Skateboards, BMXs and microscooters are everywhere you look on the streets of most English towns and the Ashfield area is no exception.
And now Huthwaite is host to its very own 1,400 sqm indoor skatepark Ben McVay took the opportunity to give the sport a go.
If you, like me, were the average child in the 1980s then the closest you got to a skate park on your BMX would have been a plank of wood up on a few bricks on your parents’ drive.
And although the idea behind a bunny hop was for the bike to leave the ground it was usually just my feet which left the pedals by about two inches,
So, visiting Asylum on Fulwood Road North and being shown how to actually execute one was like a second chance at coolness aged 37.
For fist-timers like myself, a lesson with on-site instructor and professional rider Kayley Ashworth (23) will cost you £15 for an hour-and-a-half but helmets are compulsory for under-18s and cannot be hired on-site.
Said Kayley: “What it gives you is a sense of accomplishment really. It is something to do.
“Some people take to it straight away while others can be a bit intimidated by the size of the ramps. It is all about perception and all up to the individual but we try and get everyone to have a go.
“We have had all sorts down here as well. From a hockey team on their skates to a private hire for a five year-old’s birthday party when the dads all took over.”
Kayley and I started off by practicing rolling with the pedals level either side to avoid clipping the ramp walls, then moved on to bunny hop practice.
This involves pulling up the front wheel by lifting the handle bars then attempting the same with the rear by kicking back against the pedals - all in one fluid movement.
And if you think that sounds hard you are not wrong.
Next up was a ride around the bottom of the ramps to practice going up the walls then riding up the face of the ramp and onto the flat surface at the summit.
This was quite nerve-wracking but really just means peddling as hard as you can to have enough momentum to carry you over.
And lastly dropping in, which involves rolling forward with both feet parallel on the pedals, backside in the air and weight pushed backwards.
Again, this was nerve-wracking to begin with but after a couple of attempts and some encouragement from Kayley I was doing multiple runs of the park, much to the annoyance of other users.
Politeness dictates that riders should two turns maximum before stopping to let others have their go.
And good manners are encouraged at Aslyum, says owner Jack.
“You get fed up of going to skate parks where everybody is like ‘anything you can do I can do better,” he said. “The local scene here is really good and everybody just has a laugh.
“If the local lads see someone struggling a bit they will try and help them out.”
Jack, an ex-motocross rider and welder by trade, set up asylum with mum, Jan, after a great deal of perseverance with funding bodies and various lenders.
He said: “We would love to get more schools involved with the park and other community groups but its very difficult to get this funded.
“Another problem is people do not really know we are here.”
If you would like to find out more about Asylum visit www.asylumpark.co.uk or find them on Facebook.
You can view a video of Ben McVay’s BMX lessons at www.chad.co.uk.