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

New handlebars

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One of the biggest reasons for not riding my BMX bike is because of the low/small handlebars that came with the bike. I have not been able to upgrade until now for different reasons, but now i had a chance to do so, and i took it. Such a difference and it feels really great. So far i have only mounted the new handlebar and gave it a quick test yesterday. Planning to take a ride with my BMX today and see how it all feels.

Hopefully i will have an even better feeling after a proper test than i had with the quick test yesterday. But i do know that things can only get better. And it feels nice to finally have my BMX in a state that works for me. Need that bike for my riding and for my progression as a rider both regarding BMX and Mountain Biking. I might be wrong but i have always believed that my BMX is the key to get my bunny hop skills back, and to have other skills such as manuals, grinds, jumps improved and to learn new things.

This summer should give me the answer if i was correct or not.

Bought some new grips too. Didn’t know much about them before they arrived. They looked interesting and had the right color. I like them a lot now that they have been put on my new handlebar. Smooth but grippy at the same time. Might be the best grips i have bought so far. Time will tell though.


Thoughts about the different sports

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Before i get in to the different sports and styles i am into, i want to say that i have always been, and problably always will be a person that enjoy technical riding more than those that are about miles and times. I like having more relaxed rides with focus on skills and different techniques. To have the possibility to focus on interesting technical challenges and to try to improve them. I rarely enjoy those rides where you have to do a specific trail, a specific amount of miles, in a specific amount of time. Where all focus seems to be on stamina and not much else. I do not see the pleasure in that.

Secondly, my summer will be a lot different this year than it has been in many years. This summer i will have a lot more time being out riding. A lot more time to get into decent shape and to improve my skills in those sports i enjoy doing. I will have to spend a lot of time trying to deal with issues such as strength training, balance and other things. Stuff i need both for every day life and for my riding. Those parts are also vital for me to have a chance to make improvements in my riding.

Anyway.

Mountain Biking – This is my main sport, currently anyway. I do see myself as a BMX rider with an interest in Mountain Biking. But i will focus a lot more on Mountain Biking at the moment because there are more options available. I will do a lot of trail riding, spending time on different trails around here. That one will be a mix between regular trail riding and enduro inspired riding. Even though that part will require a bit more of that i do not enjoy, i will focus on finding more technical trails and i do have to work on my stamina. No XC riding though, no lycra, no clipless pedals and no strava or similar apps. Just fun.

I will do as much trials, street and dirt jump sessions as i can. Thats the most fun parts about riding Mountain Bikes. I will also do more Freeride and Downhill inspired riding, as much as i can using my hardtails and my dirt jump bike. No fullsuspension available at the moment and not in a near future.

Street/Freestyle BMX – I got into BMX in the beginning of 2000 and did it for a few years. Then i had a bunch of years not riding BMX at all. And in june 2017 i bought a cheaper BMX bike because i felt a need to get back into it. Due to injurys and other stuff i have not been riding much at all which annoys me a bit. And there have been some issues with the bike that have made riding it very difficult. I am hoping to get in a lot of riding this summer.

I really enjoy watching BMX videos and there are a lot of stuff that i want to be able to do again. I like street riding with jumps, grinds and stuff like that and i like flatland riding where you do different tricks on a flat surface. BMX also offers a really nice and fun way to work on skills such as bunny hops, manuals and more, which i have use for when riding my Mountain Bikes.

Mountainboard – I bought my Mountainboard in april 2015. The main reason was that i needed an action sport that did not involve my arms, neck and shoulders as much as biking does. At that point i did not think i would be able to ride bikes properly because of my neck injury. Sadly because of lack of motivation, life and a lack of decent riding spots within walking distance i have not been riding much at all with this either.

Mountain Biking and BMX will come first but i am hoping to get some regular sessions on my mountainboard. As soon as i find decent spots where i can start practice i will try to ride as often as possible. I am hoping at least once a week.

Mountainboards are completely different which also makes it interesting for me. It still involves riding offroad and skills such as jumping and more. I want to see how far i can take it, see what kind of skills i can get. It also offers a different way to train balance and other things.

Mixing things – I have never been good focusing on just one thing. I need to have different things to choose from. I need to be able to see from day to day what i want to do. And to have different types of challenges. I have no ambitions to become a pro or to start competing. It is just about having fun and being active. To have something outdoors that involves improving things like technique, balance, mobililty, flexibilty and more. And all while having fun.


Upgrading my BMX

I am a tall person and i have had some issues riding my BMX bike. It has a very low handlebar and it makes things a lot more difficult. I have had some thoughts about buying a new handlebar but they have been to expensive for me and it has not been a high priority. Recently Skatepro started selling pretty cheap handlebars that is larger. I made the decision last week to purchase one even though it has a negative impact on my economy.

