At the first hint of warm weather, you’ll hear the familiar roar of bikes coming down the streets of Baltimore. Bikelife is a big part of the city’s culture and a unifying force for the youth, according to 12 O’Clock Boys dirt bike phenom and rapper Chino. “It brings us all together as a community,” he says. “It keeps a lot of people off the corners, gives them something else to do, ‘cause everybody don’t have a basketball or a football dream.” Though Chino is primarily known for his skills as a dirt biker, he took some time to break down how to pull off a great wheelie on a pedal bike.
To start, get your hands on a solid bike
“The bike would need good brakes, and needs to be in good condition. Growing up, everyone can’t get a BMX bike. They were expensive, so we was getting the cheaper bikes you can get from Walmart. I always rode MAX or Schwinn.”
Hop on, gather some speed
“When you’re starting out wheelying apedal bike, you’re really not using a brake. You’re wheelying fast — speed is important when you’re trying to get the hang of it. Once you get the hang of being able to keep the wheel up, you tend to start hitting the brakes.”
Now brake and pull up
“It depends on how little you are and how big the bike is. I started out riding and hitting a bump and just pulling up because I ain’t have enough strength [laughs]. You should lean back and use the brake at the same time, because when you’re pedalling you gotta hold the bike up with your upper body. The pedalling keeps it up, your body strength keeps it from going down.”