Video: Practicing dismounts off a skinny

Stockade skinny HillsideI had been practicing wheelie drops (also known as "slow drops to flat") this summer so that I could have decent chance of managing a fall off a high skinny without getting hurt. 

As I mentioned last week, I want to attempt The Browner, the difficult high stockade skinny at Hillside Park in Elk River.

Why a wheelie drop? I read this this advice from someone named “guest_s” who posted to the MORC forum discussion back in 2010:

If a skinny is any higher than 1 foot or so off the ground, don’t try it if you can’t bunny hop or wheelie drop. Learn those two things first so when you do feel you will slip or fall off the side, just bunny hop or wheelie drop and ride away. If you can’t do this, you will endo (go over the bars) if your front wheel comes off…..and endo’ing is about the most unsafe thing to do.

skinny dismountI can do wheelie drops  now but not within the split second or so of losing my balance on a skinny. Maybe someday. But in the meantime, I discovered by accident that I could jump off my bike’s pedals as I lost my balance and land on my feet. So I’ve recently been practicing this dismounting.

Rock wall, downtown Dundas, MNI started with planned dismounts while riding on top of block wall of various heights. The wall was wide so that I didn’t have to worry about keeping my balance. I wanted to get the basic dismount motion down till I was confident I could jump off either side of the bike.

I then practiced dismounts while riding a narrow curb. The idea was to only jump  when I actually lost my balance because the reaction time would have to be quicker.

Lastly, I practiced on a wet log that was 18 inches or so off the ground.  I wanted to see if I could still jump off if my front wheel slipped off first.  The verdict? The jury is still out. A front wheel can slip off so quickly that you’re plunging downwards before you’re able to jump, or so it seems. I guess I won’t really know till I’m high up and it happens. <GULP>

Here’s a 90-second video of me practicing the dismounts as described above:



  1. Crazy Girl said:

    You are a crazy dude, Griff, but I love watching your attempts. It inspires me to try to be more adventuress!

    November 14, 2013
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Glad to hear I can be inspirational, Jenny. Put on the protective gear, but if you forget, be sure to take photos of your injuries as they make for good blogging. 😉

    November 14, 2013
  3. Luis Freites said:

    Hi Griff, very inspirational videos, I’m 55 and live in Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. I see now there is a lot of things concerning personal security in the road that i can improve youst by looking your videos and practicing in my own neighborhood, good quality videos. thanks for share al this info.

    September 28, 2014
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Luis, good to hear. I’m especially pleased to hear that you’re 55 and eager to keep learning.

    September 28, 2014
  5. Jenny said:

    You’re an inspiration to many of us in the older crowd, Griff, including myself. Ride on!

    September 28, 2014
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Hey Jenny, thanks for that. It’s a complete surprise to me that I’m inspiring a few people but it’s good to hear because it inspires me to keep working at it.

    And props to you and all the others who’ve worked to make Cuyuna Lakes MTB Trail System a reality and an amazing IMBA Bronze Ride Center. That opening weekend in June of 2011 was what inspired me to get into mountain biking.

    September 28, 2014
  7. Philip Long said:

    Just checked out your video of the Skinny at Hillside. Super-impressive! And on a 29er as well. My 6-yr-old is big into riding lines of 2x4s. He’s going to be stoked to see this.

    September 29, 2014
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I’d be thrilled to inspire a 6 yr-old, Philip. The heck with the geezers. 😉

    I hope to have a detailed blog post about the skills used in riding that Browner Stockade Skinny at Hillside. But for those who’ve not seen the 1-minute video of me riding it, here’s the link:

    September 29, 2014

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