Winter blows. For many this four month season completely shuts down any or most BMX riding. Be it 2 feet of snow, frigid temperatures, slushy streets, or just overall depressing, annoying weather – riding becomes a pain in the ass on many levels. So what can you do besides wait it out and dream of t-shirt weather once again? Well if you’re lucky enough to have a local indoor skatepark, you’re stoked. But what if you don’t, and what about other types of riding like flatland that you can’t really do in a skatepark? Here are some tips.
Take a road trip.
The first obvious choice to beat the weather is to make good weather come to you. Load up the civic with a handful of friends, strap on a bike rack, and get the hell out of dodge to seek the warm solstice of the southern States. Know some riders down south? Hit em up for couch space to save costs and you’re only left shelling out for food, fuel, and unspoken activities which are sure to crop up down in Daytona Beach. Road trips are seriously some of the best things ever. Nothing beats hitting the road with close friends in seek of new spots and new adventures, while the whole time knowing all those lame high school idiots are stuck back home snowblowing their sidewalks twice a week. Of course pulling off a road trip can be troublesome too, in that if you have school or a job you have to somehow weasel out of it for a time, which can piss off teachers or bosses. Parents worry and sometimes obsessively blow up your cel at the worst times wondering why you haven’t updated your Facebook status. Vehicles can break down on the road and wreck unexpected havoc on your credit card. Returning home to the cold can be depressing too, but know you can always take off again after saving up or finally finding the justification to quit that crappy furniture delivery job you so despise.
Pick up flatland.
Without a doubt street and ramp these days have their technical aspects and roots tied to flatland. Nose wheelies, manuals, g-turns, tail whips, etc all stem from flatland in one form or another. So if you’re a street or ramp rider why not throw on 4 pegs for a time and brush up your flat skills, which in turn will help come the warm weather street sessions. If you can find some kind of dry space you’re stoked, and won’t have to worry about stealing wood and coping for that troublesome grindbar project. Flat riding demands flawless bike control, and learning more of that never hurts. Plus, pulling off a new flat move after working on it for days on end is one of the best feelings ever. Maybe pick up flat for good and enter Martti Kuoppa’s Ground Tactics web comp.
Clean out your parent’s garage or basement.
If you live at home, make some room to practice flat and stun your parents with joy in the process. You wouldn’t clean the basement when they asked last July, but for some reason you’re doing it now without even being told. See, riding these silly little bikes has benefits for you too mom. Now if they could only learn to love the Violent Femmes blasting up through the floor joists. Ha.
Yeah they’re not exactly heated (unless you’re really lucky), but some of the levels will probably be at least dry and free of wind, snow and slush. Certain garages will have lights and you can ride at night if so desired, where you can enjoy peace and quiet as opposed to the bustle of normal business hours. Me and my friends would ride flatland all winter long in parking garages and it ruled. In some garages you can blast music, and when your bike slams down it makes this really loud cool echo, potentially scaring people. Plus, every once and a while you get to witness some wild scene going down involving homeless people with flutes, slutty girls, stray dogs, the cops, or a combination of any of those. If you have a video cam on hand make sure to grab clips of that and maybe you can get on Jerry Springer wearing a silver space suit like Chad DeGroot.
Get your scene of riders and/or skateboarders together to pool some cash, approach the owner of your local rollerskating establishment, and pitch paying extra to use the building before they open or on the day(s) they’re closed. They already have an insurance policy on the premises so that’s usually not an issue. Tell them you’re the next Dave Mirra and you need to train, and when you win the X-games in 6 years they can say they know you. Or get one of your friends to ask out the owner’s daughter and use that for leverage. Bring in a grind bar and keep it stashed in the back, then pull it out to learn feebles to hard 180s on the rink’s off days. Kinda ghetto but better than nothing.
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