Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
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Some newbie questions
Hello. Forty-year-old bike commuter here, never done any BMX but have recently begun taking my 6-year-old to the town's new skate/bike park. So I guess I'm the proverbial old dog trying to learn new tricks. I'm curious about a few things.
First, I've been doing okay for a beginner on the half-pipe, getting about halfway up the sides, but I notice that I'm much better going counter-clockwise that clockwise. I'm wondering if it's a common experience that one way is easier than the other, maybe related to the dominant side of your body (I'm left-handed), or is it just that I've practiced one way more than the other?
Secondly, some advice about stairs. This park has a set of about 6 stairs with a ramp on the other side, and they're fairly steep, so not good to start out on. Nevertheless, I tried going down them last week, and it was pretty bumpy, to say the least. I think I may have been going too fast. Being a commuter, usually with a bike computer, I have a pretty good sense of how fast I'm going, but I have no idea how fast is appropriate for going down steps. Someone gave me a copy of "Urban Biker's Tips and Tricks", which talks about technique for stairs, but they don't mention specific speeds. Should I be regulating my speed with the brakes on my way down? (I guess I probably should, as it's hard to see how I could go down a long set indefinitely without doing so.)
If it matters, the bike I'm taking to the park is a Trek 820 with smooth road tires (since I primarily use it for commuting).