Getting into BMX at 48

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9/23/2016 2:41 AM

For anyone thinking of taking up BMX in your 40’s

This is an update on my journey into BMX and the reasons for getting into it if you think you are too old to get into BMX this may change your mind

“why did I start this”

I have been into 2 wheels all my life I have had motorbikes since I was 12 and had all sorts of bikes mainly road bikes, in my late 30’s I got the track day bug and got big into this “full on track bike” tyre warmers the works I really enjoyed it and got reasonable good at it.

At the time we were trying for a family which looked likely not to happen after 5 years we had sort of given up on it as with a lot of these things it happened we had a baby boy, I was 43 by this time.

Role on 5 years the track days had ended years ago and all the work outs that go with it went out the window I settled into the “middle aged” life with the “man boobs” and gut hanging over the belt out of breath going up the stairs basically let myself go.

We went to a sea side bike festival this summer where they had a BMX flatland show my son was now nearly 5 and has been off stabilizers for 2 years thought it was great, I sat there watching the show and thought I will never be able to do anything like that at my age sort of hits you a bit when you realize/think you are too old and unfit to even think about doing anything like ride a BMX.

My son did not let up he wanted stunt pegs on his 12” bike so off to the shop I went brought a set of plastic pegs fitted them to the bike he loved it was bombing around with his feet on the back pegs popping little wheelies.

I thought I might as well get a BMX even though I have never had one and have a go myself even if it just riding around in the garden so off I went on eBay and picked up a Haro 300 for £70 and as I am into restoring motorbikes I picked up a knackered Mirra Air a resto project.

At first I thought I would start with Flatland less chance of breaking my frail old bones I managed to do “endos” and “hops” on the back pegs in the garden much to my son’s amazement. The first few weeks were hard work I fell a few times went over the bars a few times without damaging myself in fact I was surprised at how well I “bounced” I thought I would break if I fell off the curb !! one thing was for sure it was bloody hard work the bike felt heavy and 20 mins of practice I was completely knackered … The lack of exercise for the last 5 years and extra weight made even the simple of tricks hard work …

I nearly brought myself a flatland bike I convinced myself If I had a lighter bike I would be able to do all these tricks I am glad I did not fall into that trap of “impulse” buys.

Me and the Boy went to RadBMX MK 2016 for the weekend which is mostly old School but they did have a BMX race track we spent most the weekend going around this I took my now restored Mirra Air which was fun to ride met some great people had a good weekend …

After a few weeks my son wanted to go to the local skate park so I thought why not I have never been to a skate park before why would I go to one I am 48 … it all look scary even the gentle ramp with no coping looked like a mountain. My son loved it he was riding off the gently sloping ramps (not sure what these are called) he fell off a couple of times but got back up. I had a good laugh I tried to ride up a 6-foot quarter 10 times ended up at the bottom of the ramp 10 times in a heap.

But I had the ramp bug I was not going to be beaten by some ramps so went online met a chap who has been riding for ever he suggested going to one of the old London parks he would help me out show me some lines I remember the first time it was intimidating all these guys riding around flying off ramps and out of concrete bowls but what surprised me was the age of the some of the guys they looked older me. I have been going for a few weeks now and what used to look impossible I am riding Have met a few local lads Who are getting back into BMX we ride the local parks and whenever I have a spare couple of hours in the week I am at the parks on my own.

I can ride up quarters and “hop” the bike around not brave enough yet to go over the coping I can drop in over coping and almost “fakie” I have been over the bars in the ramp trying to drop in on a damp ramp I have bruised ribs a sore wrist but I am still trying and riding every other day.

My “old age” aches and pains have gone (aching joints etc) I have lost over a stone in weight the bike that felt heavy now feels light and I am fitter and stronger than I have been in years I feel better about life in general and have almost lost that “I am too old feeling” I guess we all get when pushing towards 50 …

What has surprised me is the attitude of most the younger lads at the parks no one has laughed at me or taken the p*ss in fact it is the opposite most are helpful and will give advice and generally be polite and helpful which has restored my faith in the “youth of today” I will admit to being an old git and being negative to the youth of today.

