BMX bikes in the blood
It’s all about sharing the passion and passing on knowledge for former pro BMX rider, Henrik Lykke Pedersen, who’s aiming to “breed” a new generation of world-class BMX race and freestyle riders at Græsted BMX Club.
You’re on fire as you’re standing on your bike at the gate, waiting for the snap. It’s the culmination of months of hard work. You’re in the zone - Your heart is pounding as you’re thinking to yourself: I don’t care about the opponents, if I get pushed or about anything else, I’m just going to give it all I got the next 40 seconds and get over that finish line first.
This is how former professional race and freestyle BMX rider Henrik Lykke describes the moments just before a BMX race. In spite of retiring himself several times, he’s now the driving force in getting a new generation into the amazing world of race and freestyle BMX.
It’s for life
When I talked to Henrik over the phone, he told me that he’s not on the bike right now - he crashed and tore over a sinew, and crushed a couple of knuckles. This is just another addition to his collection of cuts and bruises that he has gotten throughout his 38 years of riding both Race and Freestyle BMX. When I ask if this isn't a welcome opportunity to put down the bike his answer is clear.
“I’ve tried to put the bike down a couple of times, but every time I try to quit I end up with a BMX bike again in some magic way. The sport is just such a big part of me. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop”, says Henrik and laughs.
It's been years since Henrik was a pro rider. When asked to be involved in founding a new BMX club he declined. Nevertheless, he’s now in the middle of developing and leading a Race and Freestyle BMX club.
Henrik admits, that he was a bit reluctant but after a “bit of persuasion” from the local people, and the major of Græsted (Where the club is located) Henrik agreed to start a BMX club, so he could share his lifelong passion for BMX with the new generation.
“I thought to myself, why not take my 38 years of experience and share it with a new generation. I’ve tried everything: bruises, injuries, competitions, victories, tours and much more. If I can use that to make these young people better than I’ve ever been, I’ll be the luckiest man alive”, he says.
The riders of the next generation
Henrik has a clear mission: to create a breeding ground for future elite BMX riders, and when they’re ready, send them to the bigger clubs in the area, so they can keep progressing and assert themselves on the international BMX scene.
“I want this to be a base camp for new riders, and when we taught them all we can, they should go to the bigger clubs. Back in my time we didn’t have that possibility, and this was a stop block in developing as a rider” says Henrik.
Even though Henrik aims to help create elite riders, it’s important for him to point out that there’s room for everybody at the BMX club:
“We got members who want to ride just for fun and the ones who are in it for the competition. No matter your level of ambition you can benefit from BMX. It’s not only great for getting fit. You can also take the philosophy with you - If you crash, it’s okay to rest for a second, but then it’s time to stand up, brush the dust off and get racing out the dirt track again.”
BMX is for everyone
Henrik points out that it’s all kind of kids and young people that are racing the rollers, berms, and jumps off the track in Græsted BMX club.
“We got your average kid here, and we also got some youngsters who have been on the wrong side of the law. But the great about this community is that if you admit your wrongs, then fuck it and lets ride”, he says.
Here, at SkatePro, we think that everybody should be able to do action sports. This is also why we've decided to support Græsted BMX club with BMX bikes and safety equipment.
According to Henrik the two Premium Stray freestyle BMX bikes and G-form protection sponsored by SkatePro have made a real difference in getting kids and youngsters hooked on both Freestyle and Race BMX.
“It’s amazing to be able to have bikes that we can lend out. This gives the possibility not only to try riding before you decide to buy a bike, but it also gives the possibility to get into the amazing world of BMX'ing for someone who normally wouldn't get a chance to ride", Henrik says.