ray adams tossing a huffy

If you’ve ever been to some sort of mountain bike festival (such as the VisitPA.com MTB Stage Race and Festival Weekend,) you have probably witnessed the Huffy Toss.

For the uninitiated, the Huffy Toss is an event where cyclists see who can toss an old Huffy the furthest. It’s harder than it looks, as most of these old Huffys weigh at least 50-60lb!

It’s fun for many reasons:

  • It doesn’t count for race series points, so no need to stress out.
  • It’s an upper-body challenge (taken on by lower-body athletes.)
  • There is nothing better to do with a Huffy.

wes schempf tossing a huffy

But still, maybe you are ultra-competitive and want to win one of these events. There must be some muscles to train, right? And definitely some skill involved?

Yes indeed! After watching many a Huffy toss, I’ve picked up some pointers. Here are all my tips to get you in shape for winning a Huffy Toss:

Tip 1: Lift Weights.

While weight lifting doesn’t necessarily correlate to cycling strength, I think it plays a pretty serious role in the Huffy toss. I mean, if you’re a 130lb cyclist, the Huffy is half your body weight! Just picking it up will take some level of strength!

I would recommend you perform squats and deadlifts during the off-season to build full body strength, allowing you to manhandle the Huffy. The less effort you spend picking up the Huffy, the more effort you can put into perfecting your tossing technique.

Tip 2: Research Various Techniques.

All throwing sports, such as the shotput, javelin, and even baseball, require good technique. While all the objects are different, if you can figure out the similarities between all the throwing styles, chances are those parts of the technique will apply to throwing a Huffy, too!

Tip 3: Hand Position.

Now it’s event day and you’re walking up to grab the Huffy. It’s critical to get a good hand position. If you don’t have a good hold on the bike, you won’t be able to make full use of your strength or technique.

This is actually one of the toughest parts, since the bike in unbalanced, probably has sharp edges, and the handlebars and pedals are probably spinning, ready to bop you in the head.

If you can, practice at home to see what’s comfortable for you. Most likely you will grab onto the seat, fork, handlebars, seat tube, down tube, and/or wheels.

Tip 4: Use Your Hips.

The power to toss the bike comes from your hips. (If you did your squats and deadlifts, you’ll be ready to put them to use.)

What you should do is get some good body motion going so the toss starts in your legs and travels through your torso to your arms. Don’t make it a complete upper body endeavor.

Tip 5: The Bounce.

With most throws, the Huffy will drop like a rock and sink into the ground like an anchor. But with a good throw, you can get the bike to hit first on the back wheel or perhaps the handlebars, resulting in a little “end over end” bounce.

Winning throws I have seen usually include some sort of bounce. (It’s a great example of skill overcoming strength, brains over brawn, etc.)

Tip 6: Follow Through.

Lastly, follow through on your throw. It’s just like in bowling, golf, hitting a baseball, the javelin throw, etc.

A good follow through is demonstrated by Ray Adams in the photo at the very top of the page.

Follow all these tips and you may toss a Huffy like VisitPA.com racer Wes Schempf. (Wes is pictured halfway down the page.) He is a beast on the race course and in the Huffy Toss!

Photo credit: Levi Bloom

Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

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