Many years ago, Brad Blanchard, a member of the Dirt Brothers, started attempting bike flips, a jump where the rider remained upright as the bike did a backflip in mid-air. Blanchard mastered the take off and seemed to have an angle on the bike flip technique, but he never came close to landing with both feet back on the pedals. In the early '00s, X Games ramp builder Nate Wessel put some work in on the bike flip technique, but it wasn't until Wessel displayed the technique to Morgan Wade that the bike flip became a reality.
This was around 2004. Czech rider Senad Grosic was landing the bike flip, as well as Wade and a select group of riders. The trick, by all accounts was incredible to witness, but terribly difficult to master. And after a few years, it seemed to fall to the wayside because of the inconsistencies that came with it.
But one rider, Hoffman Bikes pro Zack Warden, didn't let go of the bike flip. Instead, he continued pursuing the trick, developing insane variations such as the 360 bike flip and backflip bike flip that he's since brought to the MegaRamp and Mini Mega. These days, Warden remains the only rider in BMX to push the elusive bike flip's limits. And with a new web video debut, we decided to catch up with Zack to run through the logistics of one of the most difficult techniques in BMX.
ESPN.com: The bike flip hasn't been pursued by a lot of other riders. What makes you pursue a trick that most people choose to avoid?
Warden: One of the best descriptions I've heard someone come up with is that the bike flip is like a controlled crash. And I couldn't agree more. So much is going on during a bike flip, and most of the time, they hardly ever feel the same. I think a big reason why most people avoid the trick is because it's something you will never have dialed. It's a really inconsistent trick, especially going straight. I've seen a lot of people toy with them, and just decide to leave it alone.
What variations have you helped develop with the bike flip?
I haven't come up with too many variations of bike flips. I was the first to do one in it a 360 and the first to do one in a flip. I've been working on a couple other variations that will hopefully come out on the MegaRamp this year. But with that ramp, there's no telling what will happen.
I know you rolled the dice on the MegaRamp last year with the bike flip. Have you landed many on the big ramp?
I've landed about ten flip bikeflips on the MegaRamp. I had pulled three in a row in practice an hour before X Games last year. I guess I used up all the good ones up.
I mentioned this last week after watching your latest video. Have you ever toyed with the bike flip on street, like out of an up rail?
I've messed around with it in the past and could never get it done, but I've been on a big street kick lately and hope will find a good spot to make something happen.
What about double bike flips?
A lot of people ask me this question, and I just don't see it. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I don't think you can generate enough momentum in the snap to just let the bike go around twice. And you can't really use your arms like you can on a tailwhip. But who knows what the future holds.
What else is new in the life of Zack Warden and what are your expectations for Asian X Games China?
I've just been keeping busy, trying to get some web edits out and all geared up for this contest season. It's been an amazing winter here in Pennsylvania so far and I'm excited to see what spring will bring. Asian X Games is coming up soon, and it's always a blast to start the year off in Shanghai. I'm just really excited to see what everyone brings to the table in 2012.