Stunt School Day 13 – Over the Handlebars

Today we started on the bridge – practicing our mid-falls.  We’ll be using them a lot later, so Anthony wanted to make sure we can really hone them here.  We’re falling onto the comfy blue mat, so the fall is cushioned a bit more.  After doing a few runs of the headers, suicides, and back falls, I practiced the face-off for a long stretch.  I’m still angled too far up, and not waiting long enough before turning.  Towards the end, I started to get it a little cleaner.

Then we moved onto bike falls.  This was definitely kinda scary.  Basically you’re supposed to do what you’ve always been taught not to do – lock up your front brakes, so that you go over the handlebars and fall.  The idea is that you go with it, and use the momentum of the bike rising behind you to do a shoulder roll over the handle bars, getting out of the way of the bike.

I started off very slow, trying to get a handle on the bike, how it handles, how much front brake I need to get the rear wheel off the ground.  More speed definitely helps.  The first few times,  I was too slow, and thwacked my legs against the frame.  Good thing I was padded up.  Then eventually, I did a clean take – locked up the front brake, went up and over the handlebars, did a forward roll over onto the mats.  I flubbed the next run-through, of course.  I was glad to finish this segment without really falling and hurting myself.

We finished up with high falls onto the airbag.  It really is massive, so from the first platform (which is 16′ high), we’re only falling about 5′ before reaching the mat.  I ran through all the falls.  Most of them were fine, but I’m still angled on the face-off, then hitting with my feet first, then my shoulders and head.  I’m not consistent with the face-offs, so I probably won’t do them at a higher height.

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