I do get some funny looks for people my age who I think look at me as some sort of over grown kid riding a 20” bike but I don’t really care its like the people who ride or skate look at you and think fair play mate and a lot of people who don’t look at you like a crazy old fool …

I have a target of airing a quarter by the end of the year which I hope to do and this time next year be able to ride ramps in general.

One thing is for sure BMX is now part of my life and will be for many years to come … so if you want to get into this at an old age just do it … take it slow take advice and enjoy it … It has done me a the world of good and given me a reason to exercise and get back into shape ...

It is also a great leveller doesn't matter who you are of what you do for a living or how old you are we all ride ...

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9/23/2016 3:12 AM

That's awesome man!

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9/23/2016 5:14 AM

yep. I was in th same boat about 5 years ago. Got back into it for many reasons, and now am starting to build some skills, nd regain confidence.

funny that I am the opposite of you in the park,,,I can hop out of a pipe over the edge, but still have not built the confidence to drop in. I drop in on the edges where the lip is more of a steep hill then a clear drop. I have been recently working on fakies and starting 180's off the ground. Getting much better at rolling backwards.

I still ise my 1988 Mongoose Californian Pro, which gets lots of laughs at the park. Respectable laughs, but everyone thins the chainring is funny cause it is big, and I still have my laid back style seat post that is really high up. I am also lucky that 99% of the BMX riders at the parks are cool - it is usually the skateboarders who have attitudes - but not many.

Keep riding though. No matter what people our age say, it is a solid, positive activity to be in. They are ignorant b/c they judge what we are doing by the size of the bike...pretty typical, at least in America...making judgements about things that you don't know about rather than shutting up and trying it, or just shutting up. I will be out front of the house practicing hops and manuals, and my one neighbor will be sitting on his porch drinking and making comments about how what I am doing is a "waste of time". I am like : "yeah, cause sitting on your ass drinking is infinitely more productive...."

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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

9/23/2016 9:32 AM

Hell yea brother!

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9/23/2016 9:53 AM

I enjoy hearing stories of older guys getting back into bmx. I'm 43 and fairly recently got back into it myself. Makes me feel like a kid again. But I get discouraged sometimes at how bad I am, I wasn't very good even when I was younger, and with a 25 year stretch of not riding, I lost most of the skills I had....I ate shit last weekend trying to hop a 2 foot gap, cased the landing with the back tire, got too far forward and went over the bars. Busted my chin open, banged both knees up pretty good, and bruised a few ribs, in addition to other little bits of road rash and stuff.
Takes longer to recover from that kind of thing than when I was a kid, and makes me wonder if riding in the parks and jumping and stuff is really a good idea at my age...a more serious wreck could put me out of work for a while, which my family can't afford. At least my bike came through it ok...

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9/24/2016 1:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/24/2016 2:18 AM

Awesome story man, I'm 43 and started a bit over a year ago after probably 27+ years off a bmx. When I was a kid in outback Australia we just rode crappy dirt jumps, nothing like what I discovered bmx is today...

I too had recently had kids and was looking for something for fitness... I couldn't ever see myself as one of the road bike Lycra crew so I thought I'd get a bmx and just fool around in dirt like I used to... Well I did that for a few weeks and had fun but I was watching amazing stuff on YouTube of park riding. So I mustered up the courage and went to a local indoor park... I don't think I've ever felt more clueless than I did the first time I road out onto the floor... Anyway I was hooked immediately.... I loved being totally out of my comfort zone and scared senseless.... I crashed hard and broke ribs a couple of times in the first few months by I'm away now and learning all the time... Best advice is helmet, lots of pads, and patience...

I still suck, but I can now bust around a park, drop into all the biggest bowls, fly out, fakie (still not long ones consistently), etc etc... so I don't look like a complete kook anymore. However the most important thing I've learned is to make sure your riding is about having a good time. If you're beating yourself up about not learning a certain trick in some preconceived time frame then you're more likely to lose motivation and give it up... but it sounds like you're progressing really well anyway ....

Last point in my long reply.... I've found the bmx (and scooter and skate) community to be filled with really good people. I've virtually had no issues at all with anyone of all ages at the parks.... apart from little scooter kids snaking me and nearly killing me (and themselves) in the process.... but as a parent I know that little kids are brainless so I do my best to be understanding...

