Before I hang up my wheels for good, there’s a number of tricks I’d like to master. That list includes wheelies, manuals, fakies, and the half cab. My reach goal is spinning flat 180s. If that all sounds like made up shit, that’s ok. Like myself, you probably didn’t have a childhood. Essentially these tricks are the basic building blocks of every BMX video segment you’ve ever seen.
I’ve been casually practicing these tricks on and off for years but have never reached the effortless proficiency of a life long BMXer. I’d like to lay the blame on a childhood spent playing ball sports and reading science fiction, but the truth is I never put in the time.
Now here’s where bad ideas and a fifth of whiskey converge. You see, if over the course of a decade I’ve never found the time to practice these tricks consistently, why would that ever change? It might IF I found a startlingly dumb way to force and embarrass myself to practice consistently… which leads us to the crux of this post (and why drinking with coworkers is a bad idea).
I’m going to take Ryan Leech’s 30 Day Wheelie Challenge. Ryan is a world class trials rider and skills coach who has created an online course that helps breaks down the various skills required to wheelie. It starts with the basics such as equipment and quickly progresses to cover front wheel lifts and braking techniques.
Over the course of the next month, I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress – including some poorly shot GoPro footage.
Currently, the average length of time I can wheelie is 10 seconds or between 10 and 13 pedal strokes. To pull off a wheelie that long, however, I need perfection conditions. Think perfectly flat pavement, no adoring crowds, and a pace somewhere around a fast limp. My main problem is that I haven’t figured out how to sit in a wheelie without pedaling, so once I start gaining speed I have to shift or brake, which brings me crashing back down to reality.
So here goes nothing. Wish me luck!