The Internet's Official BMX Magazine.

August 1, 1999

Q: My son is 9 years old today. I bought him a BMX bike because he is trying to do tricks that he sees on T.V. on his old bike which is not made for that. Is there information that I can obtain to teach him to ride safely and learn new stuff? His sole influence is from what he sees on T.V. We are in Denver Colorado and are not aware of where we can go see this stuff in person.

A: It is difficult to learn new things, especially when there's no one around to teach you. No one should be trying the stuff you see on TV unless you are experienced enough to handle it. You should consider sending your son to Camp Woodward in PA. That's probably the best place to teach him how to ride properly. Also, take him to the local BMX track (you can find tracks near you by contacting the American Bicycle Association and the National Bicycle League. Chances are that most of the riders there also do street and trail riding. Your son may find local kids he can ride with and learn from. Good luck!

Q: How many hours a day do you ride and how long did it take you to turn pro?

A: First of all, I am not a pro. I race expert level. But anyway, to answer your question: Sometimes I ride 6 hours a day, sometimes 0. It all depends how busy I am. I think most AA pros ride 2-4 hours a day, whether it just be trails, training, or street. It takes everyone a different length of time to turn pro. If you're consistently winning expert mains at nationals, then it might be your time.

Q: Is it o.k for a 13 year old black kid to start learning real tricks on a bmx?

A: Huh? Why should race have anything to do with what you can or can't do?

Q: How can you become a pro freestyler if you have absolutely no support from anyone?

A: Why do you need support from anyone? The beauty about BMX is that it's just you and your bike. If people are down on you for doing it, screw 'em! Practice, get good enough, and find out where the contests are. If you're good enough to be pro, you'll know it.

Q: How do you do a "real" bunnyhop. Ya know the kind where you pop up one end then the other. I can get my front popped up but then when I try to get my back popped up my front falls down. PLEASE HELP ME!
--Dave Kloimwieder

A: Although the bunny hop may be the most basic of tricks, it is the most fundamental. So, this is how I learned to get my rear wheel up all those years ago. Find a good crack in the sidewalk, or a little lump somewhere. This will aid your rear wheel in getting air. Also, don't forget to use your legs! Just like you crouch down to jump on your feet, do the same on your bike. Explode upwards, pull up on the handle bars, curl your toes and let the feet follow. Good luck!

Q: Charles (Townsend), it's well known that you are one of the burliest, smoothest riders in BMX, so my question is how I, a 230-lbs muscle head, can learn to jump smooth and carry across jumps. I feel I have the potential to be fast, but I hit so hard on jumps that it zapps my momentum.
--Dave Kloimwieder

A: We got the man to answer for himself: To answer your question, smoothness comes from time on your bike. So you need to spend as much time as you can on your bike. Trails is good too. Ride the local track as much as you can. However, don't ride just one track. Spice it up. Ride as many differnt types of trails as possible.
--Charles Townsend

Q: Hi I am a 12 year old kid from New York and I am a beginner at dirt jumping. I was wonder how do you clear jumps about 8 feet long, without crashing in the middle of the two ramps. Thanks for your time and it would make my day if you could please answer this very important question to me!

A: Go as fast as you can and pull up! That's all there is to it.

Q: When racing on a loose track, do you want your tires plump or low?
--Mister Mac

A: Low, but not too low. I normally ride about 60 pounds of pressure, so try about 40. The lower the pressure, the bigger footprint you'll get, but the less speed. Experiment and see what works best.

Q: What advice would give to me to learn how to bunny hop high enough to get on a rail?
--Greg Piper

A: Try bunny hopping bigger things until you get high enough. I good thing to practice on is cardboard boxes. If you don't make it, they'll collapse and won't kill you. Keep at it!

Q: I have a Dyno Nitro and I was wondering two things: 1.When racing, is it better to have the GT three spoke mags on or use 48 spoke rims? 2. If I go off a jump, say a rhythm (or whoopsies) section, would it be better to kind of glide over the jumps to gain time, or would just airing them be better?

A: Mags or 48 spokes for racing? Neither! Get 36-spoked rims. As for your second question, when racing, always stay as low as possible. It's quicker.

Q: Hello, what 48 spokes rims are un warpable?

A: No rims are unwarpable. However, we just did a test on the Redline 48-spoked wheels and they did very well. Check out our review.

Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.