Getting into BMX at 48

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1/20/2020 11:18 AM

There's no gravel riding here right now. Ice and snow. But I'll keep that in mind when it uncovers...

I don't have any curbs by my house. Gotta take my bike somewhere. Or buy one of those cinder blocks to set down. I should build myself a grind box when it warms up and set it aside the driveway. I'm starting to dream about how cool it would be to have a skatepark built in my front yard. LOL. No money for that. We need to do other stuff to the house first.... Remodel kitchen. New picture window. Would be pretty sweet though to have one in the front yard. I could get kids around the neighborhood to congregate.. LOL.

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1/20/2020 4:22 PM

a cinder block works well. so does a pallet and those are usually free. 2 pallets and a piece of plywood ontop make a great manual pad.

I could have so much fun with just a cinder block and a pallet.. hours of fun.

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1/20/2020 5:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2020 5:27 PM

36 yo from Virginia, USA just checking in. Flatland interests me most but I’ve resigned myself to one or two injuries in pursuit of some street and basic riding skills. Already taken a pretty gnarly fall trying to get manuals. Lots of ibuprofen and a day of light riding and I feel ok. I’ve got a legit flatland bike arriving tomorrow, commute about eight miles a day on a 24” when the weather is decent and have a beater 20” for practicing hops and manuals - don’t want to go slamming my 10mm free coasters unnecessarily.

Thanks for this thread. Cool to see so many people older than myself getting (back) into the sport. There was a time I could foot jam tail whip and ride out a fork glide. Trying to get back there and more. Decades excite me but I’m not looking forwards to a broken wrist. I’ll be the cool older guy on the street in full pads :-/

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1/21/2020 8:35 AM

Give us a pic of your flatland bike when you get it. Flatland appeals to me too.

Last night I was working on legit pull up bar spins and I biffed it good. Wracked my elbow. I keep going off the back of the bike when doing them. LOL. But I almost landed them twice (just 180 spin) and it gave me hope. And I practiced more after my fall so I don't get a mental block. Now wheelies on the other hand. I might stay away from them for a while. I have fell pretty hard twice. I can loop out on manuals but when doing wheelies I wanna hang on longer than I should when it goes wrong and bam.

I'm starting to get bikers shins from wracking them from time to time on pedals and such. LOL. Anyone else got that?









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1/21/2020 8:56 AM

are you pinching your seat with your knees / legs when you pull up to spin your bars?

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1/21/2020 9:48 AM

I think I might be forgetting to on those. I do it when I'm doing non pull up bars but I don't recall if I was remembering to on pull up bars..... I think I need to lean forward a bit more too.

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1/21/2020 9:53 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

Give us a pic of your flatland bike when you get it. Flatland appeals to me too.

Last night I was working on legit pull up bar spins and I biffed it good. Wracked my elbow. I keep going off the back of the bike when doing them. LOL. But I almost landed them twice (just 180 spin) and it gave me hope. And I practiced more after my fall so I don't get a mental block. Now wheelies on the other hand. I might stay away from them for a while. I have fell pretty hard twice. I can loop out on manuals but when doing wheelies I wanna hang on longer than I should when it goes wrong and bam.

I'm starting to get bikers shins from wracking them from time to time on pedals and such. LOL. Anyone else got that?









I learned crankflips well before the PC pedals took over. My shin bones feel like the ratchet teeth on a jack stand.

Smack them hard enough and you'll discover the sacred raw calamari living under your skin!

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1/21/2020 9:58 AM

What's PC pedals? Politcally Correct? LOL. My pedals are metal, but they're shaped like all the new ones.... Waaaaaait, polycarbonate?

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1/21/2020 10:02 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

What's PC pedals? Politcally Correct? LOL. My pedals are metal, but they're shaped like all the new ones.... Waaaaaait, polycarbonate?

Haha, plastic composite. They honestly don't help much with splitting shins, but some of the old school alloy pedals were beyond brutal.

Shin splits never stop bleeding!

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1/21/2020 10:08 AM

Kids these days with their politically correct pedals.

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1/21/2020 10:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/22/2020 4:11 AM

Received and partially assembled the flatland rig today. Ares AFX. Slightly longer top tube than other offerings. Need to install and adjust the brake cables.

The free coaster is noisy as hell when pedaling backwards though. Like, a nasty grinding sound. I have no experience setting up a free coaster; just ran it out of the box. Is that normal? Do they just require some break-in or should I look at something in particular? Chain tension has no effect. Thanks.

EDIT: bottom bracket is the source of the noise. Lubed the chain, loosened the cranks and bottom bracket, torqued everything down and it’s quiet now.


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1/21/2020 10:58 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

Give us a pic of your flatland bike when you get it. Flatland appeals to me too.

