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Building a mountain bike jump over my driveway

Building a mountain bike jump over my driveway
Last week, we took this muddy, rutted forest road and turned it into a durable gravel road that is now Berm Peak’s grand entrance. But of course, it’s not just a gravel road. We built a few rock bump

jump

s into the side that end at a small landing. Because the rock

jump

s can be accessed from snake pit trail, it makes for a really fun line. But you need to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting the retaining wall, and that’s a big waste of speed. Of course, Pat opted to just ride up the
building a mountain bike jump over my driveway
retaining wall. This doesn’t work well, but it works. And it got me thinking, we could make this trail continue to the other side of the

driveway

, and keep going downhill. To keep this trail going, I needed to make some improvements to what we had, including the landing and the trail after it. The dirty gravel has really been coming in handy for this. After tuning up the trail for a bit, it was time for some experimenting. For starters the cypress trees needed a little pruning, but not too
much because I wanted this feature to be hidden from the front yard. To make the path on to the

driveway

rideable was more challenging than meets the eye. You see, this

driveway

was built up with stone during the construction of the house so removing stone from the retaining wall could cause the

driveway

to crack or even collapse. But I was able to move some non-bearing stone and throw some dirt at it to make things work. Still, not what I’d call an amazing lip but a good start. Feels sketchy,
and kind of soft given the season we’re in. In the Southeast there’s Spring, Summer, Autumn, and mud. That’s a little better, but still not what I had in mind. With all that speed, we could pop up on to the

driveway

and maybe even get a little air. But to build a proper lip on the retaining wall we’d need a lot of dirt to cover the rocks. And I’m no good at

building

dirt lips anyway. Lately the 10.5 radius has been my go-to for just about any

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. But on this one I made the last 8
building a mountain bike jump over my driveway
inches flat so we can juice it recklessly without getting thrown over the handlebars. To install this on the retaining wall, I could dig it in as far as possible and trim away the side supports with the reciprocating saw to make it fit over the rocks. Now that I’ve built a few of these lips, I’ve got the whole process down to about 45 minutes. And given the lack of maintenance and resistance to water, I suspect this won’t be the last one we build. This wooden part will make the very top
of our

jump

, while the bottom will need to be dirt and gravel. I must admit, this was a little more work than I anticipated. But with some of the material left over from the road project, I was able to get the lip positioned, and even make it blend into the surroundings. But this lip could be so much more. From the very day I drove up this

driveway

with my realtor I wondered if we could build a gap

jump

over it, and many of you had the same exact same thought when you saw the map of the
property. But the side profile actually looks like this. From this direction the approach would be uphill, so that’s a no go. From the other direction the

jump

would be a step up—a big one, and I’m not sure how we’d get the speed for it. But there’s one spot where the profile looks like this, and it’s right at the auxiliary parking space where we’ve built our lip. And that might be just a little bit by design. Time for a test. It wouldn’t be pretty, but it looked possible to
building a mountain bike jump over my driveway
clear the

driveway

. To get both tires in the gravel I’d need a fair bit more speed, and it would be a serious yank. So the next day Kevin and I got to work on trying to clear it. We were coming up short and the culprit was speed, or lack thereof. The snake pit skinny is only possible to do so fast without messing up, and you need to make up the difference after it, while

jump

ing rocks and setting up for the

driveway

gap. Despite the rough landing I even tried the gap on my hardtail for some
extra boost to no avail. So we kept refining our lines, and pushing our luck. Kevin definitely

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ed the furthest, but it wasn’t both tires in the gravel. After that, we both started getting a little sketchy, and decided to call it quits. The next morning I got up early and fixed up the trail. I added additional height to the landing so we could pump it for speed, and some more support at the bottom of the lip for a smoother takeoff. Pat also came by to give it a shot. With those
improvements to the trail we were immediately doing better than the previous day. In the summer with a harder surface, I’m positive we would have sailed past the gravel, but despite this handicap we were giving it everything we had. Pat definitely cleared it with a clean dismount. And with that the

driveway

gap was officially a reality. But it’s my

driveway

, so I had to clear it too. So I took a couple of tips from Pat on line choice and gave it another shot. I said it would never happen,
but we have a

driveway

gap. And, it leads right to another trail entrance in Moonshangle thickets. That means we can keep this downhill run going and add additional, crazier features. And now that this line continues across the

driveway

, we can call it a trail. I considered naming it lower snake pit since that’s where it starts, but since it crosses the forest road it needs its own name. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.