Most often in off-road racing it’s faster to jump something than it is to ride across or through it. This is sometimes the case with narrow creek crossings, especially if you think you might get stuck or go over the bar. Top GNCC racer Paul Whibley has plenty of experience when it comes to this type of obstacle, and he recently provided Dirt Rider with his tips for jumping them.
1. “As you’re approaching the takeoff you need to look for fresh lines that will help you get an extra bit of lift, as the main line may be worn down from other riders hitting it before you, which may cause you to case it on the landing. Look for a little root or clump of grass to give you some lift; as long as it doesn’t deflect you then you can use it.”
2. “Just before hitting the takeoff point you want to back off the throttle a little at the last second and pull in the clutch at the same time. You will need to compress the suspension just as you approach the takeoff point and make sure you visually line up the takeoff area with the landing point. You should also look for any potential problems on the other side that might need to be avoided.”
3. “When you reach the takeoff point you want to release the clutch, give the throttle a blip and then push the suspension a little further so when it releases it will give you enough lift to make the jump. If it’s flat at the takeoff area, then you will need all the lift you can get out of your suspension to pull off a smooth landing.”
4. “Once you’ve cleared the takeoff you need to adjust your stance and prepare for landing while still scanning your landing point and beyond. Once you make contact it’s on the gas and back to race mode. If you pull this off successfully, then you’ve just saved several seconds over anyone who might have decided to ride through the creek. You also might have averted a possible bath!”Now jump over an ocean to Paul’s New Zealand website at www.paulwhibley.co.nz then check his U.S. team results at www.amproyamaha.com.