Top 3 BMX/MTB Videogames

While Ride Direct believe the euphoric thrill of BMX and mountain biking will always be most rewarding in the real world, we have to admit there’s a fine selection of videogames out there based on the sport.

During the early 00s when extreme sports were enjoying their first major flirtation with the mainstream, a number of cash hungry game publishers quickly picked up on this. The resulting boom in extreme sports gaming yielded a number of great titles which still prove a riot to play today. Here’s our top three biking videogames.

Downhill Domination – PS2 (2003)

downhillThis is a total underrated gem that sadly slipped by into the dirt tracks of obscurity. Fortunately those that did play it are able to tell you how much of a riotous challenge it is. One of the few professionally developed mountain bike games out there, Downhill Domination is unadulterated fun with huge mountain courses to bomb down in a mad race to gain sponsorship. It can be picked up second hand for next to nothing so go see what you’re missing!

Mat Hoffman Pro BMX 2 – PS2, GameCube, Xbox (2002)

mat 2Based on the hugely popular Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game engine, this was an impressive sequel that sadly never saw much love. While the gameplay is much the same as the original, it introduced some awesome level design with plenty of ground to pull off street and vert tricks. Bikers like Rick Thorne, Mike Escamilla and Donny Robinson all make an appearance alongside a rad soundtrack with Fugazi, Gang of Four and Spoon to note. Definietely worth a spin.

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 – PS2, GameCube, Xbox (2001)

dave mirraWhile the first game was a bit of a sleeper hit, the second title was a vast improvement. With a more realistic spin on the sport than Mat Hoffman’s title, this was the real biker’s choice. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still fun and silly but it just felt more in touch with BMX culture. The park editor and multiplayer also provided plenty of value and the short soundtrack was more than made up for in the quality. Another one to check out for mere pennies.

Are we totally off the beaten track? Let us know.

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Five Timeless BMX Tricks

The number of BMX tricks out there is ridiculous but a select few have stood the test of time and are at a constant forefront of BMX ingenuity. Street developed trick sport has left an unprecedented mark on BMX culture and the simple satisfaction found when executing these tricks is undeniable. Here are our top five timeless BMX tricks.

  • Handrail Grinds

HandRailGrind tricks can become very technical but the satisfaction found the first time you land off that rail is unreal. You can be the most technically gifted rider out there but few can grind out a 20 odd staircase with graceful flair. Brian Kachinsky is one particular rider renowned for his huge handrails.

  • X-up

x upThe bowlegged x ups are one of the most skilful tricks to execute on a BMX.  A straight legged X-up which is clicked at around 270 degrees can look particularly alluring. The trick can be executed almost anywhere, even whilst performing a 360.

  • Manual

Brian Kachinksy – ActionThe manual can be used in a variety of ways this includes from using it to link together successive ramp and street moves to use in the midst of a rhythm section. The manual is often physically satisfying to the rider but not always the most visually pleasing trick to pull off. You can make the manual appealing by using a manual to do a gap to ledge link.

  • Toboggan

TobogganThe toboggan is a relatively simple trick, you have to grab your seat and then turn your bars 90 degrees. This trick is a very fun and simple trick to do and you can do them on a vert or dip the front end of your BMX on dirt. BMX riders like to add their own style and flair into them such as Mike Jeanette often does.

  • Turndown

Garrett Reynolds - ActionA turndown is something that riders really strive to perfect. A well clicked 180 degree turndown is a popular goal for many riders and you can even incorporate another trick with it to make it look even better such as Garrett Reynolds executes here.

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British Cycling Announce the 2015 BMX/Downhill Nationals

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Last year’s event.

While we’re thick in the middle of our Christmas sales we’ve still found time to check for upcoming BMX and biking news. For those of you who take your loving of cycling to the next level then listen up as British Cycling have announced their 2015 BMX and Downhill Mountain Biking National Series calendar dates.

Located throughout the UK, the national series is an exceptional event that showcases some of the best cycling talent in the world today. In a world so pre-occupied with consumerism and digital distractions, events like this are more important than ever.

The 2015 British BMX Series will take place in Manchester and share a race programme with the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup throughout rounds 1 and 2 in March.

Following on from this the event will head to Cyclopark in Kent, Cumbernauld in Scotland and Burgess Park in London. They have yet to confirm where rounds 9 and 10 will take part (maybe Derby eh?) but the overall British Championships will conclude in Platt Fields up in Rusholme, Manchester throughout August 2015. It’s an ace park and a pretty great place to pull the brakes on the whole event.

We expect a lot of excitement around this next year and hopefully it’ll inspire a few younger people to get on their bikes.

We’d also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We’ll be back with another blog before the years end but for now, keep riding!

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Mega Winter Sale at Ride Direct

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Click me to check out our choice of Christmas gifts!

