Never too late?

BMX Track - Chippenham
Doesn’t look too bad…

For some time I have been considering buying a jump bike. I get close to buying one on ebay, Facebook or PinkBike and then back off. I can’t justify spending hundreds of pounds on one and maybe I was thinking it was a bit of a phase or mid-life crisis. It probably is.

Anyway, at a visit to the 417 Bike Park a few weeks ago, I found myself having a whale of a time on the VeloSolutions pump track and decided I needed a suitable bike now for sure.

After some ebay bidding and sneaky logistical planning to collect the bike I had myself a DMR Wrath for a bargain!

DMR Wrath - TimFromWales
What am I doing? I’m 45!

Today was the maiden voyage and while I dropped my son off at football it was time for an hour at a nearby BMX track.

Let me get this straight, I was under no illusions that I was going  to be flying and I was hoping just to pump the bike around for an hour or so. But as you can see from the top picture these were pretty serious jumps.

I hadn’t appreciated how much speed I was going to need and I simply couldn’t generate enough or pluck up the courage to generate enough to really get me in the air. The steep angle of some of the take offs was pretty daunting and it took me a long time to get really comfortable and to not cover my brakes. But still I wasn’t generating enough speed to get really air bourne.

It was loads of fun and I’m really glad I picked this bike up. However, its a heavy beast – built to take some abuse that I am certainly not going to be giving it any time soon. And I found the lack of front brake really disconcerting, I didn’t realise just how much I covered it when riding my MTBs. I may fit a caliper for this extra bit of comfort and see if it makes any difference.

DMR Wrath - TimFromWales
Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all…

Eventually I was relaxing more and staying off the brake but landing no where near the transitions. As this was my first time EVER doing anything like this I was really happy with myself though my GoPro clips make me look very sedate…

Next steps, getting used to the bike on smaller jumps and a pump track. I will be back here very soon too…

I can’t really review this bike as I have no frame of reference as its been 30 years since I even rode a BMX. I will say its solid and the SuperMoto tyres zip along the tarmac nicely.




Ramping and Camping

Kids are great. My kids annoy the hell out of me sometimes, but I love spending good times with them. And today was no exception… This morning we went to the indoor skate park near us called Rampnation. We have booked my boy’s 10th birthday party there so it was only fair we checked it out.

9 til 10 was the young kids / beginners session. We arrived at 9.30 and booked an hour for the three of us on the ramps on scooters. I didn’t take the GoPro, I couldn’t have anyone thinking I was some sort of expert – cos I certainly am not! But I wish I had taken it cos we had loads of fun and the best we could do was use my sons camera to get some VGA quality footage.

In the space of an hours I fell off a few times, bottled a few drop ins and scared the cramp out myself picking up more speed than I thought possible in 3 seconds! Props and kudos to these kids, it takes some skill and commitment to drop in off these ramps. Even the short ones (ramps not kids) takes some confidence and commitment to drop in from the edge.

I got some coaching from the kids there which was great fun, and my son gradually picked up more and more courage himself. I think the little kids really enjoyed having an adult join in with them – there were a bunch of other dads watching from the sides and I reckon I was adopted by 2-3 boys as Dad for an hour.

We crossed over into a standard hour and the not-so-beginners turned up. These kids were a little older (not much) and very keen to have a look at my scooter. Me and my son were taken under their wing briefly as 2 of them helped us fit some new grips to my boys scooter and gave me some advice about changing my wheels… “Hey mister, do you think you’ll get a better one when you get better on the ramps?” I felt a bit like Keanu Reeves in Point Break – I was riding some cheap piece of rubbish and falling off while the little kids had top of the range kit and were flying through the air and making it look so easy.

This was not mountain biking, but balance and commitment were high on the list of requirements today. In the space of an hour I knocked the wind out of myself a few times, scared myself silly, sweated profusely and decided I was going back again – this time with a helmet. This was tremendous fun!!!

We then headed off to Swindon to Go Outdoors. We are going to get some camping gear and I went to work out a shopping list and get some advise. It looks like we can get the essentials for a few hundred quid and I think it’s fair to say the kids are pretty excited about the prospect of camping as a holiday next year.