Anyway peace out everyone and enjoy bmx! 8)

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9/24/2016 12:40 PM

I meant to comment on this the other day when I first read it. I had something prolific to say but was at work at the time and now I can't remember what it was!
But, it's really good to hear so many older riders getting into it. Especially considering I'm approaching the age where I'm considered a bit of a weirdo for riding still!
You guys rule. It's people like you that keep guys like me motivated to keep going. I'm 35 and already get all the achey joints, longer healing time etc that comes with age. But I'm determined to keep going until I physically can't now. Regardless of what all the "normal" people think (I've never really cared what they think anyway. But riding street on your own at my age makes me constantly think every single person that sees me is judging me, haha).

Old guys rule!

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9/24/2016 1:31 PM

Great thread , ive just got a BMX myself at 40 and cant wait to get stuck in

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9/25/2016 7:19 PM

The way i see it...guys in my generation (45-55 years old) started all of this, so if younger guys have things to say, i don't care. The only guff I ever get for riding at my age is from all of the non-riding people who think that I should be golfing, power-walking on the paved trails, or riding a cruiser with a bell and a basket on it...NO WAY!!! All of the BMXer's have been very cool...minus a few that are douches off of their bikes as well as on...so those types can bite it anyway.

To me, this is the best way to "mid-life crisis" cause it is healthy, relatively cheap, super motivating. You are only as old as your brain lets you be, so I still feel 22 in my brain, even though my body feels closer to 47 sometimes...

ride on people!!

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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

1/20/2019 2:30 PM

Glad to see this post..im 35 and my son wanted to ride..i use to back in the day and thought ehhh if hes gonna ride so am i..man is it a blast to get back to the park..i do think sometimes theres no point for me to start cuz of my age. Ready this def helps!!!

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1/21/2019 1:50 PM

So I wonder if the OP is still riding?

I've just started riding BMX again at 49 after a 15 year break, I've been riding mountain bikes regularly (DH and trails) but getting back on a BMX is super fun and super harsh ha. I've got my manuals 50% back (can't hop to manual again yet) and am getting used to the new school short chain stay bikes. Only one visit to to the park so far and can fly out and drop in on the 6tt quarters and am getting some pop back into my hop,

My broad ambition is to drop in, air, and fly out of a vert ramp before I'm 50. I watch Hoffman, DMC and Blyther etc ride vert and it looks so much fun. Carving the 14' vert ramp is a blast but dropping in is a whole 'nother thing..

I think riding keeps you young - I say to anyone considering it regardless of age just do it. It's easy to come up with excuses why not to, better to ignore them as the feeling is unbeatable.

Cheers.

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1/21/2019 4:09 PM

Awesome man! 41 here.

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1/21/2019 4:41 PM

I got back into riding at 40. I'll be 43 in a few months.

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1/21/2019 10:37 PM

You guys all give me hope! 32 here and just got back into it, lower back keeps giving up on me though! Would be amazing if the OP came back with some pics of him almost certainly blasting some airs by now!

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1/22/2019 3:06 AM

meatXloaf wrote:

You guys all give me hope! 32 here and just got back into it, lower back keeps giving up on me though! Would be amazing if the OP came back with some pics of him almost certainly blasting some airs by now!

I got back into riding after a 5 year break at 32, I'm 38 next month!
I'm pretty sure the op is a fairly regular poster on the ride on group on fb. It's a brilliant group for over 30's with riders of all abilities.
The one thing I've learnt is to have low expectations! I'm still not as good as I was in my early 20's, but I probably have more fun now as I don't stress as much over being "good"

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1/22/2019 4:29 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

I got back into riding after a 5 year break at 32, I'm 38 next month!
I'm pretty sure the op is a fairly regular poster on the ride on group on fb. It's a brilliant group for over 30's with riders of all abilities.
The one thing I've learnt is to have low expectations! I'm still not as good as I was in my early 20's, but I probably have more fun now as I don't stress as much over being "good"

I hadn't looked at who posted this. The second I saw the word "learnt", I knew you were British. &, Of course, you are.

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1/22/2019 2:12 PM

That’s awesome man! I’ll be 46 next month?

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1/23/2019 1:13 AM

46 years young here ?