Last night I was working on legit pull up bar spins and I biffed it good. Wracked my elbow. I keep going off the back of the bike when doing them. LOL. But I almost landed them twice (just 180 spin) and it gave me hope. And I practiced more after my fall so I don't get a mental block. Now wheelies on the other hand. I might stay away from them for a while. I have fell pretty hard twice. I can loop out on manuals but when doing wheelies I wanna hang on longer than I should when it goes wrong and bam.

I'm starting to get bikers shins from wracking them from time to time on pedals and such. LOL. Anyone else got that?









I bought shin pads before my second session because my shins were trashed. I also bought knee pads and elbow pads. Slower to heal. Also check Alfredo Mancuso pick up bar spin. I have a peg and using the cheat he mentioned helped a lot.

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1/21/2020 4:12 PM

My shins are well-scarred from years of riding cage pedals. Shark Bites only looked like they would grip, but they really just bite. These days a few nicks from the PC platforms is hardly worth noticing.

Also, I've hardly slipped a pedal since I went to shorter cranks. Used to ride 175-180 mm, but now 160 mm feels much more natural. Besides, how do people run pegs with long cranks and short chainstays?

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Remember when you could ride all day and not be sore for a week?

1/21/2020 4:18 PM

I have 160mm cranks and it did take a little getting used to the peg. I think I naturally shift forward a little on the pedal when I am cranking.

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1/22/2020 8:42 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/22/2020 8:47 AM

When I buy my new bike, I'd rather have shorter cranks too. Virtually every bike I ride has 165mm cranks.

I realized last night why people buy shinguards. I was doing some bunny hops a few in a row and then my right foot slipped when coming down and the pedal swung around and whacked my shin good. LOL. It was about 11 pm at night and I might have woke my neighbors up with the AAAAH. LOL. Funny thing is the mark it left is right on top of the one that was already there...... LOL. Maybe I need shinguards too.


I wanted to lead with this but since you all made other points that I wanted to respond to, but : I DID IT!!!! I did pull up bars (only 180) several times last night. Like 5 and almost landed it a 6th time but had to put my foot down. I'm not sure why but I get so excited about these little victories. LOL. Now I have to rotate it all the way. And I'm not doing a bunny hop I'm just pulling up the front and doing it.

But the bit about squeezing the seat was what did it (thank you pnj!!!!). For some reason I was forgetting to focus on that the night before. And leaning forward a bit. Squeezing the seat sort of helped me lean forward I guess.

So exciting. LOL.

Bike looks good VirginaDoug!!!!

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1/22/2020 11:00 AM

Fortyseven wrote:

When I buy my new bike, I'd rather have shorter cranks too. Virtually every bike I ride has 165mm cranks.

I realized last night why people buy shinguards. I was doing some bunny hops a few in a row and then my right foot slipped when coming down and the pedal swung around and whacked my shin good. LOL. It was about 11 pm at night and I might have woke my neighbors up with the AAAAH. LOL. Funny thing is the mark it left is right on top of the one that was already there...... LOL. Maybe I need shinguards too.


I wanted to lead with this but since you all made other points that I wanted to respond to, but : I DID IT!!!! I did pull up bars (only 180) several times last night. Like 5 and almost landed it a 6th time but had to put my foot down. I'm not sure why but I get so excited about these little victories. LOL. Now I have to rotate it all the way. And I'm not doing a bunny hop I'm just pulling up the front and doing it.

But the bit about squeezing the seat was what did it (thank you pnj!!!!). For some reason I was forgetting to focus on that the night before. And leaning forward a bit. Squeezing the seat sort of helped me lean forward I guess.

So exciting. LOL.

Bike looks good VirginaDoug!!!!

Another tip for pick up bars, (and actual hop barspins, too) I'd recommend bringing your feet closer to your cranks so you can kind of pinch your cranks with your feet. Also, straighten your legs and kinda lean your lower body back away from the bars, but keep your upper body kinda centered over the bars so that you don't fall backward.

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1/22/2020 2:40 PM

Almost stuck a foot-jam whip tonight but missed the pedal and couldn’t ride it out. Hoping to stick it tomorrow then go into learning the dreaded decade. Probably start with a foot on the frame and combo off the tailwhip. That would be a sweet combo to have in my repertoire.

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1/22/2020 4:28 PM

for decades, I suggest this..

I use my right foot on the seat tube. if you're using the left and going counter clockwise, reverse my directions...


Put left foot on left rear peg.
be rolling slowly forwards..
put right leg on top tube / seat post junction.

do a small endo...

lock rear brakes and when the rear tire comes down, pull the front of the bike up vertically.
the higher you pull it up, the easier it is. this is a failure for many people when learning this trick.

as soon as you start pulling the front end up, start swinging your left leg up and over the head tube.
pull front end up. swing left leg up and over while turning the bars / shifting your body weight.

LOOK. LOOK at your foot on the seat tube and place your left leg right ontop of your right foot.
okay. not right on top but just as you are about to step on your foot, slide your right foot off the seat post and place your left foot on the post.

your body will be on the other side of the frame.
front end will drop back to earth..

and you have done a decade.

once you get that basic step over down pretty well, the variations to get into it come much easier.

