Tag: BMX

Fall Down Often – What BMX Taught Me

The movie RAD has been on my mind over the last couple days.  I follow a bunch of BMX riders and fan sites and lately there have been a lot of posts about the director of the movie RAD, Hal Needham, because he just passed away.  It got me thinking about what I got out of BMX in my elementary and middle school years years.

Fall Down Often

In BMX the way to learn a new trick is to fall down a lot.  You basically fall down for hours, days or weeks working on finding the right balance point for the various parts of the flatland trick.  You lean too far this way and fall.  You try less far and fall.  You lean the other way and fall.  You use your legs more and fall.  You make thousands of tiny corrections and fall down hundreds of times but eventually find your balance and begin to master the trick.   In flatland BMX, you rarely say, “No I’m not going to try to learn that trick because I’ll fall down and hurt myself”.  Instead, you resign yourself to the fact that falling down often is the single most important thing you will do in order to learn something new and achieve mastery of a new goal.

Metaphor For Life

Falling down often is a metaphor for life.  Success never comes without risk.  Mastery never comes without previous failures.  Continuous improvements and changes in approach can eventually lead to success.  I have started several businesses and failed at most of them but I continue to try and I continue to fall down and I will continue to succeed because of it.  I hope my kids can learn the same lessons that I learned from BMX in whatever interests they persue.


WTP Metric Bike Sold

Today my bike sold.  I listed it on global-flat.com and had a few interested people.  I took it to a bike shop nearby to have it boxed so I can ship it to the new owner.  I got $400 + shipping which was a pretty good price.  I hope the new owner is as excited to ride it as I was.  I had to get rid of it since it was not a good bike for riding around the neighborhood (it was made for tricks instead).  I’ll probably get another bike this summer.. something that I won’t hurt myself on as often hopefully;)

Sick Day

Today I called off work because D was feeling sick. She has been feeling sick for about 4 days now. She had a fever a couple days ago and today when she woke up she felt very dizzy and nauseous. We went to the ER and they diagnosed her with vertigo but with no idea of the reason for it. They prescribed some medication which seems to help and sent us on our way. The kids and I played “I spy with my little eye” while we waited in the ER waiting room. They were very well behaved. I called off work and only left the house to drop the orders off at the post office and my bike off at the bike shop (the owner bought it for $250 because he collects old BMX frames and my Dyno Pro Compe had some sentimental value – my new WeThePeople Metric may be ready for pickup tomorrow). All in all it wasn’t a great day. I have work backing up for me to do tomorrow. D felt sick. I had a headache all day.

BMX Friends

So I made some BMX friends today. In Solon there is a bikeshop called Solon Bicycle that sells BMX bikes. I went up there today at lunch and met the owner, Dan Sirkin. He is an old time BMX freestyle guy from back in the day. He competed in Garfield Heights, rode in North Olmstead at St. Richards, etc. He showed me some tricks outside (wow he’s got some tricks) and let me ride his bike (fell hard trying to do a decade).

Dan gave me his card and said I had to go riding with them. They get a group together every Friday night. Tonight they are going street riding in Cleveland at some skate park.

I gave Ryan his name and number so he can call him and ask him questions about what kind of bike can handle a little heavier rider without breaking the parts in the first few days.

I’m thinking of getting the DK Signal.

I also learned more about current BMX trends. They said that few people do flatland tricks lately. Most people do street or vert or dirt. The bikes are super specialized so a flatland bike is not setup well for street and visa versa. Some observations I had were :

  • The pegs are way bigger (4.5 inches x 2 inches in diameter) so your feet don’t hurt like back in the day
  • The handlebars are about 3 inches narrower
  • The frames upper bar are about 2 inches lower
  • The bottom bracket where the cranks go through is much much smaller and uses sealed bearings
  • 3 piece cranks are everywhere today
  • The crank wheels are much smaller in front and back
  • Freecoasters are common on flatland bikes (let you roll backwards without the pedals moving)

Re-Learned a Hang 5

Today I re-learned a hang 5 again after 18 years. It looks like this picture. You are balanced on the front peg, rolling forward. I also worked on a whiplash and fell (not bad at all). Yesterday I fell twice right on my back and butt (not so good for the back). Curse you parents for saving my bike all these years! I’m helpless. I can’t have it and not ride it. What have you done to me?!

BMX Freestyle Flatland

So, It is 1989 and I’m in the garage cleaning up my bike – a Dyno Pro Comp with GT racing wheels, Shimano cranks, Dia Compe Brakes, Jive Handles grips. I decide I need to make a run to the bike store to buy some new tires and tubes so I zip out to make a quick buy. On my way back I hear Slick Rick on the radio so I turn it up and have a nice drive home. I put the new tires and tubes on the bike, finish cleaning it and go out for a ride. When I come home it is 2007. The kids are taking a nap and I’m 33 years old.

Since I’ve been teaching M to ride his bike lately, I had mentioned that Grandma still had my old bike. When we went to visit them this weekend I came home with it. I got all the rust off the frame and wheels (WD40 & steel wool) and put new tires on it (wow bike parts are still very expensive).

After nap time I helped M learn how to ride his big bike and get himself started (he’s a pro now). Then I did tricks for the kids on my old bike. Today, I’m sore all over. Not like 1989 🙂

Found this video on you tube and thought it was cool – it could have been me 1989: