Freestyle BMX

Freestyle BMX is a creative way of using bicycles originally designed for bicycle motocross racing.

In most countries, the popularity of Freestyle BMX has outgrown that of racing. Many of the top-selling magazine have no, or very limited, coverage of racing, while extensively covering every aspect of Freestyle with perhaps the notable exception of Flatland.

Freestyle has now been split further into a number of disciplines with bikes being specialized to cope with the demands of different ridingstyles. These disciplines are street, vert, park and dirt. Dirt involves some of the traditional aspects of BMX racing with jumps being built out of earth. the rider will then proceed to do tricks over these jumps rater than going for speed as they do in racing. Street is a trick orientaded discipline in which riders will use objects they find such as banks, steps and ledges to do tricks. Vert involves the riders gaining air out of a half-pipe and doing tricks before landing. Park puts together elements of all of these disciplines. The skatepark will be designed so that a rider can ride around in loops without having to stop. Typicaly there will be a number of different height banks, quaterpipes and ledges.

The early days of BMX - both racing and freestyle - was chronicled in the movie Rad. The movie, filmed in Calgary, Canada featured many talented and famous BMX riders of the 1980s as stunt riders, including Eddie Fiola, Travis Chipres, Mike Dominguez, Hollywood Mike Miranda, Martin Aparillo, and Fred Blood.

Other films featuring BMX include BMX Bandits, Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and more recently Joe Kid on a Stingray which documents the early days of the sport from an American perspective.

The musical group Wheatus penned BMX Bandits on their 2005 album Too Soon Monsoon.

BMX also has its own dedicated magazines to promote and popularize the sport. The more notable and historic American publications included Bicycle Motocross News, a tabloid newspaper published by Elaine Holt which debuted in June 1973, It was the first BMX publication, now defunct; Bicycle Motocross Action, later shortened to BMX Action now defunct*; Freestylin', BMX Action's twin publication focusing on freestyle riding, also defunct*; BMX Plus!, formerly BMX Action's biggest competitor (still publishing); Super BMX & Freestyle which evolved from Minicycle/BMX Action (not to be confused with the other BMX Action) which in turn derived from Minicycle Action. Super BMX & Freestyle ended publication in 1989.

Other notable magazines are Dig BMX and Ride BMX (both UK-based), Transworld BMX(now defunct) which was a descendant of BMX Action and is now part of Ride BMX. In 2006, BMX World began publication, an offshoot of BMXPress an Australian BMX magazine.

As a youth culture sport the BMX industry has seen itself both fully embraced by the mainstream media during the late 70's and early 80's as well as abandoned during the late 80's and early 90's. In part due to this, as well as the inspiration of an often very underground and local network of individuals, the BMX scene produced many 'zines'. Zines were a non-commercial, privately published magazine. These were often freely distributed and/or non-profit and formed a creative outlet and means of communication between BMX riders the world over. In the beginning as personal computers were few and far between, the majority of these zines were handwritten or typed black & white photocopied pages produced as a smaller (often DinA5 due to the practicality of being able to fold a standard DinA4 page in two) magazine. They had become a more in-depth version of the very earliest forms of single-page newsletter that had previously been used to communicate the very first BMX events, echoing the advancements in the BMX scene as a lifestyle. As the mainstream media, general public interest and with it large companies' interest and money left the BMX scene, zines helped maintain communication and inspiration between BMX riders.

Many BMX companies (particularly the rider owned ones) also produce videos to showcase the skills of their team riders and to promote their products.

* BMX Action and Freestylin would recombine in October of 1989 as Freestylin'/BMX Action. This publication would in turn become Go beginning with the November 1989 issue (although the cover still carried the Freestylin'/BMX Action Title on it until the February 1990. Go, the direct heir to BMX Action, ceased publication with the March, 1992 issue. However, a second (albeit merely spiritual) descendant of BMX Action magazine called Snap, started publishing in September 1994. Its tie to the venerable BMX Action was its revival of the Number One Rider Award (NORA) Cup in 1998. That was BMX Action's coveted annual award to the most popular racer via reader's poll. Beginning with the June 2001 issue Snap changed its name to TransWorld BMX to reflect the diminished emphasis on racing and traditional freestyle and the rise of streetstyle (generally speaking an urban version of trails riding) and dirt jumping. Racing was still covered, just not as much. TransWorld BMX ended independent publication with the January 2005 issue. It was combined with its sister publication Ride BMX which makes it the closest descendant to the venerable BMX Action.

Back in the mid 1980's near the peak of the first wave in the sports popularity, female BMX racers were about 4% of the racers in the United States. In freestyle today it is estimated that 1% of Freestyle riders are female. This number continues to grow with advocacy from female riders and support for female competitive events from contest organizers. See ( for the only female rider support group in BMX, Women of FreeStyle BMX.

There was one female BMX rider that truly received great fame during the 1980's, Cheri Elliott. For most of her short BMX career she raced on the Skyway Recreation factory team in the girl's division which used to be known as "Powder Puff", but was so dominant she often raced against the boys in her age groups (9-15 over the years) when there weren't enough girls to make a separate division during an event. She often won. Cheri paved the way for other females as well, such as Melanie Cline, who dominated the sport for much of the 80' and 90's, ultimately winning 10 national and 4 world titles. Another is Corine Dorland from the Netherlands who won 10 World titles in her career. On September 25th. 2005 Corine Dorland did compete in her last race and finished a 25 year cycling career. Up till this date, Corine is the unbeateble Queen of BMX. After 14 years in BMX she changed to mountain biking in which she was active eleven years.

Today's top women riders include Nina Buitrago, Stacey Mulligan, Corey Coffey.

The BMX Industry is a niche group of both mass market and "core" companies that supply nearly every country around the world with BMX bicycles, parts, accessories, and lifestyle products. The industry is generally broken into factory owned companies and rider owned companies, where most hardgoods products are manufactured in Taiwan and China. Textiles and other lifestyle products are generally manufactured in China and the United States. Many bicycle shops stock BMX products, and mailorder catalogs that focus on BMX bikes, clothing, parts, etc. are also popular across the world.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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