BMX Racing at 51 and no confident

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12/30/2016 10:33 PM

Hello there.
I'm not sure what i think you guys will say. But i hope you all can be a little constructive. I kind of need some help on this topic. I raced BMX 24'' when i was 30 years old.. I trained all the time and became pretty fast. Someone suggested to me too train on flats, instead of SPD that i used. "To get more power". Well, after a week or so on flats. I went back to SPD, pulled the feet to much and crashed very bad. I went over the bars on a triple and totally blow the AC and broke the arm.

8 weeks later faster, better than ever. Went over a massive table top in gates and again, i pulled on the feet a little too much. Over the bars again. Another broken rib. Well, that was it for me then. I just couldn't ride anymore. I was way too scared.

Fast forward to 2011. Now 46 and that desire was still there to race?? Yeah i know what some of you are thinking. I bought a new 24'' and i was going to train and have a go at get into the world masters over in New Zealand.. Well, 3 months later over the bars again. Broke my right arm for the 2nd time... So i mentally can't get over it.

November 2016. I still have this desire to race 24''. So i start training again. It's now at the end of the year. I am riding as much as i can, so the fitness is getting better..

My issue is this. How can i ever get over my fear of jumping and going over the bar. Is it even possible. One thing i have noticed is the bars are super low on this Redline 24'' than other 24'' bikes.

So that's my story. I still love riding bmx bikes. I would really appreciate any help to try to over come my issue.

Regards.
Grant.

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12/31/2016 1:59 AM

Maybe the short bars are shifting your weight too far forwards? Sorry to hear about all your injuries! Maybe investing in some more protective gear might help? I know when i'm downhill biking, I always wear a full face and a neck brace and that gives me a lot of confidence.

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12/31/2016 2:18 AM

It depends how seriously you want to take it. You could ride flat pedals and not think too much about being competitive, race for the enjoyment, so you're not forcing yourself to get the extra pedal power of being clipped in, and not throwing yourself over jumps. Sounds to me like when you're clipped in, you're lifting your feet to get the height, which ends up lifting the back too much and putting your weight too far forward? You're stance in general could also be doing that, I'm sure you know how to jump, so maybe you just need to practice that more than concentrating on power. Staying low and pumping will give you more speed anyway.

I'm not a racer, so I hope it doesn't sound like I'm telling you how to suck eggs!

One thing I've noticed about getting older, I enjoy just being on my bike more, and being "good" doesn't bother me

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12/31/2016 9:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/31/2016 9:46 AM

Ride flats.
Ride 510 shoes.

or better yet, stop racing and have fun building and riding dirt jumps/trails. smile

Your frame sounds like it's too short too.

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12/31/2016 5:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/31/2016 6:02 PM

I would also say to start small and build up again.

I got back into riding 3 years ago, and had mostly forgotten all of the stuff I could do back in the 70's and 80's, but I started small and am now building back up. Hell, we didn't even have half pipes and "park" back then, so it is sort of like learning new. I never got to the level of racing you did, but did do dirt racing back in the day. I never wore clipless though. I have always worn regular shoes and rode flat pedals.

As Grumpysteve said, it might be your body placement and miss-shift of the weight because of that. I have never had massive injuries like that riding bikes, but I HAVE had them playing hockey: shattered elbow; torn rotator cuff in both shoulders and near hip dislocation this past Spring. It took me a while to recover from each injury (I still can't skate yet from the leg pull...but am slowly getting back out there). What helped me mentally each time was not thinking about what I was able to do before the injury...but what I was GOING to be able to do after re-healing. Most of my friends quit playing hockey after their first massive injury...I will not be stopped. I play with a guy who is 73. I want to be THAT GUY when I am 73. That helps me get through all of the mental crap....

make goals...small attainable goals, and then add to them...pace the recovery. Maybe find some falt areas and just work on speed. then find a pump track, or place with smaller jumps, and just work on the jump thing. Work on bunny hops to re-feel the idea of lifting the bike....like I mentioned. I am not just jumping on the ice in full gear and going for it. I am working on small elements of skating and rehab individually, and then slowly putting them back together.

