When I was a little girl I went everywhere on my bicycle. It was my main mode of transportation – as it was for pretty much every kid in the 80’s. Growing up on Pensacola Beach it was nothing for us all to meet up at the Circle K for PushPops and ride our bikes over to the Gulf for a day of swimming and playing on the beach. Ahh, those were the days. Now as an adult I am back to spending almost just as much time on a bike – practicing for my upcoming triathlon. Thank goodness it all comes back to you “like riding a bike” because it has literally been over 10 years since I have even ridden, but I have to admit, every time I hop on and feel the wind in my hair… I am suddenly that little girl again. Whether you are training for a tri, getting shape, or maybe just wanting to rekindle the fun we all had as kids, cycling is a sport for absolutely anyone.
BMX bikes rose to prominence in the early 1970s and haven’t looked back since. Today, this adrenaline-fuelled form of cycling is a worldwide sport and can be enjoyed on a racetrack, down dirt jumps or at a skate park.
But apart from the thrill of riding, why would you choose to start BMXing? And what should you be looking for in a bike? In response to these questions, here is a quick guide.
Why should you BMX?
- Stay fit – BMX is a superb way to stay in tiptop shape. As opposed to standard bike rides, BMX is much more exhilarating and exciting, and won’t get boring in a hurry.
- Build muscle – Simply pedalling along is bound to build your leg muscles. But if you want to progress and start performing tricks, your upper body strength will increase as well.
- Meet people – The world of BMX is a very welcoming one. Regardless of your age or ability, fellow riders will be quick to start conversations and offer up advice.
- Challenge yourself – Just like any other hobby or pursuit, BMX enables you to challenge yourself. The feeling of gratification once you advance and get better is unrivalled.
What to look for in a bike?
- Size – Because riders want the ultimate in control, nearly all BMX bikes feature 20-inch wheels. Scaled down versions are available for kids, but generally speaking the frame size is what really matters, and will be dependent on your height.
- Style – BMX bikes come in a variety of different colours and styles, and are available at Tesco. Some have been designed with functionality and freestyle riding in mind, while others exude flair and finesse. The choice is yours.
- Features – Features such as stunt pegs and brakes will depend on the type of riding you are interested in. To do tricks at the skate park or on the street, you will generally want four pegs and two brakes. However, dirt jumpers and BMX racers tend to have no pegs and just one rear wheel brake, as the extra weight can make a huge difference.
- Accessories – In order to stay safe and avoid getting injured, it is highly recommended to purchase a tightly fitting helmet and pads for your elbows and knees. To fit in, you may also choose to buy clothing from respected BMX brands too.
Bear these tips in mind, and you will be bunny hopping and grinding your way to BMX happiness in no time.