The new handlebar will arrive sometime this week. Its about 10 cm higher and a bit wider, which hopefully will make riding the bike a bit easier. I want to ride more often on my BMX bike, partly because i am really into it but also because its different from all the Mountain Biking i am doing. And i think it can benefit me a lot riding more street stuff with my BMX, stuff that i can use in my Mountain Biking.

I will make a post when i have mounted the new handlebar.


Strenght and mobility

I really need to improve my strength around the core, thats the most important part for me at the moment. I also need to improve a lot around my upper body, such as shoulders, chest and arms. My legs is doing most of the work when i am riding my bikes. They get tired a lot and i am also having problems with things that require more strength from the core and my arms.

I am not sure if its the right word, but i call it mobility. The ability to move in a good way. I am very stiff in everything i do. Years of inactivity and sitting still all day have made me really stiff and lack all kind of flexibility and explosivity. Things that require a lot of movement and quick reactions are at the moment pretty much impossible for me. I notice that when i try to jump with the bike or when i try to move with the trail. If there is a lot of twists and turns, then i loose a bit of control of my bike.

I am currently trying to find ways to work on my strength and i will also look at things that might help me with mobility. For the latter, i am considering things like that one where you jump up on to something pretty high and then down again. Will see if i can find other things.

I have tried to focus on just riding my bikes. But with the current state of my body i am probably forced to find ways to train of my bikes. Hopefully i can find things that does not require a gym, or having equipment of any kind at home.

I will update when i have a plan.


Dirt Jump Track – Kråkberget

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There is a dirt jump track inside Kråkberget, a military training ground and a place where the local moto enduro club have their practice. This dirt jump track has been there for years. And on and off, there seems to be people riding and working on it. And sometimes nothing happens for a long time. Someone started working on jumps there last summer.

There are some interesting stuff there, but the place needs a lot of work. I have had some thoughts about fixing things. Will see what happens this summer when i have a bit more time. Nice place anyway, and pretty close to where i live. Nice to have somewhere to go with my dirt jump bike when i just want to ride and improve my skills.

One thing that would have been cool would be to build a pump track thing there too. If thats possible. But thats a lot of work for one person.


A short trials session

First day since i started riding again a few weeks ago where it wasn’t fun being out. I guess the biggest reason for that is the day i had yesterday. Was really active with a lot of stuff the whole day and i guess i was still tired today. And with that i had no motivation.

Had a short test run though. Put some “new” pedals on the bike and went out to see how it felt. Did some track stand practice and some practice getting up on things and dropping of.The pedals are nice. I already knew that. They were on my trail bike before. New pedals on its way for my trail bike so i moved the old ones to my dirt bike. To get better grip than my earlier did.

My body did feel up to the ride so i cut it short and decided to have a rest day. Hoping to have a good day on my dirt bike tomorrow. Some stuff i want to test.


Climbing

I haven’t been much of a climber when it comes to mountain biking. Have never really enjoyed it. I prefer when its either flat or downhill. But i have tried to get better at it and have a more positive attitude towards climbs. Especially difficult and technical ones. Still dont like those long climbs.

I have improved some just in the last two weeks and do enjoy those shorter but more challenging and difficult climbs. I am a bit impressed by the change and the small improvement that has happened. I found a crazy steep climb today which i think is way to difficult for me but i have to try it. So later this week i will go back and make an attempt to climb. Hopefully i will get a few meters up at least.


Trail Trials

Because of some intense riding last week my knee have been giving me some minor problems. I guess i got to much to fast and my body was not prepared for the change.

After two days resting i needed to get out on a ride. Test my knee and explore a bit. Focused on a more relaxed ride with some challenges here and there that put pressure on my knee and things are not as good as i hoped. The main goal of this ride was to get out riding. During the ride i decided to explore a bit and see if i could find some possible trail like features that could be used for practicing. Found two kinds of features. First some benches that i should be able to deal with soon. Those stairs i found is a bit above my current skill level. At least the bigger one.

I did not find as many interesting things as i hoped but still inspiring and fun to imagine what could be done, at some point later on. I will try to have more rides like this to find challenging features. To have more of that trials practice but with a focus on trail riding.


Practice Bunny Hops

I have been thinking about building one of those bunny hop contraptions for a while now but never got around to it. Discovered that i had material for one when i was looking for material to my jumps. So now i have finally build one and hopefully i can start using it soon.

I have some upper body issues to deal with before i can start practicing.


Built some jumps

I started to build a slightly larger jump made out of a pallet and some other wood parts. Its not that high and not very portable but i think i can find a good spot where i can use it, and move it around in a smaller area. And hopefu
I started to build a slightly larger jump made out of a pallet and some other wood parts. Its not that high and not very portable but i think i can find a good spot where i can use it, and move it around in a smaller area. And hopefully hide it there in between uses so that i always have it when i need it.

During the build i got some material for a smaller jump thats more portable. A bit of a kicker that i think can be used for different things. Needs some more fixing but its almost complete.

I have a few other build ideas but more about them later.