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"I am afraid to jump some obstacles (jumps) because I am afraid of ruining my back rim or falling hard. What if I don't have enough speed to hit the jump to clear it and land on the frontside of the jump and fall? How do I overcome this fear inside me?
--Sent in by Co

First, I would recommend to take some practice runs at the jump to see if you feel like you have the speed. I have often done this and at the last minute I just either jump off the lip to the side or just miss the jump altogether. Sooner or later you have to end up going for it. You're gonna smash some rims and fall sometimes, this just happens. If you are too afraid of falling, this will make it harder to jump the jump. Try to put some fear aside and just go for it. Nine times out of ten you will find out that it is easier than you imagined. After a while, you will hardly be scared. Good luck!
--Randy Stumpfhauser, Huffy and Double A Marketing

Well we are all a little scared the first time we do anything, don't let that get to you. If you want to do anything in life you have to belive that you can do it, that is the first step. After you know that you can do it. The road gets easier. First off, make sure that you have a good runway, and landing area to the jump (if it is on the trails look for any rocks or loose dirt that might mess you up). Second be sure you have the right equipment for the job (helmet, knee and shin gaurds, elbow pads, etc.) Third try to get the right amount off speed to clear the jump (try to see if the other guys are going the same speed as you). Fourth, go for it! The thing is you never know if you can until you try, so give it a shot and I'll bet you do a lot better than you think you can. And remember, we all fall sometimes, as long as your wearing your saftey equipment you will usually come out unharmed. You gotta give it a try; you can't do it by sitting down thinking about it, so get out there and jump. Good Luck and don't give up.
--Kevin Tomko, Kastan

Co is the man! If you think a lot before and during your jump and your thoughts are mostly negative then you will be stressed and probably have a much harder time trying to jump. It all starts with a good mental picture of what you want to do...Remember, the glass is half full, not half emty...Positive attitude is key. Time in the saddle is what it takes to overcome this and the more you jump the better you will be. I suggest you spend time perfecting your jumping on smaller jumps to build your confidence and slowly move to bigger ones. Be positive and have fun and do not talk yourself out of doing what you really want to do by thinking of all the bad things that can happen.
--Greg Hill, Sinister Steering Systems / Greg Hill's BMX Seminars.

The fact that you have a fear of large obstacles is very normal. The thing to do is attack some smaller ones and gradually work your way up. When your fear is reduced it's time to make the decision and do it. That is how it worked for me when I first started out in my BMX career.

Keep The Rubber Side Down,
--Richie Anderson

Co, everyone has fear when their first learning to jump. You need to start off with some small jumps. The best thing to learn on is a table top. That way if you don't clear the jump, you don't have to worry about messing up your back rim. Just take one thing at a time and take it at your own pace. Always wear your protective equipment so that if something bad does happen you'll be ok. Keep practicing.
--Mike Gul, Hyper Bicycles, Dope BMX Products.

Alright, there are two ways to confront your fear of coming up short on a jump. The first is to really work on your "rear suspension" -- your legs and techniques to absorb hard landings. Learn to keep your front wheel up and your legs almost straight in mid-air. Once your back wheel begins to touch down this will allow for maximum "travel" -- compression of the legs to absorb the landing. The other tip I have is to go lake jumping if you have the opportunity. This will get you accustomed to jumping off your bike in mid-air. Once you become a safe and skilled bike ejector you can try the gnarliest trail jumps knowing that if things go sourchops you can just ditch the bike and land on your feet. Good luck with it and don't be afraid to go for it.
--Jeff Dein, Dingo BMX.

Co, start of small and get the feeling of being in the air down to the point where it feels natural. And concentrate on your landings. Learn how to case and absorb when you come up short. This will save both you and your bike. Then gradually go bigger and bigger. Also, ride with guys who jump. You'll learn from them and they will push you.
--Grant Hansen,

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