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

12/31/2016 7:08 PM

Thanks guys, for all the feed back. This is the first time that I have been involved in an online community, and I didn't know what to expect. I think that I need some positive feedback, and defiantly some confidence in my riding. I love riding and racing, but because I have absolutely no confidence it's way more difficult enjoying it. But you are all right in some way I think.
#1 Dump the clips and go flats is the first step.
#2 Try to refined the fun and not trying to be that champion is also the thing to do.

Question though.
How do I start learning how to jump. Because doubles scare the shit out of me, and everything is doubles. I don't what it is, but there's something awesome about riding any type of bike. Maybe it's that sense of freedom... Any ideas on how to build back the confidence?

Thank you to everyone for this help...
Grant.

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12/31/2016 7:11 PM

sXeBMXer wrote:

I would also say to start small and build up again.

I got back into riding 3 years ago, and had mostly forgotten all of the ...more

Yeah thanks for that help.

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12/31/2016 7:17 PM

pnj wrote:

Ride flats.
Ride 510 shoes.

or better yet, stop racing and have fun building and riding dirt jumps/trails. smile

Your frame ...more

Hello. Riding trails would be cool. Any trails here are all MTB kind of trails.. No BMX stuff here in my area or even close. When I see guys jumping all those trails without peddling once. That is awesome, and I think "man I wish I could do that"... I used to watch guys like Brian Foster ride track and trails.. Those guys just flow so much. Like poetry in motion to me.

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12/31/2016 7:35 PM

Also, I wanted to let you all know about yesterdays New Years Eve day for me. Son turns up. Everything bike related in the back of the ute. Drive for 1hour 10 minutes to a BMX track. A few 20% laps of the track. Start working on one kind of a step up triple, and "bammmm" over the bars I went again. "FOR REAL" Got up and no injuries. Bonus.. Thank God I had the TLD helmet on. And the MX knee guards on. So, I destroyed the Polar Sport HRM watch. Tore up the left knee guard pretty good. Hurt my right wrist a little, but it okay, just a little sore.... So we packed up after 1 hour or less of riding and off we went.

30minutes later we came up to a New Years POPO stop. Man, old mate cop, got me for not tying our bike bags down, bad seat belt, wrong seats and no rear bump stops. Oh and horn not working. $500 bucks and 1 hour later we were away.. What a day.. Maybe 2017 might be a better year than 2016?????

Luckily I was not driving my Honda EG Civic...

Have a great one fella's

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12/31/2016 7:37 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

It depends how seriously you want to take it. You could ride flat pedals and not think too much about being competitive, race ...more

Yeah I think that's a fair comment about the riding...

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12/31/2016 7:58 PM

Toe clips & straps. You can pull up on your bottom stroke, yet can bail out when needed.

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1/1/2017 10:55 AM

GRANTMC65 wrote:

Hello. Riding trails would be cool. Any trails here are all MTB kind of trails.. No BMX stuff here in my area or even close. ...more

we also mostly have MTB trails here too, and I still ride them on my BMX (as well as on my MTcool. We also have 2 BMX racing type tracks. One is private and kept up. The other is public/abandoned, but not destroyed. It is just not as kept up. To me, tha tis wha t"trails" was/is. When I was growing up, trails were not riding on the pavement. Havign to negotiate the terrain on the MTB trails really helps me get confident on jumps, landings etc.

As you mentioned in a previous post, just get on the bike and ride. Don't exclusively ride one type of bike...AND don't think that a certain riding style is only applicable to one bike. Meaning that: I ride my MTB and BMX bike roughly the same. Jumping out of a half pipe is pretty much like jumping a creek or out of a hill on MTB. At least to me. I just adjust to the weight and size of the bike. I pretty much pedal the same on my BMX, MTB, commuter road bike etc. I have never been a believer in the whole "Getting extra power out of the upstroke" thing (probably b/c I never really got into racing "for real") and always ride flats and regular shoes no matter which bike. Pretty much always wear Chuck taylors on any bike unless it is wet or muddy. then I use my Salomon trail shoes

The whole thing is readjusting your mental approach and setting a success timeline that is rooted in the present, not the past

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

1/1/2017 12:11 PM

DON'T CLIP IN. There is no need for it, especially at your age.

