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Dear BMXperts,
I just picked up your magazine because I’m getting into BMX. I know practically nothing about it because I am converting from skating. Actually I am a girl skater with a cross-country scholarship that can’t afford another sprained ankle; broken wrists are a little easier to deal with. So I went out and got a bike off of craigslist. I should have done more research first because I am stuck with a real crappy GT bike now and no money to play with. I will use this for now but really, where do I start? Like what tricks, and how welcoming are bikers to newbies…especially girls? When I started skating I had to go super early in the morning when it was freezing to avoid being kicked out of parks.
A. Chittenden
Duvall, WA

ANS- For starters, we are going to assume that the “A.” in your signature stands for “A Dream Come True.” Dig this, BMXers are as much nerds are the die-hard gamers locked in their rooms sucking down gallons of Mountain Dew, we just have cooler scars. You see we ride because we all have a slight social retardation that allows us to focus on riding for hours at a time and get all up in our own heads to focus on the task at hand by avoiding social drama. Provided, our task is pulling a footjam whip, not saving the world, one level at a time, but we are all shut-ins in one form or another. In the rare instance a girl finds their way into our midst, outside of a purely social setting, our “show off” genes kick into high gear, we do more, feel better about it and compete like a bunch of cave men for a little of your attention. So on that note, consider it to be “Girls Welcome” at the park. As for your ride, it may not be as bad as you think, it might just need a little mechanical help and cheap weight saving tricks to better suit your needs. As a runner, we are guessing minimal weight would feel more natural, so make that your focus. Our top freebie tips: trim the excess off your seatpost and remove the pegs, and/or front brake if you have one to focus on the most basic riding skills and drop pounds from your ride. Our top budget friendly tips: Plastic pedals (we dig the Fly’s), Folding tires (Alienations are lightweight and affordable) and a Pivotal seat/post combo. Good luck and hope to see you at the park sometime soon.

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