Dana (axe_girl) wrote in bmxbandits,

Beginner tips

Hey there. I'm a total newb to the world of BMX and I'm looking for a starting point. I have a Mongoose Villain (off the rack) that's a few years old, I've been using it as transport and haven't learned anything cool yet. I was hoping someone might point me to where to start learning to ride. Thanks all!
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hey man. yeah bmx is good fun. with starting out, you should first probably make sure your bike isnt going to break on you. a good way of doing this is grabbing some alan keys and a wrench and going around every little bolt on your bike and making sure its super tight. its also pretty important to tighten your spokes with a spokewrench, which you can buy at a bikestore if you dont already have one. then put about 65 psi of air into your tyres so you dont bang the rim when you ride off a curb and can ride around smoothly and efficiently. this will all allow your villian to accomodate your hunger for crazy stunts.

next thing to do is ride your bike and learn stuff. there are several methods of learning, the details of which you can read about in any introductory psychology textbook. basically, the ones which are most useful in bmx are operant (or 'instrumental') conditioning, where you practice a move until you achieve your goal and are able to pull the trick; insight, where you suddenly have an idea of something rad to do so you go and do it; and there's also vicarious learning, where you see someone else pulling a trick and study their technique and then copy them.

if you have a local skatepark, that's probably a good place to go to observe other riders and see what they are doing. if not, you can go to bmxonline.com or vitalbmx.com or thecomeupbmx.blogspot.com and check out all the good videos online there. this will give you ideas for how you can ride, and you'll be able to set goals for yourself from what you observe.

in terms of what's 'cool' to learn, i personally tend to admire riders who do things that are original- things which i havent seen a million times already. this being said, you should put more emphasis on learning by insight rather than learning by vicarious observation.

basically just find some other riders and ride with them lots. this, combined with my advice, will see you achieving your goals in no time.
Thanks for the tips, I guess I better start hauling ass off to the local gas station for air instead of pumping by hand, I don't think that's going to get me to 65 somehow. I feel kind of dumb hanging out at the skatepark when I can't really do anything. I've just started trying to learn to do a good bunnyhop, it's not taking quite as long as I thought.

Thanks man!