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1/30/2019 8:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/30/2019 8:43 AM

This is one of the reasons I joined Vital, I am 41 and just now getting back into BMX after 20 years off of a BMX.
I was hoping to find a thread related to this subject you guys have given me hope! I am a avid mountain biker but
wanted to get back to my roots.

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1/30/2019 9:33 AM

I turn 50 in March, so... welcome to the club.

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I don't ride a BMX bike to look cool to others, I do it because it's fun and never do I think "Boy I sure am cool on my BMX bike."
- Capt. Nemo

1/31/2019 2:38 AM

Bikerboy40 wrote:

This is one of the reasons I joined Vital, I am 41 and just now getting back into BMX after 20 years off of a BMX.
I was hoping to find a thread related to this subject you guys have given me hope! I am a avid mountain biker but
wanted to get back to my roots.

Same as that man, ride MTB now too but wanted to get a BMX again so I can get in sessions when I haven’t got time to go out on the big bike! Just takes a bit of adjustment when switching between the two! Haha

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2/3/2019 12:59 PM

The more I ride BMX the more it makes the MTB feel like everything is in slow motion. No question in my mind that riding BMX makes you better on the MTB. I'm starting to get my timing back, manuals and decent height hops etc just by riding a couple of hours each week. I jump on the MTB and can manual so much easier.

I think the greatest challenge is to get over the fear of injury factor and be willing to crash as an older guy. I haven't committed to a double peg on a miniramp yet because I haven't even stepped off the bike on the mini. I need to jump off a few times to get over that fear... Kids have no fear ha.

Earlysport

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2/8/2019 5:29 AM

Danny_Nieuwenhuis wrote:

Glad to see this post..im 35 and my son wanted to ride..i use to back in the day and thought ehhh if hes gonna ride so am i..man is it a blast to get back to the park..i do think sometimes theres no point for me to start cuz of my age. Ready this def helps!!!

If you're looking for some older guys to ride with. Hit me up. We typically ride Thursday, and Sunday nights during the winter @ gbaso in Green bay. During the summer there's two wheel Tuesday @ tallulah. There's always a ton of bikes there about 5 guys in there 40s all the way down to teens.

I don't know if you've been to, but if you haven't
you should stop in @ activate bike and fitness. Mark Fluette owns it. He's an OG baco guy. Tons of bmx stuff, and Mark is the glue that keeps the whole seen together. Else it seems we all break off into our little groups.

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2/8/2019 5:54 AM

Danny_Nieuwenhuis wrote:

Glad to see this post..im 35 and my son wanted to ride..i use to back in the day and thought ehhh if hes gonna ride so am i..man is it a blast to get back to the park..i do think sometimes theres no point for me to start cuz of my age. Ready this def helps!!!

2620 wrote:

If you're looking for some older guys to ride with. Hit me up. We typically ride Thursday, and Sunday nights during the winter @ gbaso in Green bay. During the summer there's two wheel Tuesday @ tallulah. There's always a ton of bikes there about 5 guys in there 40s all the way down to teens.

I don't know if you've been to, but if you haven't
you should stop in @ activate bike and fitness. Mark Fluette owns it. He's an OG baco guy. Tons of bmx stuff, and Mark is the glue that keeps the whole seen together. Else it seems we all break off into our little groups.

Hell yea..i have been talking to mark for a month or so now...i wanted to come to the last rental at the park but i had my kid...i will def see u this summer..lmk when u guys go ride the indoor thurs or sunday!!

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2/8/2019 10:18 AM

Danny_Nieuwenhuis wrote:

Glad to see this post..im 35 and my son wanted to ride..i use to back in the day and thought ehhh if hes gonna ride so am i..man is it a blast to get back to the park..i do think sometimes theres no point for me to start cuz of my age. Ready this def helps!!!

2620 wrote:

If you're looking for some older guys to ride with. Hit me up. We typically ride Thursday, and Sunday nights during the winter @ gbaso in Green bay. During the summer there's two wheel Tuesday @ tallulah. There's always a ton of bikes there about 5 guys in there 40s all the way down to teens.

I don't know if you've been to, but if you haven't
you should stop in @ activate bike and fitness. Mark Fluette owns it. He's an OG baco guy. Tons of bmx stuff, and Mark is the glue that keeps the whole seen together. Else it seems we all break off into our little groups.

