How BMX is good for MTB. At the time of this video, I’m 30 years old. I’ve been a well rounded cyclist for most of my life, but my teenage years were consumed with BMX. I never raced, or did it competitively, but I did build ramps, visit local skateparks, and of course, ride street. As an adult, I still feel like a kid on my bike, and the way I ride it hasn’t really changed much.
Besides acting like a big kid, I do think there’s a good argument for treating your mountain bike like a bmx sometimes. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you how my experience riding BMX 15 years ago has affected the way I ride my mountain bike today.
First, riding bmx was totally accessible to me. You may be lucky enough to live right down the street from some mountain bike trails or a skatepark, but the majority of us need to drive somewhere for that. So, with street riding being such a big part of bmx, I could walk out my front door and ride any time I wanted.
Second, it taught me to be creative. Riding park or street is about considering every possibility, so over time it conditions you to look at obstacles from many perspectives. BMX was a healthy outlet for my creativity, so I still look at mountain biking as a way to think outside the box.
Third, bmx is full of techniques like riding backwards, doing 360s, and jumping skate ramps. Many of these techniques would never be needed on the trails, but learning them can have a profound effect on your bike control. The more things you learn how to do on your mountain bike, the better off you are, period. I find that these tricks have translated well to a mountain bike, for the most part.
Fourth, I got really good at falling. Yes, I do get pretty fucked here and there, but most of the time I don’t get hurt when I fall. I look at falling as an every day part of riding, which will continue to happen often. Ditching your bike, saving a fall with your foot, or just learning how to minimize the damage when hitting the ground are all techniques that take practice to master. I have less fear when trying new things, because I know the chances of getting hurt are pretty low. Bmx is solely responsible for this.
I think those 4 points are the biggest things I learned from BMX, but even now I’m learning new things every day. Mountain bikes are tuned for a different type of riding, but at the end of the day they’re nimble, durable, and capable bikes, perfect for adults like me who are still kids deep down. So the next time you see some BMXers, give them a nod. They’re out there for the same reasons we are. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.
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