Words & photos: Kaspar Peek
With this article, I hope to inspire the older riders who have perhaps thought of getting back on their bike, but never actually around to doing so. I was one of them and picking up the BMX once again has been life changing.
About two years ago, many things fell into place at the same time – a new skatepark was erected right next to our home, Covid struck the world and I had recently become a father. Team sports and any other indoor sports were banned and having a small baby at home, planning strict times for activities became harder than ever. All of those, along with the proximity of a new skatepark, meant that BMX looked like the best option to stay active.
“It’s hard to stay active with toddlers in the household – it’s the time a lot of people drop all their hobbies”
Yet I was deeply uncertain whether or not I could enjoy taking risks and riding again. After all, I had been off the saddle for over a decade. So, I decided not to dive in headfirst, but dip my toes in first and feel the temperature. I went online and found a somewhat decent used BMX.
Autumn was approaching and I only managed to hit the skatepark 3 times. To my surprise, it still felt quite natural and not too scary. Doing tricks like a decade ago seemed impossible and even unnecessary. I was happy simply enjoying some airtime and blasting around. Next year, another summer passed where I would manage to squeeze in some short sessions when the baby was sleeping or some rare evening. It was good fun with slow and steady progress.
“When our little daughter turned 2, she now demanded to hit the skateparks too”
True fun started this summer when our little daughter turned 2. She had seen me riding and now demanded to hit the skateparks too, on her little 3-wheeled scooter. This completely changed everything. No longer was this just my hobby alone for which I had to find time. Now it became our time together, time to have fun and bond.
Soon enough our little Karolin demanded heading to the skatepark every day. Thus, we started riding nearly every evening and even up to 3 times a day on weekends. Even though it was hard to get serious riding done for me, my confidence and bike feel was constantly growing. The coolest thing however was to see her progress. In the spring she would be mostly pushing her scooter around but come autumn and she was riding down bigger and bigger ramps.
It’s hard to stay active with toddlers in the household – it’s the time a lot of people drop all their hobbies. All sports have gotten so serious – adults want to do their thing with others and kids go to their own practices. Bonding and building family relationships is taken out of it all. Not with going to skateparks together though. This newly found activity has changed our family dynamics completely. Mom has gotten her time to relax, come cheer us or work and we always have something to do that we both enjoy. It’s never too early to start building strong bonds with your kids and actively doing something together does it like nothing else. Who knows, this might be our thing for the next 10-20-30 years to come.
As the summer wore on, we started taking small trips to other skateparks around town. Karolin grew especially fond of riding pumptracks. With her scooter in my cargo bike, we went all around town. At one point, I started missing having my BMX with me. Soon enough I had a solution and built a custom side hack for the cargo bike to have my BMX with me too. Now we would be able to discover spots together – perfect!
It’s good to see that I’m not the only one either. From time to time, you see parents with their kids on skateboards or BMX bikes. However, the biggest kudos goes out to one grownup scooter rider I had a pleasure to meet. From his movements, it was clear that he had not been riding in his youth. This act of bravery to pick up freestyle scooter riding to ride with his son was just amazing.
If someone can pick up riding in his thirties, then you can too. Time to stop wondering ‘can I?’ Go get yourself a bike and hit the skateparks. Lifelong bond with your kids guaranteed.