Flat Cats

A short vehicular excursion along country lanes a few days hence allowed me to purchase the missing piece for my beloved old BMX.

Refuelling with freshly brewed coffee whilst installing my new sprocket and the freshly procured half-link chain brought my ancient steed back to fully functioning life once more. My goal of riding flatland was achievable!

After the elements had done their worst with wind and rain, the park seemed quieter than usual, which suited me, being the sensitive soul that I am. (I do not like an audience when I’m learning…)

A deserted car park was just what I needed to practice rolling into a bar spin, then being able to effectively ride my bicycle backwards. I’m sure the sight of a grown man rolling downhill with on leg over their handlebars was slightly amusing to some!

I had some feline company whilst I rode, namely an affectionate ginger tom, who I see around the park and have dubbed Ginger. He is a soppy beast, and I was glad of the attention. I like cats…

So I didn’t get the transition from rolling backwards to riding backwards, but after watching young Watanabe Sohana  from Japan (She is like 5?), I was soon back out again… I love this video, she says “I’m happy.” at the end, and that is what riding should make you feel.

https://www.facebook.com/ecobicycle/videos/1060780560613281/

 

BMX!

IMG_0019I blummin love BMX. Riding, bikes, culture, style, the whole shebang… I’ve been riding BMX on and off since I was 12 (There is that age again…), and cannot imagine not riding it in some form until I drop!

I started riding Flatland BMX (standing on your bike spinning around in circles and not falling off…) back in 2008, and you think I would be good at it by now, but the fun of mucking around on little bikes rather than worrying about new tricks and fads makes me happy and puts a smile on my face.

I had an ace time riding with my eldest grandson (he is a natural!) at the weekend, and getting a new sprocket (I snapped my old one in competition) for Christmas means I will back out there before you know it…

Grow old gracefully? On your bike! (Ha!)

I LOVE BMX!

When I was 12 (there’s that age again…), I was asked by my step-father if I’d like a BMX. I jumped at the chance, being hooked on BMX, and reading BMX Action Bike cover to cover. That Saturday, we went to our local bike shop, I was given a budget, and walked out with a brand new Raleigh Burner. I rode that bike for years…

BMX-ACTION-BIKE

Fast forward to 1997, and I bought my second BMX, a Mongoose, then got my S&M frame and built it up the next year. I still ride that frame now. It’s bombproof and will probably outlive me! I’ve been riding BMX on and off ever since. Last year was probably my biggest lay-off, as I was focusing on studying and drawing comics. I still followed BMX companies online, checked edits, but riding wasn’t a priority.

With the knackered knee, I thought this might be it, no more riding. WRONG! This week, I’ve had two wonderful flatland (look it up if you don’t know…) sessions, one with my grandson, and a solo session today. I’m trying to learn one specific trick which is eluding me, but I’ll get it. I tried it again today, but my nerves wouldn’t hold out, so I tried something else instead, Barspins. I can do 180 degrees no problem, but the full 360? I tried it today, and cracked it first time! Not bad for a 45 year old on a 22 year old bike!

Today’s been amazing. I found out I passed my Level 3 Counselling exam, nailed barspins, soaked in the tub, and will be off out for chips and cider too. I am one happy dude!

Catching up…

Morning! (Well, it is in the UK as I type this…)

Revising for a counselling exam (today…) meant little time for anything else other than our business last week, so I’ve been unwinding with drawing and reading comics. The knee is still a little problematic, so physical activities have been gentle, mostly walking our lovely German Shepherd, Fizz. BUT, I did get out to ride BMX for a short while while with our grandson at the end of the week.

I ride Flatland, while is kinda like gymnastics on a bike. Flatlanders are sometimes seen as the outcasts of BMX. I’m not very good at it, but it’s a wonderful mix of fun, meditation and skill. When I’m riding, I don’t tend to think about anything else, just zoning out and being in the moment. But I love it, it makes me happy. It’s amazing to me that I still ride when I’m 45… I thought I’d stop at 40 for some silly reason. I don’t want to quit. The knee wasn’t even an issue either, which was a nice bonus.

I’ve ridden BMX on and off since I was 12. I bought a cheap BMX again in 1997, and it’s my favourite form of cycling. I have a really nice bike now, worth silly money, but it fits me like a glove, and is part of me. Flatland has led to making some amazing friends, travelling around the UK for comps and jams (I even won a prize at one!), writing for websites (www.global-flat.com), and meeting fellow riders from all over the globe. When I go to comps and jams, it’s like being with family. It’s another part of me.

I could write so much about what Flatland has given me, in fact, I used to have another blog about it, but I’ll just go out for another ride. I’ll be the older dude in the car park, rolling in circles on a BMX with a big smile on my face.

Northampton Flatland - Edited