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Old 04-02-11, 02:30 PM   #1
mark1914
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Too Chicken To Race, help!

So I'm a 37 year old kid. I've always wanted to race BMX. I can literally remember cutting pictures out of BMX magazines and hanging them on my wall. Never could afford a good bike nor had transportation to a track. Last summer I decided to suck it up, buy a used Staats bike and get an ABA Memebership here. I went to a few practices and road the track. I met a few other older guys that were either riding because their kid rides or raced in the 80s and wanted to rekindle the fun. I bought a few BMX videos and talked to guys about how to pump and manual instead of flying over the jumps. Well the last practice day I saw an older guy flip over his bars and break his collarbone! The next day I sold my bike and quit.

Now the bug is biting me again. Any ideas? I'm scared of crashing and being hurt at my age.
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Old 04-02-11, 03:24 PM   #2
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Thats the problem a lot of guys run into. They're scared of falling and getting hurt. If you want to go anywhere at all, you simply have to get over the fear and just go for it.
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Old 04-02-11, 03:46 PM   #3
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20" or 24"?
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Old 04-02-11, 05:07 PM   #4
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Swung by a LBS and looked at a 2010 Redline MX24 for $340. He then showed me a 2010 Free Agent Ambush 24 for $200. The temptation is strong to go back and get that FA for $200!
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Old 04-02-11, 05:10 PM   #5
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If you're in good shape and mentally alert I'd say go for it. If you aren't feeling it though I wouldn't do it. Confidence is key and if you're feeling skiddish that can't be a good sign.
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Old 04-02-11, 05:42 PM   #6
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If you're in good shape and mentally alert I'd say go for it. If you aren't feeling it though I wouldn't do it. Confidence is key and if you're feeling skiddish that can't be a good sign.

Well I'm not in shape as I should be I'm only skiddish because I know you can break bones, mess up knees in this sport. I'm 37 now and old bones don't heal fast. I shouldn't have a fear because I ride a 600cc crotch rocket. That thing can kill not mention the idiots in steel cages who don't pay attention to motorcycles. Could I just run 24" and go slow around the track? I know there's no Novice class in Crusier and I'd be in there with experts but who cares where I finish. I'm just a 37 year old out there to fill a Moto sheet right?
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Old 04-04-11, 10:00 AM   #7
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Do what you're comfortably with. If its slow rolling on a 24", go for it. If its going balls to the wall on a 20", go for it. But whatever you choose, just remember that you can't be afraid of it. especially the falling part.
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Old 04-04-11, 02:36 PM   #8
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Mark, you can't just hop in and find large air when you are intimidated as you are. No matter what others explain to you if you realy do want to race you are going to have to seek therapy and eliminate your fears if you can.

You are more afraid of injury than actually taking air. All BMXers are not fond of injury and that is why they learn how to handle their courses, however they are built.

And one more thing, Mister Fear of scrambling the Rancheros, have you ever noticed that Maximum Exposure and Whacked-Out Sports ain't too keen on showing anybody dying? Let that be your guide!


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Originally Posted by mark1914 View Post
So I'm a 37 year old kid. I've always wanted to race BMX. I can literally remember cutting pictures out of BMX magazines and hanging them on my wall. Never could afford a good bike nor had transportation to a track. Last summer I decided to suck it up, buy a used Staats bike and get an ABA Memebership here. I went to a few practices and road the track. I met a few other older guys that were either riding because their kid rides or raced in the 80s and wanted to rekindle the fun. I bought a few BMX videos and talked to guys about how to pump and manual instead of flying over the jumps. Well the last practice day I saw an older guy flip over his bars and break his collarbone! The next day I sold my bike and quit.

Now the bug is biting me again. Any ideas? I'm scared of crashing and being hurt at my age.
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Old 04-04-11, 02:49 PM   #9
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You can get hurt doing anything, at least if you get hurt on a bike your having fun.
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Old 04-04-11, 05:52 PM   #10
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Buy the bike, go to the track and practice until you are comfortable. Don't know about where you are, but here the track is open for practice as long as it is dry.
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Old 04-04-11, 06:32 PM   #11
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Mark, you can't just hop in and find large air when you are intimidated as you are. No matter what others explain to you if you realy do want to race you are going to have to seek therapy and eliminate your fears if you can.

You are more afraid of injury than actually taking air. All BMXers are not fond of injury and that is why they learn how to handle their courses, however they are built.

And one more thing, Mister Fear of scrambling the Rancheros, have you ever noticed that Maximum Exposure and Whacked-Out Sports ain't too keen on showing anybody dying? Let that be your guide!

Makes sense. I do have a fear of crashing and being broken up. It's strange because I can hop on my Yamaha and hit the freeway doing 70-80mph without a thought. I made the mistake of talking to my dad about it and he laughed saying "your old bones won't heal". I hear what he's saying but this is on my "Bucket List" of things to do before I die. Even if it's one race and I come in last. Just to be able to say I did it and get a picture. Lol.
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Old 04-04-11, 11:34 PM   #12
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There are plenty of guys in their 40s that are racing.

