Learning to Backflip at Woodward Tahoe

Hello everyone! It has been a little while since I posted but now that I’m done with summer school I have a little more time to write.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Woodward Tahoe located at Boral ski resort. This is just outside Truckee, California. Woodward is a state of the art facility for bikes, scooters, skateboards and parkour. They have trampolines, mega ramps, foam pits, mountain bike trails and so much more.

I have ridden the Woodward mountain bike trails before but this was my first time riding a bike into the foam pit. I did gymnastics for 15+ years so I don’t usually get nervous doing new skills but I was feeling the heat standing at the top of this massive ramp. There was no way I was trying a backflip my first time so I decided to do a straight air into the pit.

I took a deep breath cranked the pedals two times and I was off. It felt like I was going 100 mph but in reality I was probably going 15. I went off the lip and got about half a second of float before I hit the foam cubes. It felt great, until I had to crawl out of the pit. The foam pit wants to eat you and your bike for breakfast. It seems like the more you struggle the harder it holds you. Almost like a synthetic quick sand.

After I escaped the pit I went back to the top of the ramp to try again. I was ready to try the backflip. I waited in line and after 10 min it was my turn to go. The coach told me to do an manual off the lip of the jump and the backflip would be easy. A manual is like a wheelie but you don’t peddle to lift the bike up, you lift the front of the bike by shifting your body weight backward.

I hyped my self up again. Took two peddles and I was racing down the ramp. I leaned back and willed my body to do a flip.

Corban attempts to backflip a bicycle into a foam pit

I made it about 1/4 of the way around. My body wanted to move but the bike stood still. I smashed my crotch into the bike and scraped my knee on the front fork. It was rather unpleasant but now that I knew what the fail felt like I was ready to do it again.

The Woodward coach told me I needed to manual more and the flip would come around. After another agonizing wait it was my turn to try again. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and got into the zone. This was the one. I was ready to land this flip. I had to, if the 12 year old kids could do it I could too. I squared up to the jump rolled in and sent myself flying off the lip…

Corban completes a backflip into the foam pit and lands wheels down

I felt the bike whip around. This time and I had it in the bag. I looked for the pit and spotted it pretty quick. I made some adjustments in the air and I was ready to land. The pit quickly approached and I landed right with my wheels down.

The kids standing on the ramp cheered me on and I felt amazing. I did a couple more before I moved onto the trampolined for the rest of the day. Overall, Woodward was and amazing experience and I will be visiting again in the very near future.

Until next time,

Corban

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