Author: <span class="vcard">Mikael Jacobsson</span>

More longboarding

I had a proper test session during tuesday and it all felt really good. Its suprising how easy it is to get basic balance on a longboard. It is really stable. I have barely been out on my longboard for several years and still it took just a few minutes to get into it again. I was the same way when i bought my first longboard. I had not been on a board properly for many years and a quick test a few years before on a skateboard was way to wobbly and weird. But the first ride on that longboard was so easy. Just to get the basic balance and technique down.

I had better balance in general when i bought my first longboard. That was something that i noticed this week. That even though it was a lot easier than i expected it was not as easy as when i tried longboarding for the first time. I have had issues with my balance for a while now and it will take a while to get that part working better.

Anyway, it was fun being out on my longboard and i think i will focus a lot more on my boards. One reason would be that i have a recent injury in my right arm which makes riding my bikes really difficult. But i also want to focus more on my boards because its fun and it so completely different in many was from riding bikes. Its more about using legs than using the entire body if you compare it to how things are on a bike. Less things to consider at least, it should give me an opportunity to have less to worry about.

All my injurys are in the upper body and i have not yet found a good way for me to move forward, dealing with these injuries while at the same time improving my bike skills. My injuries makes me feel limited in so many ways. With my longboard and my mountainboard thats not really an issue. It is difficult when i have to carry the board or drag it after me because the current area is not rideable. That has an negative effect on my injuries. But not as much as with the bike riding. So maybe i can have fun riding while doing more of that boring but necessary training for my upperbody.

And, i am considering using my boards for commuting. Would be fun to take my board to work and ride. Need to get some basic skills down first though and the plan is to commute with my longboard but it would be fun to do it with my mountainboard as well. We’ll have to see how things turn out.


Longboarding

I got into longboarding during the spring of 2013. The purpose was to have an action sport that did not put to much pressure on my neck injury which i had been living with since 2006. I could not ride properly with my bike because of it. I have noticed the past year though that my neck injury isn’t a problem when riding my bikes. It was the current job i had that messed things up and thats not an issue anymore.

Anyway, I had a pretty good summer during 2013 where i rode my longboard on a regular basis. Things were a bit easier that summer. Then life came back again and i have barely been out longboarding since that summer. A few sessions here and there.

I had issues too with finding safe spots where a beginner can ride and learn the basics. A spot that offers a pretty wide place with a bit of a slope. Learning to carve and stop. I could not find those spots. Longboard requires a surface such as tarmac or concrete and the only places where i can find these that are wide enough are roads. And they are pretty busy around here. Thats still an issue but i think there might be one that could work. An old road that recently got cut of by a company and their quarry. I know other longboarders used to practice there before the road got cut off. But it was a busy road as well. Not it can’t be used by cars at all and should be good. Will check the place out during this week.

I got into mountainboarding in 2015 for the same reasons as longboarding. My neck injury. But my thought were that mountainboarding would open up more spots to ride. With the same things in mind. Being safe is the most important part. And it needs to be an open and wide space with a decent slope, not to big though. A place where a beginner like me can practice stopping the board, doing carves and other things. I thought having access to more places, not having to think just about tarmac and concrete would help. But its been even more difficult to find a spot for mountainboarding. I think one reason for it being so difficult is because you are strapped in on the board. Its not as easy to bail as when your riding a longboard. That probably makes me ignore places that might work. Still haven’t found a place for mountainboarding.

I want to have a good summer with my mountainboard, but when there are days when i cant ride my mountainboard and dont want to ride any of my bikes, it would be good to have longboarding as an option. I get more board practice and i also get abilities improved that is useful for riding bikes too.

I’ll have to take it one step at a time and see what possibilities there are…


Small skills session

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During my friday ride i hade two short sessions where i practiced wheelies and endos. Wasn’t motivated that day and had a pretty short ride and those two skills sessions happened on the way home. Stopped at two places. The first place i did a few attempts on wheelies and it went better than it usually do, but i have a pretty long way ahead of me before i get them to work. I stopped at another spot and did some more wheelies and also tried a few endos.