Haven't been over there in a while, but Vintage BMX had a guy who was racing, on a knee that his doc was planning to replace. Not bad considering he had an ER doc thought they were going to have amputate that leg, after he and his motorcycle had an altercation with a minivan.
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Old 04-10-11, 06:56 PM   #13
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Just get fast enough to where you can beat the 8-10 year olds in practice and that should allow you to keep up pretty well. My buddies' kid used to talk to me while railing a corner when I first started. I'd be huffing and puffing and he's talking in a normal tone?! Yikes. Eventually my skills progressed enough to where I could outrun him most days. He quieted down then. Now he runs 11X and there's no way I can run with him. Smooth is fast.

Oh, regarding injuries, the guys you go into a corner with have to work tomorrow too. Chances are they're reasonably good at holding their line. Free Agent for $200? It's almost criminal not to get it.
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Old 04-10-11, 07:54 PM   #14
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I would say just get a bike and mess around with it for a while, don't just jump into racing. Get comfortable with the bike, ride off curbs, do small dirt jumps (I mean smalll) until you feel you can move up and just continue from there. If all else fails my friend, just get really buzzed/slighty drunk and I bet you won't be afraid anymore. haha. Whatever you do though Mark, don't let your age get to you. 37 is young! Get on that bike and have some fun. Have a good one man, I hope you decide to ride!
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Old 06-10-11, 05:53 PM   #15
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Just throw in the movie RAD, button up the chin stap and go for it...seriously I don't think the bug ever dies..and the good thing about BMX racing is the injury factory is way less compared to other hobbies middle aged guys like..ie MX..also the protective gear that is available now is so much better and lighter than we had in the 80's...grap a helmet and some other pads and go live the dream!
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Old 06-18-11, 01:01 AM   #16
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Mark,

As you can tell from my user name I'm a Bmxer. I started racing in 1984 & last raced in 2009. I didn't race all of those years but most of them. I still go ride the track & dirt jump my Standard 125r 20 inch & I turn 38 this year.

But enough about me lets get to you.

Do you know how to fall? Did you play sports while growing up say football , baseball etc,etc? Sport that made you dive for the turf or get knocked over. If so were you injury prone or did you just get a bump or bruise & bounce back up? Chances are if you were a good faller then you will still be a good at falling & not getting hurt. May sound funny but I've crashed 1000nds of times & give my all at any sport I take part in & because I fall well I very rarely get more than some road rash , bruises & maybe some stiffness.

Protection. Helmet , full face for sure. You may want to think of some other items as well. The last few years I raced I got sick of getting road rash when I crashed so I went & got some 661 mountain bike elbow/forearm & knee/shin pads. Man what a difference it was great not having to got to work the next day with those type of injuries. Lastly , Shoulder pads motocross/d.h. style. I never used them but many people do & over the last few year the have gotten way less cumbersome. Now maybe some people will think/say this is overkill but who cares if it helps you ride with confidence.

The Racing. Dude forget about everyone else on the track & just ride your race. If you get last, "who cares" your doing something you have always wanted to do. Ride within yourself & as your skills improve you'll get faster. Just have fun & trust yourself. Practice til you feel a little tired then call it a day & never , never say "just one more lap,jump,speed jump" because in bmx that's just bad karma.

Crashing. Eject,eject,eject. As soon as you realize your going down & can't save it, try & get ready to hit the ground & to do that you have to let go of the bars. Crashing is a art & those who can do it well very rarely get badly injured. You may have this skill from your youth & not even know it.

I hope some of this helps.
Jason
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Old 06-18-11, 01:07 AM   #17
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Here me in 2009 practicing at a local track.
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Old 06-21-11, 10:55 AM   #18
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Definitely listen to CDN_Bmxer. I race BMX as well, and honestly, there is nothing more fun than cruising around the track, even when it's mid-summer and you're sweating like a madman. Who cares how old you are, my dad started racing again and he's 40. He got back into it because he was sick of going up to the track and not riding, and partly me telling him he was old. Haha. But anyways, get on a bike and go have fun. That's what it's all about.

As CDN said, the protection is a big factor today. Many many people wear shin/knee pads, and also arm pads. They are much more breathable and comfortable now, while still providing the protection from road rash, shinners, bumps, bruises, etc. Even cheaper helmets are very comfortable and protective. Neck braces are available, and they are very effective in protecting your head/neck area from whiplash and any type of unwanted movement.

Skills are something that will come with riding, so if you go out for the first time and you're slow, give it time. Ask for help. If you are at a decent track with a good environment, I'm sure there will be some fast kids who would be willing to help you out.

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Old 06-27-11, 04:02 AM   #19
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I understand the OP I think.

I've been single for 8 years and would just love to at least have a messy affair I could regret all my life but I'm too tired to bother stealing somebody's old lady.

Sometimes when your mind argues with itself it's best to park it and reflect. Chicks will still dig your atitude for life. Your mind will be happier on curves, or in an off-road vehicle at speed.

You have failed NOTHING. It's time to win at other pursuits. You've had some admirable times that I envy.

PS This is a natural crossroads that happens to all who are not killed or pre-empted by misfortune.

Thank you for writing and I want to know what you do so update us. I appreciate your problem and wish the best for you regardless.
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