How to play a ‘Game of Bike’

Day to day we work with regular mountain bikers who feel like they have plateaued or have reached a limit to what they can ride. Typically it can be that they feel they’ve lost the confidence after a crash, that they’re stuck riding the same trails and can’t progress, or they simply feel like they’re not improving anymore.

When we meet riders for the first time there are a few simple points we look to make in their thought process. Firstly we encourage the culture of sessioning, or repeating certain trails, lines or techniques over and over to find progression. We don’t simply focus on how to ride a bike, and skills within that, but teach how to learn, how to progress safely and how to set yourself challenges.

Mountain bikers can learn from other styles of bike riding, and the ways riders challenge themselves. One game that BMXers, trials riders or street riders use to challenge themselves is to play a game of ‘Bike’. This is a really simple game you can play with one or more friends on the trails, in a simple open space, at the local bmx track or skatepark.

Check out the video below with Ali and Duncan from Danny MacAskills Drop and Roll Tour. Notice how these guys challenge themselves in a simple city environment, with different lines and techniques to try and beat each other. At the same time they’re challenging themselves to be better riders. Their level of skill is incredible, but they have also been training hard and riding for almost 20 years each! These skills don’t come overnight…

Once you’ve watched the video scroll down to learn the rules so you can play your own game.

The rules

  • Set a challenge – maybe a manual, bunnyhop, jump or a combination line to ride
  • The rider who sets the challenge has to complete it first – if they are successful the other riders have to match them. If the other riders fail they get ‘given a letter’ e.g. ‘B’…
  • If the rider sets a challenge and fails, move onto the next riders for their turn to set the challenge
  • If all riders complete the challenge, move onto the next rider for their turn to set the challenge
  • If a rider fails 4 challenges in the game they get four letters e.g. ‘B I K E’. If you get 4 letters you are out.
  • When all riders but 1 have their 4 letters, the last rider is the winner

You can adapt the rules to keep the game fun. Maybe you can offer a second chance to a rider who is really close to nailing a new technique or trick, sometimes called a ‘mulligan’. You can pick which rider goes first by playing ‘rock, paper, scissor’, or ‘Ro-Sham-Bo’ if you’re in the USA.

Have your own game of bike

You don’t have to be doing spectacular riding to enjoy a game of bike. And you can play with riders who are of different abilities. The real aim is to have fun and challenge yourself. Riding with others will really help you progress, and although competition isn’t for everyone, it can really help you push your comfort zone!

Try it yourself


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