In case you hadn’t noticed, Ride Direct are spinning up a mega winter sale. As Christmas approaches bikers are no doubt reassessing their gear for the year ahead and Ride Direct are there for to meet those needs. With our flagship store in Derby and huge online catalogue, we stock an extensive selection of bikes (mountain, road, urban, BMX, kids, trials), hardware for customisation, tyres, tubes, accessories, protection and clothing.

Our sale currently extends over the majority of our stock and has been arranged online to help you access what you need as quick as possible.

For fervent BMXers, a new bike is as much an investment as an urban bike may be to commuter. You can either make your own bike from our hardware selection or take advantage of our excellent selection of discounted BMX bikes. We’ve got a 2013 Premium Subway BMX in Matte Blue on offer for £198.99, a significant drop from its former £359.95 price tag making it a quality starter BMX at an affordable price. You can view our current roster of discounted BMX’s here.

Our Mountain Bike selection has also seen huge savings applied, for example this Moda Presto Allow XC 2013 Full Suspension Mountain Bike has a 55% price cut now sitting attractively at £849.99 with Free UK Delivery.  There are plentiful Mountain Bikes to explore from reputable manufacturers on sale here.

It’s not just bikes and hardware savings you can peddle away with but protective and elemental clothing too. Biking in the bitter season is a thrill in itself so what better time to slip on some new gloves and Jersey?

We’re a family run business and like to think we know a thing or two about extreme sports so please drop in store or have a digital rummage. If you’re looking for something in particular or are interested in constructing a new bike to suit your lifestyle please get in touch. We’ll do everything in our power to meet your needs!

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Inspirational people in BMX culture.

It’s been over a decade since the mainstream moved on from the extreme sports boom of the early 00’s. Since then, the extreme sports world (be it Skateboarding, Snowboarding, BMX et al) has proven its cultural worth and no longer resides in ignorance as ‘kids stuff’. In fact, such relegation is offensive.

Ride Direct are forever debating the riders themselves, who’s doing what, who’s competing? The thing is we’re not always discussing them for their biking but for what they bring to the sport as people. Here are three inspirational people in the BMX world worthy of an accolade or two.

  • Steve Cisar

steve cisarThe story of Steve Cisar is equally humbling and frustrating. When Steve was in his early 20’s he was something of a BMX hero and in 2008, aged 23, he came 2nd in the World Championships becoming a dead cert for the Olympics. Things went awry, a crash meant he couldn’t compete and his pot habit soon spiralled into pill and heroin abuse. He ditched the bike for a needle and failed rehab multiple times leading to desertion by his family and friends. It was only after a second arrest for drug related crimes that a restricted rehab program helped him find his way. The desertion got to him and now Steve is well on his way back towards BMX fame. We wish him all the best.

  • Mat Hoffman

hoffmanYes, yes, we know he’s popular became of the videogame (though come on, that was 13 years ago) but Mat is so much more than that. Nicknamed ‘The Condor’, he was the youngest ever rider to join the BMX Freestyle circuit back in 1987 aged 15. He’s built the sport’s popularity, redefined vert riding and competed in countless worldwide competitions. In 2002 Mat successfully pulled off a 900 degree spin with no hands at the X-Games, winning a silver medal but that’s just a surface achievement. When it comes to street riding, he set the bar as the first BMXer to grind a handrail. He’s a BMX wizard, even investing in new technology to aid fork and frame manufacture so you’re BMX doesn’t crumble. In 2012 entered the National BMX Hall of Fame, oh we could go on and on and on…

  • Windy Osborne

windyNot a rider but just as important, Windy’s photography over the last 40 years is the stuff of legend. Rider’s would tear open BMX Action, Freestylin’ and GO magazine in anticipation of her work. She captured a generation through her lens that hasn’t quite been articulated the same since; her camera seemed to feed off the sport. So many riders to this day pay ode to her work and the honour of having her snap their riding, if Windy took your shot, you were worthy. Having been entered into the BMX Hall of Fame in 2012, her work right from that first publication in 1974 is rightly immortalised.

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How To Fix A Punctured Tyre

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Ride Direct know the frustration a punctured tire can cause. However, don’t despair as we’re here to tell you how to repair your punctured tyre in some simple steps!

1. Locate The Puncture

Obviously, the first thing to do is to find the puncture on your tyre. If your tyre has a huge blow out or hole, then the whole tyre will need to be replaced. However, something that is small like a nail would be easy to fix.

2. Turn The Bike Over

To fix the problem, simply put your bike on it’s handles, making sure you don’t damage the brake levers or the gears. Something to keep the bike steady such as a block wood would be advised too.

3. Spin The Wheel

No, not like a game show! We mean to spin the tyre around to find the problem whether it is a wire, pin, nail etc…

4. Let The Air Out

The remaining air in the tyre should be released however, you may want to decide on a tyre valve tool to do this. Alternatives such as a matchstick or ink pen could also be used for depressing the tyre.