You need to analyze WHY you're going over the bars.

Is your frame / bike too short? Just cause the wheels are 24 inches doesn't mean the frame is longer.

Is it your technique? Do you lean to far forward when riding?

Something is fundamentally wrong if you're constantly going over the bars.

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1/1/2017 5:25 PM

Post a pic of your bike so we can see what set up you have.. Like mentioned before, bars could be to low? I have a Redline24 and stock bars are way to low. I run 7 " rise bars.
Taller bars help me keep my weight more centered on bottom bracket. That will help also with your footing.

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F¬ Bom 5403692331

1/1/2017 5:50 PM

Photo

Photo

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1/1/2017 5:58 PM

Brian_Griffin wrote:

Post a pic of your bike so we can see what set up you have.. Like mentioned before, bars could be to low? I have a Redline24 ...more

Brian, thanks heaps for that. My son has a DK 24'' and it has 6.5'' bars. The Redline has are 5.5'' with a front mount.

I get the mechanics of the relationship with the lower bars making the rider get more forward.. So I'll change the bars, dump the SPD'S and start again....

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1/1/2017 6:14 PM

That bike looks small.

How tall are you and what is the top tube length of that frame?

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1/1/2017 7:56 PM

Brian_Griffin wrote:

Post a pic of your bike so we can see what set up you have.. Like mentioned before, bars could be to low? I have a Redline24 ...more

GRANTMC65 wrote:

Brian, thanks heaps for that. My son has a DK 24'' and it has 6.5'' bars. The Redline has are 5.5'' with a front mount.

I ...more

Awsome bike man..
I'm a couple of years younger then you and those bars hurt my back just looking at them.
You can also try this?
Flip the stem up side down. That will give the bars a higher rise. Just to give you a feel of higher rise bars. You can ride with stem upside down, it just looks funny. Also try your sons bars 6,5 rise is a good start. I would try these tips before I went and spend $$.

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F¬ Bom 5403692331

1/1/2017 8:04 PM

I believe top tube is 21.8 & head tube is 74°

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F¬ Bom 5403692331

1/10/2017 11:32 AM

pnj wrote:

That bike looks small.

How tall are you and what is the top tube length of that frame?

Hello. I am 5.11'' ish?

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1/10/2017 11:34 AM

Brian_Griffin wrote:

Post a pic of your bike so we can see what set up you have.. Like mentioned before, bars could be to low? I have a Redline24 ...more

GRANTMC65 wrote:

Brian, thanks heaps for that. My son has a DK 24'' and it has 6.5'' bars. The Redline has are 5.5'' with a front mount.

I ...more

Brian_Griffin wrote:

Awsome bike man..
I'm a couple of years younger then you and those bars hurt my back just looking at them.
You can also try ...more

Hey Brian. Cheers for that. Yeah I already flipped the step. Does look crazy though. I still think the bars need to come up 1'' to 1.5''. Thanks for you help.

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1/10/2017 12:51 PM

I raced from about '93 - '05 so I saw the clipless pedals enter the sport firsthand. I always felt pretty comfortable with them but only because I had learned all of my technique for jumping/pumping/manualing on flats. If you do decide to keep the clips just get comfortable with every aspect of your technique on flats first. I would practice and race locally on flats and only throw the clips on for nationals/world events. If you were using the clips to pull up off the lip of a jump, you're definitely going to get thrown eventually.

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1/10/2017 4:27 PM

learn how to manual.
Learn how to bunny hop.

These techniques will teach you to keep your body weight back and should help you from going over the bars.

I also think your frame is too short which puts your body too far forward.

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1/11/2017 7:24 AM

I own a 24" Redline Asset 2015, and I know exactly how you feel about the short bars. Because mine has just that. Unfortunately I no longer have that bike anymore because someone stole it on December 7th 2016. I'm pretty bummed out about it because I am in love with that bike. 24 inch bikes just feel so smooth and comfortable and you don't feel constricted. Just get used to YOUR bike, and don't care what anyone else says or thinks.

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Ride Until The Day I Die