To get you in the mood for BMX legend Senad Grosic’s tour of Saudi Arabia we've drawn up a list of tricks to try. Get out your pencil and nosedive into Red Bull’s BMX Trikipedia...
While the manual is a basic trick, it forms the base of much more complex stunts so it’s worth getting right early. Get up a fair amount of pace before going into the Manual and, when you're feeling balanced, lift up the front wheel of the bike and lean back. Be careful not to lean too far back or you will loop out of the trick. If you feel the front wheel is too high just bend your knees to bring it down. If the front wheel is too close to the ground then lean back a little further. If you have got some speed in the bike you can bend and straighten your legs until you feel comfortable with your Manual.
The quickest way to get some air under your bike is to try a Bunnyhop. Build up to the trick by reaching a steady speed and having your bike well balanced. When you’re ready to Hop, pull up the handlebars as high as you can and when you can’t go any higher push forward to bring up the back wheel. To master the trick you should be able to level the bike in mid-air so that, when you land, both wheels hit the ground at the same time. As you build up confidence with your Bunnyhop you can start jumping over any obstacles that block your path.
This is no student pub crawl but a beginner's trick to get you out of the saddle. To pull off a Barhop you must build up a good amount of speed (you’re going to need that momentum in a minute). When you’ve hit a good speed, launch yourself over the handlebars and land both your feet on your front wheel foot pegs, keeping hold of the handlebars until you feel the bike balanced beneath. Now you’re sat on your handlebars being carried along by the speed you built up before you jumped. This impressive looking trick is simple to master, just make sure you bring those knees up and don’t hit your feet on the handlebars.
This trick is your gateway to the world of 180 and Rollback stunts. The best way to learn the Fakie Rollback is to find a gentle slope in an open space. Use your feet to push yourself backwards and, when you have built up some momentum, put your feet on the pedals. Now you should be just about ready to whip back out so turn your handlebars one way and then the other so you now face the direction you are travelling in. The trick sounds simple, but without proper balance it can sit you down on the tarmac real quick!
Any trick that sees you riding vertically up a wall probably deserves to fall into the medium difficulty bracket. Locations such as the underside of bridges are ideal for Wall Taps as they often offer a short incline onto a vertical wall. If you find such a spot you can pull off a Wall Tap by approaching the slope at speed and then jumping to land both wheels on the wall. For the split second that your bike is vertical against the wall you should be in an upright position looking down at your front wheel. To end the trick, just pull gently back on your handlebars so that both your wheels land on the slope below. Complete the Wall Tap with a Fakie Rollback.
Good job you’ve nailed the Bunnyhop because you're going to use the skills of that basic trick for the medium level Barspin. Get some air and level out the wheels in the air, like you would with a Bunnyhop. Before you land this trick clamp the seat between your knees and throw the handlebars through 360. You can spin the bars with either hand but you stop the spin with the opposite hand. Then, with both hands on the handlebars, land the trick with both wheels touching the ground at the same time.
This trick is nowhere near as weak as it sounds! Approach a suitable ledge to grind at a steady pace and jump on so that only your front wheel and a back foot peg is on the surface. Once the grind begins keep your feet level and your front wheel riding level with the edge of the surface. When the time comes, lift your handle bars to jump off out of the grind.
Get up your speed to take a look at where you’ve just come from. To do a 180, you lift up the handlebars, take a look at your back wheel and twist. This action will cause the bike to revolve through 180 but if you strain your neck too much you may end up landing closer to a 360. When you turn to look at your back wheel it is important to lean back to complete the trick. After touching down, a simple Fakie will get you back on your way.
First off you're going to need to find a ledge you feel comfortable jumping off while twisting your bike through 360. Found one? Right, let’s get up some speed and go for it! The principle is much the same as the 180 with a look at the back wheel and a lean back. To get the extra degrees you are going to have to carve harder to spin the bike all the way around. Keeping the bike level in the air will ensure you land both wheels at the same time.
Okay, enough of the fun and games, time to leave you with something that will really test the tread on your tyres. Get up some serious pace and launch into a Fakie. Now you’re travelling backwards it’s time to get the air so lift up the handlebars and spin that bike as fast as you can. Spinning is more effective when the body is bent in a 90° angle over the handlebars. Key things to remember are to turn your hand and put the whole weight of your body into turning those bars. Once you've mastered the 540 Caballero you'll be ready to share your local park with the legendary Senad Grosic!
To see what Senad has to say ahead of his tour of Saudi Arabia, check out the BMX star's latest blog