Adam Craig hopping the barriers at Cross Vegas 2009. by Cyclocross Magazine

Adam Craig hops at Cross Vegas 2008. by Cyclocross Magazine

Sven Nys’ early days of BMX racing developed his mad bunny hopping skills, and his ability to dominate races by hopping the UCI’s 40 cm barriers single-handily changed cyclocross courses and rules forever. Wonder why we see so few high-speed barriers at UCI races? For some reason, close, tight racing is believed to be more exciting than a Tiger Woods domination.

If you’ve got the skills and courage, hopping barriers can certainly can be an advantage.

Todd Wells and Jeremy Powers are two of the top barrier hoppers domestically, and Andy Frothingham has got some great slow-mo footage of the two in his Little Belgium movie posted in our community site. The footage shows far more than any words can in terms of technique:

But one botched hop and the time gained on every successful hop can be lost, as Jeremy Powers demonstrates here at Harbin Park.

Todd Wells also is a famous, accomplished bunnyhopper, but he suffered injury when crashing at the barriers:

Even successful hops can be slower. Adam Craig loves to put on a show, but that doesn’t mean it’s always faster:

[youtube zvAsDk6sOL8 500]

It’s certainly a learned skill. But if riding over a curb freaks you out, perhaps you’re better served by getting faster at mounts and dismounts. But if you can master it, then perhaps you can add some Powers style and earn a cookie.