5. Lift The Tube Out Of The Tyre

To do this, you’ll need to pry the tyre. Between the rim and the tyre, push down on the lever to lift the tyre and then put in another lever. Run it around the rim to take the tyre off. A screwdriver is also a good alternative if you don’t have a tyre lever. When taking the tyre off, take extra care so you don’t rip off the valve stem or if the puncture is on the back wheel, be careful of the chain.

6. Pump Some Air In

You’ll need a sufficient amount of air to find the leak, the tube will double or triple from it’s original diameter therefore the the bigger the hole will get and that will make it easier to find.

7. Look Around For The Hole

Feel around and listen for the air, you could also place the tube into a bucket of water to see bubbles escaping.

8. Mark The Location

To make sure you don’t lose the puncture, mark it on with a pen so you know where to find it.

9. Buff The Area

In your patch kit, it will most likely come with sandpaper or a metal rasp that you can do that with.

10. Glue

Spread a thin layer of  glue around the puncture, wait for it to dry until the liquid gloss has disappeared then let as much air our of the tyre as possible.

11. Peel The Plastic Backing 

Don’t touch the sticky adhesive surface, just place the sticky side onto the tube and press it into place. Keep one hand free so you can hold the back of the tube. Press hard enough and get the patch to seal.

12. Put The Tube Back On The Tyre

Slide the tube back on and be sure that the valve stem has aligned properly with the hole.

13. Push The Tyre Back On

Avoid using levers and screwdrivers, you need to place the bead of the tyre back on over the rim. It’s important to be very careful as you could end up puncturing the tyre again.

14. Put The Wheel Back On 

Make sure you reconnect everything you disconnected such as the brakes. If the puncture was the back wheel, reattach the chain. Make sure the rim is centred in between the brakes then tighten down the nuts or release the lever.

15. Re inflate

Finally, re-inflate the tyre to the set amount of pressure. Don’t over do it and then you’re ready to go once again!

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Unconventional Bike Designs

Ride Direct know everybody loves a little customisation when it comes to things they own. You wear clothes that suit your style, your home is decorated to match your personality and sometimes, people modify their bikes to suit them a little better. Here are some of the craziest bikes we could find!

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This skeleton bike just looks awesome! Especially with the “heart” in the middle, you’d look like Ghost Rider on this beastly machine.

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A rather odd fusion of new and old. We’re sure you’ll turn some heads peddling this peculiar contraption around.

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This just seems like a mess without obvious cause but it looks like multiple people would be required to work it. Seems like fun!

crazy-tall-bicycle

Imagine falling off of this! We imagine a ladder and a little assistance would be needed for you to actually get on the bike. Seems like more effort than it’s worth however we’d have a go!

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A normal bike with car tyres! These can actually be rather speedy and pleasurable to ride.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The back of this Bicycle doesn’t look any different to a regular one but the extended front wheel is what makes this unique. How it steers is the big question.

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Tug of war! One person might pedal backwards? Who knows how this bike works with people facing the other way but it does look cool.

Sad-tricycle

A rather painful experience no doubt.

Would you ride any of these bikes? Which one of them do you think is the best? And what is the craziest bike you have ever cycled on? Let us know in the comments!

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Benefits Of Mountain Biking

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Here at Ride Direct, Derby we believe mountain biking to be one of the most rewarding means of modern exercise on offer. Here’s five reasons why you should hop on a bike today and tear up some trails.

1. Cost

The price for a car compared to a bike is huge! A car will usually cost £1000’s and you’ll need insurance, petrol and maintenance every so often. Annually, the average price to maintain a car is over £6000. After you have bought a bike and the other gear you need (Helmets, gloves etc…) apart from light maintenance you’ll be away for years of pleasure and convenience. That’s a lot of your hard earned money saved from the off!

2. Environment

Riding a bike will obviously not produce the same emissions you’d get from a car, it’s a lot more environmentally friendly. This means you’ll know you’re doing the world some good by getting on your saddle and cycling everywhere!

3. Health

Mountain biking in-particular is very good for your health! It helps tone your quad, calf and gut muscles and also strengthen your tendons. It’s great for burning fat too, studies show that 20 minutes a day on a mountain bike will optimise your chances of weight loss. Not to mention, it’s great cardiovascular exercise as well to keep your heart and lungs good and healthy!

4. Holidays

Riding with your friends or family through a forest is a great way to spend your holiday! You’re out in nature and experiencing the air, the smell, the freshness and that’s not something you can do by looking out the window of a car as you drive past. Not only that but you’re more likely to cover more ground and see more than you usually would by just walking about.

5. It’s fun!

It’s an activity you can do with other people and it can take you all to new places. It’s also a good way to meet new people and join in with other groups.

