Beginners Guide to BMX
Fancy starting up BMX but have no clue about the basics? Sit back, relax and read. To properly start BMX as a hobby or sport, you will need to know the following.
After learning how to pedal and ride (if you failed at this then I suggest you don’t need to read on!!), the first basic move while learning to BMX is called the Bunny Hop.
Photo by terrygeldard, via Mpora
This is a very basic trick, but you have to start somewhere. You will use this skill no matter what your discipline, in the park, on the street and even dirt riding. You should start low and slow with your pedals level. Try to find a reference point, for example car park lines. A reference point will help you judge the distance you have hopped and will aid improvement of your technique. Start in a rolling position and lift up your front wheel just before the crack. With some practice you should be able to hold your wheel up for a couple of seconds to enable you to lift your rear wheel at the same time. Once the front wheel is in the air, crouch down and push your handle bars forward as you unweight your feet on your pedals. You can think about it as jumping while holding the handlebars and keep both feet on the pedals. To start with, you just want to pull both wheels up at once over the reference point. The key element to a successful bunny hop is to pull up hard, keep your feet level and try to stretch out and touch your seat with your chest. This position pulls the bike up much higher, and with a bit of practice there is no reason you shouldn’t be doing it with the pro’s and lifting over your mates (please be careful!!).
Photo by kitheskethphotography, via Mpora
After mastering the bunny hop, the world (or park) is your oyster. Next up it’s time to think if you want to specialise in a particular genre such as street, dirt jumping, flat, park or even old skool with dome dirt racing! To begin with you will probably want to try your hand at whatever you can, and remember that when choosing a bike. You want something that will be good for general use and a variety of disciplines. Then once you find something you fall in love with, think about getting a more specialised / suited bike and get out there and start practising!
Photo by sldigital, via Mpora
Photo by Vans, via Mpora
BMX is a dangerous sport so it’s good to wear safety gear. The most import safety equipment is a helmet and you will find anyone worth their salt wearing one. A helmet protects your skull from impact resulting in saving your life or stopping you becoming a potential vegetable. Always make sure you have your helmet on and your chinstrap is tight so your helmet doesn’t fall off. Also think about some kneepads, which will protect your knees from impact and come in two different styles; hard shells and nylon. The hard shell pads are more protective than the nylon pads but are less comfortable.
Just to prove anyone can do it, professional BMX rider Harry Main teaches a bus diver how to drop in on a BMX in a concrete park. Once you have learned the very basics of BMX, you too will be dropping in anytime soon. But before this watch this video!
We will be running a whole host of beginners guides in the coming weeks, including MTB, boarding, Surfing and everything else! Stay tuned.