Bunny hop (cycling)
The bunny hop or bunnyhop, is a bicycle trick that allows the rider to launch their bike into the air as if jumping off a ramp. The pedals on the bicycle seem to stick to the rider's feet as the bike becomes airborne very much like the way the skateboard seems to stick to the feet of the skater performing an Ollie. While the bunny hop can be quite challenging to learn, once mastered it opens up a whole new level of riding opportunities for both BMX and mountain bike rider alike.
The bunny hop is also a useful skill for an urban cyclist/commuter, allowing the avoidance of potholes and other hazards, and allowing for quick mounting of curbs.
More often, bunny hops are done on BMX bikes, which are smaller than mountain bikes and because they are more light-weight lend themselves to be lifted far more easily.
Other terms for bunnyhop have been around for years and include the J-hop, bronco, Californian, hop-walk, and others. Local areas have been coming up with their own name for the bunnyhop for decades. The characteristic of the bunnyhop where the front wheel is lifted first, then the back wheel is lifted is the technique which these terms are supposed to convey. Another method to do a bunnyhop is to lift both wheels at the same time instead of front wheel then back wheel. There are undoubtedly many other terms for the bunnyhop used in different locales, but bunnyhop is still the most widely used term for the technique.
The bunny hop is executed by approaching an obstacle with a medium rolling speed, arms and legs slightly bent. Upon reaching the obstacle, the rider first needs to shift their center of gravity towards the rear wheel of the bike and pull back on the handlebars, causing the front wheel to lift as if doing a manual. As the front wheel reaches maximum height, they 'scoop' up the rear of the bike by pointing their toes downwards and applying backwards and upwards force to the pedals, while pushing down and forward on the handlebars. It helps to think about the lifting of the back tire as snapping one's wrist forward and shifting their weight at the same time. The combination of these two motions allows the rider to first raise their centre of gravity, and then tuck the bike underneath them, to achieve greater ground clearance.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bicycle jumping.|
- MTBR Forum Bunnyhop Discussion thread - A very detailed discussion on the bunnyhop in relation to mountain bikes, complete with video and pictures.