Do you think a mountain bike would benefit your life? Get in touch with Ride Direct and we can sort you out with anything you need!

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British BMX Championships: Part 2 – Team Ride Direct

British Championship Action            British BMX Championships

 Cyclopark in Kent was the venue for this year’s British BMX championships and the Ride Direct Team was ready for another weekends racing.

Saturday racing saw the focus on Carl Morgan representing the team in the Cruisers category.

Carl showed consistency in his moto’s and was able to secure his place in the semi final. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and a technical issue with the finish line equipment meant a long wait for the semi-finals to commence. Carl had a great start within a stacked semi but unfortunately had to take a painful 5th place, but still a great achievement many would be proud of.

Sunday was a new day and the sun was shining for the 20 inch guys and titles were there to be had.

Jack Gretton – Male 9

Jack’s first moto wasn’t the easiest and a slipped pedal in the first corner meant things could only get better. Jack managed to battle back to fifth position then take a second and a win in his following moto’s.  Jacks results secured him a place in the quarter finals where he finished fourth securing a semi-final position.

Jack had an amazing start in his semi-final and managed to hold on until a photo finish result confirmed that he took a disappointing 5th place, still an amazing result in the biggest group with 57 entries.

Matthew Ryan – Male 9

Matthew started the day as he meant to go on! Three straight moto wins saw Matthew looking very comfortable on the track. Matthew’s smooth riding saw him sail through the quarters and the semi-finals with ease.

The final showed that he didn’t get the best of starts with some fast moves from his main competitors, however Matthew kept his nerve and a fantastic last corner move took him from third into first place in one swoop and he left the field taking an amazing win and was crowned British Champion as he rightly deserved.

 Winner!

Jayden Cooper-Nelson – Male 11

Jayden sailed through the moto’s with ease and was looking very strong and comfortable securing himself a spot in the quarter finals for a strong age category.

Easing through his quarter and semi-finals Jayden’s positive manner lead him to final with focus on the title. A text book start from Jayden saw him power his way down the first straight and sat very comfortable in second position and maintained the position through to the finish line. An excellent and well deserved result for Jayden in a very competitive age group.

Tyrell Cooper-Nelson – Male 13

Tyrell was once again on top form and looking a strong contender for the title. Cruising through the moto’s Tyrell held his nerve in the quarter and semi-finals and saw a guaranteed place in the final.

The final line up saw full concentration on the face of the already crowned 2014 British National champion. As the gate dropped Tyrell soared down the first straight in first position and looked smooth until a minor error lead to loss of momentum on the third straight allowing second place to move closer. Tyrell battled all the way line and a photo finish confirmed a second place for Tyrell and another amazing result which anybody would be proud of.

Guy Sharp – Male 14

As relaxed as ever, Guy was focused on getting through his moto’s to the semi-finals and true to his word he had some excellent results securing his place in the semi-finals.

In such a challenging and demanding age group Guy put 100% effort into his semi-final and managed to get himself a fantastic 6th place, not enough for a place in the final, but a great result nonetheless.

Champion! Well Done Guys!

Overall the team produced an excellent set of results….

One champion…….

Two second places…..

Three semi-finalists….

An EXCELLENT set of results that any Team Manager and their parents/supporters would be proud of.

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British BMX Championship: Part 1

The British BMX Championships rolled into Cyclopark in Kent and the fans were treated to some spectacular racing throughout the weekend. The team at Cyclopark had prepared the track to an awesome standard and despite the wind and a little rain the technically challenging raceway was running hard and fast.

The weekend’s top prize went to Fourteen-year-old Daniel Blanche of the Royston Rockets as he joined a field of almost 1,000 riders for the British BMX Championships at the A2 Cyclopark in Kent over the August Bank Holiday weekend. He held his nerve to ride well all day long, with top four finishes in his qualifying races to get through the qualifying and semi-final rounds and advance to the weekend’s big final. Blanche finished on top of the podium after the main final to collect a trophy for his efforts.
Burnham BMX Club’s Curtis Manaton was on top form in the Elite Men’s class as he put in an awesome performance to get the victory. He led from the gate and finished it off with a win. In the second turn a group of riders bunched together and Paddy Sharrock’s front tyre blew out as he flew under the field. As Sharrock fell there was a domino effect which saw Batey and Manchester’s Callum Strickland go flying off and ending up taking one of the photographer with him!

 

2013 Champ Dan McBride came out of the pack to put himself into third place. Out in front, Manaton was away and was ecstatic as he crossed the line in pole position , and gave this interview: “The British champs was a great weekend for me. I was enjoying riding my bike and having fun off the track with my Ultimate BMX Team mates. I had some good laps all day and managed to hold it together in the final to take the win.”

Team Ride Direct also had a fantastic weekend, but that’s for part 2…..

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