Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's not a "kid's bike".

I ride bikes; many different types of bikes in fact. I ride mountain bikes, BMX bikes, road bikes, cyclocross bikes and commuter bikes, sometimes all on the same day. Right now, my BMX bike holds the spot as "favorite" bike, and that includes riding flatland (mostly) and the rare street or skatepark jaunt.

What I don't understand, is why the BMX bike is largely considered "a kid's bike." Sure, kids ride BMX bikes, but kids do lots of things. Kids also play baseball, play basketball, play soccer, and play hockey. Despite this, I don't think any of my age-peers who may participate in adult leagues of any of these sports have to endure people asking why they are still involved in kids' activities.


Perhaps many people are unaware, but just like baseball or any other ball sport, BMX (and this includes all of it's sub-divisions: flatland, street, ramps, and racing) is an activity that many people may get involved with at a young age, but practice and persistence can lead to a professional career.  And just like a kid can get started in Little League, play high school and college baseball, and then maybe make to the the big time, his pro career won't come to be until, probably, his early 20's: the same is true in the world of 20" bicycles (forgive my gender bias, using male pronouns, there are plenty of women killing it in BMX, and all sports...).

Apart from a few young phenoms, many of the guys at the top of the game in BMX are in their 20's and 30's. And some of these guys are making BIG money. Many riders will move on from BMX bikes, but many of us find our way back, and others never stop riding. After about 15yrs off the BMX bike, my love for it has been rekindled. Funny things is, I'm NOT an anomaly. At 43, I'm hardly the oldest guy on a BMX bike, and some of the guys I idolized in my early years in the sport, are still riding and riding well.

So, the reality is that while some may perceive BMX bikes as kids' bikes, they are just bikes. Bike to be ridden by anyone of any age and any gender. Just ask Mariana Pajon, the 20yr old gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Someone forwarded this photo of a 60yr old flatland rider somewhere in Latin America, so I've still got plenty of years ahead of me.

And yes, I'm already planning on having pegs on my walker when I get to that point.

2 comments:

rick allison said...

Great read n post. Thanks for saying what ive been thinking for yrs.

Tony D said...

Well said, Dave.

And perhaps you can get a Sturmey-Archer drum brake and locking lever to make sure your walker doesn't roll away without you. ;-)

Keep riding!