The endos felt ok, did not get that high though. Did more attempts with the wheelie and i have some issues to work out. I need to find a gear setting that works for me. I need to stop using my arms to pull up. And i need to get better in general when it comes to balance.

My biggest issue though is that i don’t have enough of those skills sessions. I need to do them more often. And i need to do it a lot more when i have a session. Not just do some half assed attempts for a few minutes. I need proper sessions where i try things for a while. At least an hour maybe for each session, and have a few of those each week. Would be nice to get at least two of those sessions each week. Regardless if its skills on my bikes or on my boards.


Bike Maintenance

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have spent some time with my newest bike, doing some maintenance on my wheel hubs. It has been a few years since i did something like that on any bike, and the first time on this bike. I have only had it for barely a year and i just wanted to check things and regrease it.

I like doing maintenance and to tinker with my bikes. But there are days when it annoys me a lot, but those days doesn’t come that often. This time it was the lack of tools that made things annoying. Different sizes and models on things make it a bit more difficult when buying tools. And i had to spend two hours yesterday just to find the tool i needed, to get it quickly. I prefer doing my shopping online but the delivery can take a few days.

Anyway, a good maintenance session follows these things for me:

1. The most important one, being in the right state of mind.
2. Having the proper tools.
3. Being impatient or rushing things.

For me a good maintenance session can be relaxing. Almost like meditation. Just let it take the time needed. No rush. One thing at a time. Be focused and structure things so that you wont have problems putting things back together. Document with the phones camera if necessary.

I disassembled both front and back hubs, checked them for damage (had none), and then regreased it and put it back together. All feels good, but i have not been out for a test ride yet though. Shouldn’t be any problems, but who knows for sure.

Thinking about doing some proper check up on my Scott Voltage soon. Dont have all the tools yet though. Different tools needed for that one.


Spot hunting and skills practice

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saturday session. Was out riding for about four hours, but most of that time was spent hunting for decent riding spots. It is annoying how difficult it is around these parts to find good practice spots, especially for my mountainboard. I want a good spot that offers a pretty large area, a bit of a slope, and flat surface. Don’t really matter if its dirt, gravel or grass. Just that i can ride without avoiding holes, rocks and other stuff, and where i can do big carving and practice stopping with the mountainboard.

I did look for spots for mountain biking as well. More technical stuff. Stuff like trials, jumping and other similar stuff. There are some trails that are ok around here, but it is not easy to find an area which is suitable for practicing the more technical stuff in a safer way. To have a session just practicing stuff like track stands, wheelies, manuals, bunny hops, jumping and more. To have a place where one goes to practice and not to ride trails. Found one place that works for some of it, but i did not find a decent spot for more trials like riding.

Maybe i will find some decent place soon.

Got some practice at least. Did some jumping with the mini jump i built a while ago. Did a small session with it and it felt pretty ok. A bit small though and i am considering to start using the larger one i built. Its not much larger so it should be a good step up for me. And i did a trials test on a rock which was a bit to weird for me and i could not fix that one properly. Don’t have the balance yet to do stuff like that. Difficult part was the gap between the road and the rock. But i want more practice like that and i will continue to look for good spots.


Friday session

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I finally got out on a pretty decent ride with my montainboard. Was nice to see how it felt riding it with balance and control. The area where i did my riding is very limited and not the best place to practice but it was good enough for this session. Its a place where the farmer has his cows during summer and its very uneven, and has a lot of stones and weird holes everywhere. Really dangerous to ride outside the trail that i was on. No decent room for carving and learning how to stop.

The good things about this session was that i got to stand on the board, ride for a while, do some minor carving and test some jumping. Looks good for the future. All i need now is a better spot to practice on. I really need to practice the stopping part. Feel so limited when i don’t have that part down.


Mountainboarding

I bought my mountainboard during the spring of 2015 with the purpose of having an option to riding bikes. A lot of it came due to a neck injury i have had since around 2006 and which have affected my life a lot, making things like biking difficult. I have discovered though that biking does not affect my neck injury in a bad way, that was the type of work i did before that messed things up. I have a job now that does not affect my neck injury at all.

