Easy BMX tricks
Repeat after us: The bunnyhop, the barhop, the manual. If you’ve got a BMX, or a fairly small lightweight bike with fatty boom-batty wheels, get down to your local dirt track/quiet road and practice a few minutes-to-learn, lifetime-to-master tricks that will have anyone who’s impressed with bikes (that’s everyone, surely?) eating out of your hand…
How to do a bunnyhop
A bunny hop is a cute little hop where you pop the bike into the air and land with both wheels on the ground at the same time. The higher you get, the more you can start working the bunny hop into other tricks.
Ride at a slow to moderate speed.
Lift up, pull on the handlebars, and push forward, allowing the back wheel to come off the ground.
Stand up on the bike’s pedals with your bike pedals parallel with the ground, one foot forward, one foot back (which foot you place forward is your decision).
Lean back and put your weight over the back tire (make sure you are comfortable, don’t lean too far). As you lean back, pull up with your arms. Once you get the bars high enough, (about chest height), roll your body weight forward and let the pressure off your feet, as if jumping.
Level the pedals, so that your feet are even, parallel to the ground. Press down on the handlebars and pedals. “Unweight” the bike – lift your feet and hands slightly, without breaking contact between yourself and the bike. Pop into the air.
Land smoothly – ideally, land on both wheels at the same time.
This takes some practice, and is easiest on small, BMX-style bikes.
This is tough on your wheels if you do it a lot.
Use caution when maneuvering on the bike. Wear kneepads, elbowpads, gloves and a fitted helmet for safety.
Once you start getting some real air on your bunnyhops (about 2-3 feet) you’ll be ready to do a grind, or a 180 bunny hop. Google and your bike peers will lead the way…
How to do a manual
In one sense, a manual is just a wheelie. But even though a manual looks very similar to a wheelie, it is in fact a difficult trick that takes skill, strength and a host of BMX skills. Holding the manual is the single most important part of the trick, since it allows you to defy gravity with very subtle movement.
Start faster than moderate speed, finding a balance on the bike.
Lean back and lift the front tire.
If the bike starts to tilt one way or the other, bend or straighten your knees to maintain balance.
To improving your holding skills on the BMX manual follow these steps:
Pop the manual with solid speed so you have enough forward motion to keep it going. Lean your hips back on the bike so your butt almost touches the back wheel. Keep your arms straight out with only a small bend in your elbows.
Look ahead as you’re holding the manual so you maintain proper body position on the BMX bike. Your body will follow your gaze, so direct your eyes where you want your body and your bike to go.
Squeeze the brakes or increase the bend in your knees for a split second if you feel the front end of your bike start to rise up too far. Use little jerks on the pedals (as you keep your weight back) to extend the momentum if you feel the front end start to lower too early.
Use your arms to push forward on the handlebars or pull back as your holding skills improve. Make sure that the arm movements are slight since there is a risk of over-compensating with the use of your arms on the trick.
How to do a barhop
A barhop is when you leap over the handlebar to put your twinkletoes on the front pegs of your bike. You can also practice at home with a sofa. Or just get with the bike. A girl’s scarring on her knees can’t always be from carpet burns…
Start a little faster than moderate speed to maintain pace once you hop over the bars.
Make sure both of your feet are flat and pull them up as much as you can as you jump over the handlebars.
Use your hands to aid in balancing once you land on the front pegs.