Going Going Bike

Nov 252011
BMX on the road

Today we have a guest blog from self-confessed BMX fan Laura Ginn. Laura writes here on why the re-emergence in the appeal of the BMX bike could be just the ticket to tackle childhood obesity. Laura is the editor of Extreme Sports X, an online site that features articles and news stories about bikes and extreme sports.

When old people get nostalgic and start going on about the “good old days”, you have to wonder exactly what the nurses have been slipping in their milky tea. Honestly, you miss having a bath once a week in a big tin trough in front of the fire?

Despite the recession panic, terrorism panic, global warming panic and the overriding sense of craziness in the world, now is still very definitely the best time there ever was. Even in my own lifetime, as someone in my mid twenties, I can see that everything used to comparatively, be quite awful.

Strangely though, even though I know for sure that I’d rather be listening to my iPod than rewinding a cassette tape, there are some things about the eighties that I can not only see the nostalgic appeal of, but I am actually glad to see making a comeback.

Bike riding nostalgia

One of these is BMX. When I was a kid (by which I mean, before I could drive or drink or do all of the other very rock ‘n’ roll things I obviously do now, rather than “before the arthritis and cataracts set in”), BMX was a pretty integral part of life.

There was even a movie about it, which had a young Nicole Kidman in it (long before she married the pocket sized nutjob Tom Cruise), called BMX Bandits, which was quite probably terrible but which back in the day seemed really good.

A more innocent time

The thing about it was, that BMX was fun, dangerous enough to actually be exciting but not to the point where politicians tried to ban it (or make us do it wearing safety goggles and life jackets like they now do with such extreme sports as “conkers” and probably “marbles”), and it gave you something challenging to try and get good at that you could practice whenever you wanted and show off and compete with your friends to be the best at.

Childhood obesity

And this is exactly what there needs to be. People talk about the reasons for the soaring levels in childhood obesity relating to the fact that kids have video games and too many TV channels.

This defies all logic, because in my day (I really do feel ancient writing this, by the way) we had Game Boys and consoles and cable TV, but there wasn’t even one token fat kid in my class (unless it was me and I just didn’t notice). And this is because we had fun active stuff to do as well as our consoles and TVs, like BMX, so if it was raining we played with Mario and if it wasn’t we went out and rode the bikes.

The perfect candidate

Encouraging kids to go for a nice wholesome walk is not going to cut it, because honestly, if you’d rather go for a walk than play Rage there is something far more insidious and unhealthy wrong with you than obesity, whatever your age.

Sports and activities that are actually, genuinely as fun as the indoor options rather than a chore are what are needed, and BMX is a perfect candidate.

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See also

Early Christmas cheer with Santa Chopper ride

Boris promises HGV review in London

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