Hope that helps a little. I always loved decades.

firehydrant to decade was always a fav or mine.

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1/22/2020 4:38 PM

pnj wrote:

for decades, I suggest this..

I use my right foot on the seat tube. if you're using the left and going counter clockwise, reverse my directions...


Put left foot on left rear peg.
be rolling slowly forwards..
put right leg on top tube / seat post junction.

do a small endo...

lock rear brakes and when the rear tire comes down, pull the front of the bike up vertically.
the higher you pull it up, the easier it is. this is a failure for many people when learning this trick.

as soon as you start pulling the front end up, start swinging your left leg up and over the head tube.
pull front end up. swing left leg up and over while turning the bars / shifting your body weight.

LOOK. LOOK at your foot on the seat tube and place your left leg right ontop of your right foot.
okay. not right on top but just as you are about to step on your foot, slide your right foot off the seat post and place your left foot on the post.

your body will be on the other side of the frame.
front end will drop back to earth..

and you have done a decade.

once you get that basic step over down pretty well, the variations to get into it come much easier.

Hope that helps a little. I always loved decades.

firehydrant to decade was always a fav or mine.

Thanks! I’ll give it a go. Trying to get from the rear tire seems daunting and getting it straight from the frame is probably going to take a while. Firehydrant to decade is the next variation I hope to tackle!

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1/23/2020 8:34 AM

After all that I feel silly posting this. But still exciting for me. I thought I had a video of my bunny hopping to see how high I might be getting but somehow it was just a big long vid of blackness and I didn't realize til I was inside and done.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/UNeAzTN.mp4[/img]

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1/23/2020 8:37 AM

I'm not sure if that link will work for you guys... Here's it another way I think. Let me know if you guys can see it.

https://imgur.com/UNeAzTN

[img]https://imgur.com/UNeAzTN[/img]

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1/26/2020 3:28 PM

I was kind of beat after the funeral yesterday so after my normal bike ride I didn't drag out my bmx. I just did a few tricks on my 26" Cruiser. But I landed 180 pull up bars with that one last night. Was fun.

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1/27/2020 8:54 AM

I feel like my Bunny Hops are getting higher. I did a bunch of them last night and feel like I nailed a few pretty well. I tried doing a video but my phone is out of storage space. Gotta free some up....

I also found out there is a free park not overly far from my house in a spot I go by somewhat regularly. I'm excited about that.

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1/27/2020 1:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/28/2020 3:49 AM

Practiced fire hydrants for about 90 minutes today. Got my foot on the frame a couple of times but am getting my shin caught on the seat. A few more days and I think I’ll have em!

Edit: Landed weird yesterday. Put my foot down while spinning and twisted my knee a bit. Feeling it today. Hoping it’s just a passing thing and that I’m not actually too old to learn new tricks :-/

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1/27/2020 2:38 PM

I gotta look up what that is. LOL.

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1/28/2020 8:35 AM

Looked it up. Pretty cool. I'm starting to want pegs now. I watched this vid of Erik Elstran and another guy doing a game of bike and the were doing a lot of funky slower stuff like more flatlandish. I liked it.

I might have added an inch possibly to my bunny hops. LOL. Although I think I have gotten a bit higher at times than what my son video's. It's hard to tell.

https://i.imgur.com/4THKYQI.mp4

https://i.imgur.com/MI3IyVf.mp4

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1/28/2020 3:06 PM

Stuck a few really ugly “half-hydrants” today. Got one clean, proper fire hydrant about two hours into 2.5 hours of riding. Got off work early and abandoned all other responsibilities to ride. Lower back is pretty tight now. Enjoy!

">Fire Hydrant video - 5 seconds long
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1/28/2020 3:30 PM

Hot diggity!!! Excellent work!!!

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1/31/2020 7:54 AM

I attempted a crankflip last night and landed half of a one twice. LOL. Seems like doing things halfway is a theme for me. 1/2 barspins 1/2 crankflips . LOL. Mu cheap bike is pretty easy to do it on cuz there isn't much tension on the cranks. They spin pretty easily. I was gonna change that though.

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1/31/2020 9:07 AM

Waiting on my seat to arrive today but otherwise finished the bike. New tires, pedals, seat post and seat, grips and chain. It's looking so fresh and the new, heavier tires make the frame spin a lot faster. There are apparently some advantages to gaining weight on the bike! I'll edit this post with a link to the bike check this afternoon!

Super sore today though. Spent another 2 hours practicing pretty much just fire hydrants yesterday. Tried to manual the flatland bike and went over back wards on my ass - the drop outs are so short, my feet are just off the pegs when I'm on the pedals and one got caught trying to loop out. Fortunately, I was wearing my old man diapers (aka padded shorts).
Stuck a few more fire hydrants though! They're feeling more natural. Hoping to have them dialed by next weekend or so.

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