Danny_Nieuwenhuis wrote:

Hell yea..i have been talking to mark for a month or so now...i wanted to come to the last rental at the park but i had my kid...i will def see u this summer..lmk when u guys go ride the indoor thurs or sunday!!

Will do !

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3/15/2019 9:44 AM

I’m 36 and had similar questions as you. I thought I was gonna go 22” Dk Vega, but decided on a 20”. I am so thankful I went 20”. At first I felt like I might have made the wrong decision but a few months of riding my 20” and I felt right at home. I fell back in love with street riding and I honestly could never imagine riding a bigger tired bike other than maybe a mountain bike.

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5/7/2019 12:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/7/2019 1:08 AM

44 next month and I’m just waiting for my first bmx (well 2nd if you count the Tuuf Burner I had when I were 11) to arrive. Been after one for years but kinda felt I was to old to do it. However...I got one for my 7 year old son last Xmas and he loves it, he’s been asking me to teach him tricks etc. He had his first go at the skatepark this weekend and that’s what did it for me and I ordered one that evening...a wethepeople nova.Cant wait to get out on it. I do wonder what people’s reaction will be tho, seeing as I’m 6ft 1 and will be riding a 20” bike but ultimately, I don’t really care! Finding you guys on here has encouraged me even more😉

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5/8/2019 11:33 AM

Actually I could prob do with some advice. I’ve held off on the wtp 20”tt nova as I’ve read loads about the frame being too small for a lanky 6ft 2er like myself and I’d be better off going for a bike with a 21” tt. A few people have said that this shouldn’t matter, with some saying handle bar height is more important in my case??So what would you guys recommend...the Fit Trl Harti has a 21” tube and the spec looks good for what I can afford, chromoly frame etc. I’m mainly gonna be burning around the street and park with my son, but I really wanna hit the skatepark aswell. Would this bike be suitable for that tho being a trail bmx?So the 20” wtp or the 21” Fit...any advice would be gratefully received dudes!

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5/8/2019 12:26 PM

markp wrote:

Actually I could prob do with some advice. I’ve held off on the wtp 20”tt nova as I’ve read loads about the frame being too small for a lanky 6ft 2er like myself and I’d be better off going for a bike with a 21” tt. A few people have said that this shouldn’t matter, with some saying handle bar height is more important in my case??So what would you guys recommend...the Fit Trl Harti has a 21” tube and the spec looks good for what I can afford, chromoly frame etc. I’m mainly gonna be burning around the street and park with my son, but I really wanna hit the skatepark aswell. Would this bike be suitable for that tho being a trail bmx?So the 20” wtp or the 21” Fit...any advice would be gratefully received dudes!

Tt length matters a lot more than bar height. Especially on a frame that small. Bigger bars with a short tt will bring your bars closer to you. Unless you Angle them forward, but then you’re going to throw off the geometry of the whole bike.
At your height you’re kinda limited to a 21” as no one makes a complete with longer than than. You’d probably feel right at home on a 21.25.

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5/8/2019 12:55 PM

markp wrote:

Actually I could prob do with some advice. I’ve held off on the wtp 20”tt nova as I’ve read loads about the frame being too small for a lanky 6ft 2er like myself and I’d be better off going for a bike with a 21” tt. A few people have said that this shouldn’t matter, with some saying handle bar height is more important in my case??So what would you guys recommend...the Fit Trl Harti has a 21” tube and the spec looks good for what I can afford, chromoly frame etc. I’m mainly gonna be burning around the street and park with my son, but I really wanna hit the skatepark aswell. Would this bike be suitable for that tho being a trail bmx?So the 20” wtp or the 21” Fit...any advice would be gratefully received dudes!

Go for the fit man, the fit being a ‘trail’ bike basically just means it’s going to feel more stable at speed. And that really isn’t a bad thing! And a 20’’ TT will be fat too cramped for someone your height. Back in the day, a frame was a frame! (Excluding flatland) and you just rode everything on it anyway! I’m riding a T1 ruben with a 21’’ TT and a 74 HA which is even slacker than the fit, and it’s just fine for whatever I want to ride. unless you’re planning on 5’ing down a 3 set or nose manualing into/out of everything in site, a more traditional geo frame such as the fit, will be more suited anyway. So get the fit ASAP and get out there and start having fun!

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