Anyway, since the purchase of my mountainboard i have been trying to find spots where i can practice. Getting the basics down. But so far i have not been able to find a nice open area with lots of room and smooth surface where i can learn how to stop and other things. Not having a drivers license and a car makes things a lot more difficult. There are some trails nearby which could work for riding when i get better at it. But i have not found a place thats close enough so i can walk or mount the board to a bike.

It would be nice and probably crucial to have a spot like that. A nice mellow hill or some other grass och dirt area where the speeds aren’t too crazy. One where i can learn carving, different methods of stopping, and just get more familiar with the board.

There is no need for the board for the reasons that existed when i bought it. But i like the idea of mountainboarding and its also fun to have something that is an action sport but not a bike. I have my mountain bike, my bmx and my dirt jump bike but those are similar in so many ways. The mountainboard offers fun riding while being different in many ways. And I think its a good way to practice balance, movement, flexibility and more. And a different way to deal with some issues that have come since my injuries.

I am going to make another attempt this summer to get things going. First finding some spot which i can use. Who knows, maybe i will have more luck this time?


Out riding again

First the spring kind of came to where i live with pretty warm days. Then it all changed and the temperature dropped to really low numbers. This messed me up a bit. I am really bad at handling the cold, or my body is. Always get to a state where i feel sick. That happened last week and my last ride that week was my BMX test. Which was pretty short and slow.

Three days without any riding at all just to get some rest. The cold temperatures is still here but i got a pretty decent ride yesterday. The hail that came during my ride was not pleasant but the rest of the ride felt pretty good. I am planning to get out riding today as well. Not sure if it will be on one of my bikes or if i am going to take the mountainboard. Will choose when i get home.


First test

So i got out on a small test run last friday on my BMX to see how it felt riding with the new handlebar. Was not the best day for testing. The weather changed and got really cold which made me feel sick. So i did not have much energy that day. But i got to ride a bit anyway and it felt like the handlebar was really good. Just the right size for the bike and my body.

I am hoping to do a more proper test soon.


BMX Riding Skills – The Guide to Flatland Tricks

I bought this book a while back to have something to aid me learning and re-learning tricks. The book is focused on Flatland BMX but a lot of it works for street/freestyle BMX as well as for my Trials/Dirt and MTB bikes. Due to the issues with my BMX bike and the low handlebar, thois book has been collecting dust in the bookshelf.

Now when i have my BMX bike set up properly and all the other things that has happened i am going to take a serious look into this book.

I will focus on my BMX bike while going through this book but there are a lot of tricks for my dirt bike and my trail MTB so i will try to have regular sessions with those bikes with the book as a guide. Especially with my dirt bike. In the beginning i wont do as much with my regular trail MTB. Think I need some time with my BMX and my dirt bike before i start messing around to much on my trail bike. Getting comfortable with those bikes first.

Anyway.

The book is split into five main sections, where the last three are the interesting ones. The entire book is interesting but sections three, four and five are the ones with the tricks. The first two are introductions, bike facts, a bit history and such.

Section three is the beginner tricks section with tricks such as Endo, Back Hops, Bunnyhops, Barspins (ground), Front Hops, Wheelie, Peg Wheelie and more.

Section four is the intermediate tricks section with trick such as 180 Bunnyhop, Decade, Infinity Roll, Steamroller, Megaspin, and more.

Section five is the advanced tricks section with tricks such as Manual Roll, 360 Bunny Hop, Bunnyhop Barspin, Hang Five, and more.

I wont follow the book in order, at least not on some of the tricks. The most important tricks for me to get in order this summer is bunnyhops, manuals, back hops, and a few others and they are in different sections. Manuals have for some reason been placed in the advanced section.

Time will tell how many tricks i will be able to do in a decent way before the summer is over. I am aiming high and hopefully i will be good enough on several of the tricks later this summer. I have a lot of time to use for this and hopefully i can be focused enough on most of those sessions.