Facing Off with Square-Edged Bumps with Chris Gosselaar

The notorious concrete wall called a square-edged bump. It can cause a world of hurt if confronted without a plan of attack. Not for the timid, it can tear the handlebar from a rider's hands, slap the rear up into the rider's butt (causing that instantaneous spine-jarring sensation that feels as if you just lost a half-inch off your total height) or spit the rear end off to either side in a blink of an eye. No matter how you slice it, these motorcycle-created festering sores can often litter a track the way garbage does the 909.With a keen eye for distinguishing lines, you can avoid some. But like girlfriends and wives, they are never fully avoidable. In this tip, Chris Gosselaar shows us two ways to attack a square-edged bump that developed at Glen Helen.1. Whenever possible, try to avoid slamming into a square-edged hit with the front wheel fully loaded, especially if the hit is isolated like the one shown. If the hole is fairly deep, striking it with the front wheel can really jar the rider as well as suck the drive from the bike because forward momentum is so disrupted. In this case, Gosselaar has ample time to set up for the impact.
2. Right before the obstacle, he leans back and lofts the front wheel to clear the hole. Just before the front wheel crosses the hole, he starts shifting his weight forward while keeping his butt slightly off the seat. This weight transfer releases the pressure on the rear shock to allow the rear to soak up and drive through the hit without deflecting. If he were to lean back with the rear wheel fully weighted, there's a chance the rear wheel could kick him or swap when hitting the square edge.
3. Because the square-edged hole extends to the outside edge of the track barrier, there is no real way to avoid it unless you ride completely around it on the inside, which would cost way too much time. In this sequence, Gosselaar avoids running through the main line where the hole is the deepest. He veers as far outside as possible to miss as much as he can without going off the track.
4. A small berm lines the track so he had to be careful not to catch his boot or footpeg on the side. Although the hole is less pronounced, this move does require more accuracy, and the margin for error increases. If the rear wheel were to kick, it could send the rear end off into the berm or into any banners lining the track. Try these moves at lower speeds until you feel comfortable hitting a square edge at your full ability.