How to Begin Flatland Tricks for BMX Biking
Flatland BMX riding takes place on wide, level ground. Flatland tricks don't involve jumps and ramps. Instead, you need to manipulate your bike into various positions, a little like BMX break dancing. If you're familiar with BMX riding and general tricks such as wheelies and bunny hops, then you'll pick up flatland quite fast. However, flatland tricks do require excellent balance and close control of your BMX. Start with the basic flatland tricks and get used to moving your BMX in a slow, controlled way.
Find a wide, flat space to practice your tricks. Ideal locations include car parks, playgrounds and outdoor tennis courts. Make sure you're using the solid freestyle BMX with four wheel pegs. This is ideal for flatland riding.
Familiarize yourself with a selection of flatland BMX tricks before going out to practice. You'll find tricks listed on BMX websites, such as the list of beginner flatland tricks featured in the "Resources" section.
Get used to controlling your speed using a brake technique called feathering. Gently press the brakes in very short bursts to slow your speed instead of fully depressing the lever to bring the bike to a halt.
Experiment with standing on your back pegs. Build up a little speed, then step back one foot at a time so that both feet are on the rear pegs. Control your speed by feathering the brakes and lean to keep your balance and direct the bike.
Try the 180-degree handlebar turn. Step on the rear left peg with your left foot. Take hold of the left handlebar grip with your right hand and yank it fast to pull the bars round the wrong way. Flip it back the correct way using the same motion. This is one of the easiest flatland tricks, according to the Jebikes website.
Pull off a pogo. Ride slowly, then move both your feet to the rear pegs. Stop the bike with your front brake and put your favored foot on the rear tire. Shift your weight to this foot to start getting the rear tire going backwards. Pull the front of the bike up vertical and put both feet back on the rear pegs. Let the bike run, then bounce up on the rear tire, pogo-style.
Ride backwards by building up a little speed, then switching your feet to opposite pedals. Sit on the handlebars and uncross your hands. Put each hand on the bar grips. Balance on the bar, then flip back around when the bike begins to slow. Practice to get the trick down in one slick motion.
Master a few tricks to build your confidence. Move on to other tricks and more difficult skills when you feel comfortable with flatland BMX.
Wear padding and a helmet when learning new tricks. You're going to fall--it's only a matter of when.
- Wear padding and a helmet when learning new tricks. You're going to fall--it's only a matter of when.
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.