More than 90 mainly 40-something BMX enthusiasts descended on Chester at the weekend as they relived their youth in a scenic city ride followed by liquid refreshments.
This was the sixth year in the row the BMX-ers from Chester and all over the country had taken part in the event which began at the city railway station on Saturday afternoon (April 22).
Average age is 40-plus
Organiser Brett Jones, 46, who grew up in Flint but now lives in Peterborough, said: “The average age of the people taking part is 40-plus but the oldest rider we’ve got is Margaret Chambers who is 71 now.
“The bikes we’ve got today are from about 1980 to 1989. They’re all old school. Some are people’s original bikes restored, some are custom bikes.”
Brett explained that the ride stayed mainly off road and helmets were encouraged.
“We do a scenic route of a town and we’ll stop at a few bars for light refreshments and about 8pm we lose the bikes and a lot of people stay over then and go on the beer properly,” he said.
Asked about the appeal of BMX riding, Brett explained: “It’s your childhood, isn’t it? When you get on a BMX in your 40s, you feel 12 or 13-years-old again and it’s just a magical feeling.”
Aging riders 'try' to perform tricks
Brett said the BMX was the first lightweight bike to be made allowing stunts to be performed. Do they still perform tricks?
“We try but we don’t do them like we used to as a kid!”
He said rides take place elsewhere such as Manchester, London and South Shields, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne as well as Blackpool twice a year, including during the illuminations when riders fit colourful lights to their bikes.
They all know each other and communicate through online BMX forums and Facebook.
Brett said the trip involved ‘a lot of reminiscing’. “Everyone is just buzzing,” he said on the day.