

    • #83068

      Haha, no need for an apology, I was just messing around. And yeah, I’ve gone over it three or four times if memory serves. I always do feel kinda awkward. Most likely cause it’s new to me.

    • #83069

      I put another small bridge together for the rest of the family that’s a bit intimidated by the larger one.It only has the ramp on one side so everyone can learn how to properly drop…even if it’s only 8 inches.I can also run it off the side of my larger bridge later to a drop and transition.

      Very fun to ride and all that I can add to the small trail in the yard helps…good fun little drop.

      Image

    • #83070

      I’m trying to get Shonna to lean back on the bars toward the end of it and I had her read your tips on freeriding sticky and that seemed to help a bit too.I got her a meaty ass back tire for Christmas so not even riding it yet her confidence is way up so I bet she’ll get it soon and be hitting those smaller 1-3 footers at Santos this spring.

      Man,I wish you lived closer too,I’m in need of someone with a bit more of an appetite for air,haha.

    • #83071

      Very cool. You’ll have a full-fledged bike park before long!

    • #83072
      "fleetwood" wrote

      Very cool. You’ll have a full-fledged bike park before long!

      May be working on a jump this afternoon….I need some air.
      😃

    • #83073

      Anymore updates on that cool yard and the skinny?

    • #83074

      I have the jump started but it needs another layer of dirt and it should be ok.Its only about singletrack width with a 12" drain pipe piece running through it so it will be a 14" tall mound when I’m done.

      I set it up right after the larger bridge so you can get a good amount of speed coming down the bridge,then carry it to the jump.I hit it twice the other day and finally pulled up on the bike instead of pushing the front down and managed to catch a bit of air to a flat landing and found out I may have to make another line…the curve right after the landing is a bit much.

      If I can this evening,(light permitting) I’ll re-pack it and get a picture.

    • #83075

      last fall my good nighbor rebuild her wood wall in her yard, i asked her for the scraps. they are 6×6’s. i have about 9 of them so i put them end to end for a skinny, wow did that help, after riding it over and over it was a piece of cake! I have some small and long ladders i made for jumps and ramps to practice too

    • #83076
      "ChiliPepper" wrote

      [quote="fleetwood":3kpbl20q]Very cool. You’ll have a full-fledged bike park before long!

      If I was up there with my bro, we would have one sweet one up and running by now. 😆 😆 😆

      We got one brewing up down my way on private land. Its going to be a north shore kinda of deal. 😄 😄 😄[/quote:3kpbl20q]

      We need to get something going when you get up her at the end of the month,we should cruise eveywhere and I found some DJ’s and drops so we’ll have to check it out.

    • #83077
      "pinkmtb" wrote

      last fall my good nighbor rebuild her wood wall in her yard, i asked her for the scraps. they are 6×6’s. i have about 9 of them so i put them end to end for a skinny, wow did that help, after riding it over and over it was a piece of cake! I have some small and long ladders i made for jumps and ramps to practice too

      Awesome,any chance you have any pictures? Most of the wood for my bridge came from my neighbor cleaning out a shed,recycling at it’s best!!!

      Chili bro,how good are you at hucking drops that are in a curve? That DJ mecca I found has a good 3 foot drop but it is placed pretty odd for me.I’ve been picturing climbing up that roller and droppin in on one of those big ass jumps but I’m gonna have to hit some smaller ones first,haha.

    • #83078

      i have some pictures somewhere, or il take some more, I had a bunch of pallets laying around too so i made some small jumps for my 6 yo son,

      I also found an old pipe in my neighbors back yard i use as the base of the jumps. im always looking at new house builds for scrap wood

    • #83079

      It’s been a few months since I’ve updated this with any pics so I’m going out in a few to snap some.

    • #83080

      Here is a shot of most of the small oval loop in the one section of the yard..

      Image

      Here is the new section of the trail we cleared last weekend.I ended up turning it into a drop between the trees for some fun and yesterday we decided to put in a large berm after it to keep up the speed.The ramp upward to the drop has required a good amount of dirt since I want it to actually feel like a drop down onto the next section and not a ramp with no other side.It still needs some dirt running further back to where I’m standing.

      Image

      Here is our beginning of a base for the berm,lookin mighty weak right now but should be pretty big by the time it’s done.

      Image

      Here is where the new section exits back onto the trail by the bridge.

      Image

      I didn’t get a good shot of the jump,smaller skinnier bridge,or other side of the drop…most of the good stuff- because I wanted to try to get the jump lookin better and got distracted and now it is raining,which the trail desperately needs.

    • #83081

      Dude, looking very nice, very nice indeed! Wish I had that in my backyard!

    • #83082

      Ahh, I was wondering when we would get more updates. Very nice. Have you measured how much trail you have at this point? I’m curious to know how much you can pack into your back yard.

    • #83083

      The little bike computer is currently not installed but along with doing that,I’d like to try to get some helmet cam footage of the yard,it won’t be a very long video and would give everyone a better idea of how it is set up.

    • #83084

      Not sure yet what we’re doing yet but we may buy a house in a month or two and nature will have to take over the yard here.It would be slightly depressing to lose the yard/trail work but I’d be able to build TONS of stuff in our own yard as opposed to just renting.

    • #83085
      "GALAXY" wrote

      Not sure yet what we’re doing yet but we may buy a house in a month or two and nature will have to take over the yard here.It would be slightly depressing to lose the yard/trail work but I’d be able to build TONS of stuff in our own yard as opposed to just renting.

      That’s a toughy. Losing all of the old work, but gaining way more terrain with many more options.

    • #83086

      Yeah,I think I can take the bridges with me but the trail work will be lost.That’s not stopped me from building though…I put up a small wood bridge after my dirt jump last week! Pics to come as soon as I get a good one.

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