How to Ride Over a Log, 4 Steps

Whether intentionally placed or the result of nature, logs are a common obstacle on trails.  Smaller logs are easy to ride over, but larger logs, or logs that are partially elevate off the ground can be an intimidating obstacle.  The skill is relatively simple if you take the time to start small and progress your way up to larger objects.

For this skill, starting with a 2×4 and progressing to a 4×4 then a small log is a great way to work your way up to an actual log.   When you’re practicing on the small obstacles, work on precision — see how smooth you can get your transition over the log.  Once you have it perfected, move on to the larger obstacle.

1. Assume a Neutral Position (off the saddle)

Assume a neutral position and look ahead to the top of the log as you approach it at a jogging speed.  Stay relaxed.

2. Front Wheel Lift

Just as you approach the log, compress …

… then explode the front wheel up onto the top of the log.

3. Unweight Rear Wheel

Once your front tire is over the log, shift your weight towards the front of your bike allowing your front tire to roll off the log and allowing your rear tire to lift up and over the log.

Keep your handlebars light as the front wheel rolls down back to the trail to minimize fork compression and allow a smooth front wheel roll-out.

4. Exit

Keep your head up looking forward down the trail.

That’s it — enjoy!


Richard La China is a Professional Mountain Bike racer, USAC Certified Cycling Coach and a IMBA Certified Mountain Bike Skills Instructor who coaches beginner to pro cyclist. Currently working with mountain bike XC, Endurance and Enduro racers and other competitive and non-competitive mountain bike riders seeking to become their best.

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