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Old 08-07-07, 12:36 PM   #1
RB1-luvr
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old man goes to local bmx track - likes it

i was bored last night so i rode my freebie bmx bike (dumpster dive special) to get an ice cream and then went to Falcon Field in Meriden, CT to check out the track. There was a bunch of kids hanging out. They were all real nice and gave me tips on riding and such. So I took a few laps. Wow is that fun. I think I might like to try racing a cruiser. I'm waiting for my friend's kids to be old enough to race and then he and I will probably do the cruiser thing.

One question: is it possible to be competitive in my age group (I'm 43) without getting much air? I'm not really into that. Waaaay to chicken, and can't afford injuries and missing work.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:51 PM   #2
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Yes, it is possible to race the older cruiser classes competitively w/o getting air. At 37, I'm racing again & have been beaten by many racers staying on the ground. And really, you WANT to stay on the ground - you're faster that way.
And more importantly, it's VERY possible to have fun w/ out leaving the ground racing!
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Old 08-07-07, 12:57 PM   #3
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thanks Bill. what you said, is sorta what i said to the kids there last night. using my hand to indicate a straighter line getting to point B i asked "isn't it faster if you don't go in the air?", but they all looked at me like i had horns growing out my head (could'a sworn i ground them down before i left the house). they were all show-boating their trick skillz.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:19 PM   #4
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I'm 34 and just got back to the track this week in the cruiser class. It's a lot of fun.
no one in my class was catching any more air than necessary, and the stands pretty much cleared for our motos anyway so there was no pressure to hot dog it.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:11 AM   #5
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hey RB1, get yourself a nice fast 24" bmx cruiser and show those kids how fast you are!
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Old 08-08-07, 08:17 AM   #6
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^^ hahah, if i don't kill myself on the jumps. almost did on one. went at it too fast, one foot came off the pedal mid-air. whoo!

i try to keep pressure on the bars as I get to the top of the jump to keep the bike down. i can see it's going to take lots of practice. and you think you're in shape until you try sprinting one lap round the track. holy heart attack batman.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:17 AM   #7
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Most of the really fast riders learn to work the bike over the jumps without catching huge air. WIth that said... sometimes there's track layouts just make clearing a double the best line.

You think that's a sprint... try it in a race when your "chasing a rabbit" ... or being chased
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Old 08-08-07, 08:39 AM   #8
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I race cruiser (44) and take the no air approach but am being left in the dust on a few of the local tracks where the guys who can jump have the advantage. On some of the tracks I am in the thick of things but there are a few that are designed to be jumped. They have a couple of doubles that are really hard to keep the bike on the ground with any speed and if you try to jump and don't clear them the landing scrubs off any speed you had. I don't much care though, being in the back of the pack is ok with me, I have no aspirations of winning as the guy winning the motos is the UCI Worlds champ 3 years running.

I too qualify as a chicken as far as jumping goes but I am trying to learn, that has recently resulted in 3 broken ribs and a few stitches. Trying to keep up with your 8 year old son is dangerous business. I now own a chest protector, that will probably at least limit the stitches if I pile up again.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:51 AM   #9
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that seems painful andy. Did you race when you were younger?
I tend to stay on the ground as much as possible, though the air doesn't really bother me on the jumps that force the issue.
of course, I've never broken my ribs. I imagine that creates a whole new outlook.
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Old 08-08-07, 11:23 AM   #10
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ouch Andy! a guy here at work did a small jump in the woods on our weekly Friday mountain bike session. he's 47, and the jump was only like 1-1/2 feet high. when he landed it was like an invisible hand of god crushed him into the ground resulting in 6 fractured ribs, 4 displaced, a punctured lung and 9 days in the hospital.

so ya, if i end up racing, or even keep going to the track to practice, i'm getting a chest protector.

and like you Andy, if i race, it'll be about having fun, i won't care where i place.

thanks for all the advice guys.
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Old 08-08-07, 11:26 AM   #11
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It was painful and takes a long time to heal, I have been off my bike for 4 weeks and have been told to expect 6 to 8 weeks for recovery. On the plus side my jumping was improving and the main reason I wiped was that I overshot the downside.
I only started racing this year but I commute by bike about 8000 miles a year so I am comfortable on a bike. I started racing as I was taking my son out local tracks 2 or 3 times a week and was getting bored sitting in the stands. The local cruiser classes are really fast and we almost always have a full gate of guys over 40. It makes it intimidating for guys just starting out but I didn't mind so much as the first 3 or 4 races I did I was way behind the pack and out of harms way. I am now middle of the pack and there is lots of carnage but it is all in good fun and few people get seriously hurt in the motos. (I wasn't at the races when I wiped.)
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Old 08-08-07, 11:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr View Post
ouch Andy! a guy here at work did a small jump in the woods on our weekly Friday mountain bike session. he's 47, and the jump was only like 1-1/2 feet high. when he landed it was like an invisible hand of god crushed him into the ground resulting in 6 fractured ribs, 4 displaced, a punctured lung and 9 days in the hospital.

so ya, if i end up racing, or even keep going to the track to practice, i'm getting a chest protector.

and like you Andy, if i race, it'll be about having fun, i won't care where i place.

thanks for all the advice guys.
Was it his first time on it?
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Old 08-09-07, 12:32 PM   #13
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Was it his first time on it?
yup it was. and we got it on video. i thought he broke his back at first. scary.
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Old 08-09-07, 12:39 PM   #14
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don't take this the wrong way, but I'd love to see it on youtube.
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Old 08-09-07, 12:58 PM   #15
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^^ i just loaded it up, it's still processing. do a youtube search for "Jim's Crash"
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Old 08-09-07, 01:12 PM   #16
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i love you.
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Old 08-09-07, 01:27 PM   #17
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HAHAH!!

did you find it? there's a lot of vids named Jim's Crash.

here it is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqRXdCLeoPs
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Old 08-09-07, 04:20 PM   #18
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that's a great vid, we could have had more on the crash, but it was put together very well.
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Old 08-09-07, 04:23 PM   #19
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Yeah, I don't even see a jump. That was pretty much sheer clumsiness.
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Old 08-09-07, 06:18 PM   #20
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Man that is a lot of injury for what looked like a pretty small tumble.

When I wiped I overshot the downside of a medium sized tabletop so was probably coming down from about 5 feet up. Still can't blame anything but clumsiness for the launch over the bars (the doctor in the emergency room suggested that I need to keep my weight back) but at least the kids that witnessed it all agreed it was pretty spectacular.
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Old 08-09-07, 08:28 PM   #21
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My injury > all your injuries

Wethepeople is catching up though...
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Old 08-09-07, 08:34 PM   #22
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Damn rights.
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Old 08-10-07, 07:10 AM   #23
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i'm telling you, it didn't add up. i was standing there watching it happen, and it was like an invisible force crushed him into the ground. he was folded up into a tiny ball, went otb and slammed the ground on his back. we think maybe the back of his ribcage came down on a root. he got really messed up. it's more of a drop-off than a jump i suppose. when i do it (with more speed), i shoot out about 3'
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Old 08-19-07, 04:57 PM   #24
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Yay for old guys on cruisers! If your local track has a class for oldies (Masters in Australia is 30+) you should be reasonably safe there. The oldest guy at my track was about 50.
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Old 08-25-07, 09:45 PM   #25
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Cool topic, i am also considering buying a cruiser and joining my local club and racing with my sons. Anyone recomend a bike big and solid enough for a 38yr old 6ft3 100kg guy ? used to race in the eighties and broke quite alot of stuff then and was no where near 100 kg then Best bike i ever had was a HUTCH, do they still make them ?
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