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180’s for the beginning spinner


Learning to spin on a bike will probably be the most challenging thing you will learn on two wheels. For many it will be the first thing they learn where they have to combine their body motion, with bike motion, while judging rotation and fighting the fear of turning your head blind side to your direction of travel. Seem overwhelming? Don’t worry, it’s not as complex as it may first seem. Start by rolling almost to a dead stop, grabbing your brakes and hopping five or six times, cutting short wedges out of your turn, until you have gone 180. Next, try cutting hops out of the turn, until you can make it in three or even two hops. This helps you overcome the fear of turning your head away from the action, by bringing the action to a dead stop while teaching you the motion of turning in small bites.
When you are ready to learn 180’s with forward momentum, start slow and keep your focus on the turn. The only thing that will change is that you will now have to land backpedaling and roll or hop out of the fakie. So as you hop and start your turn, keep your weight centered over the bike and the bars straight, so when you land you will be able to roll straight back with your momentum. As soon as you start rolling backwards your pedals will want to do the same, so go with them. The trick is to pace the pedals backwards; backpedal too fast and the motion gets jerky and off balance, backpedal too slow and you will fight the bikes momentum, bringing it to a quick stop. When it comes time to turn out of the fakie you will want to continue your rotation the same way you started it, so if you spun to the right when you did the 180, you will spin to the right to get out. Turn your bars slightly out of your turn, for example, if you are turning to the right, turn the bars to the left, this will allow the bike to follow your body into the turn. From here you can either hop, as seen here to “pop” or “cab” out of the turn, or snap the bars around forwards so you can steer out of the turn. If you are getting frustrated with roll-backs, try rolling up a mellow bank, doing a 180 and riding back the way you came, almost like a quarter pipe air, this way you can practice your 180’s and pedal away, eliminating the frustration of stepping out of roll-backs. Good luck.


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