Getting Started In BMX Racing
|GETTING STARTED IN BMX RACING|
|WHAT IS BMX RACING?|
|The sport of bicycle motor cross began in the early 1970's in Southern California. A handful of riders started riding their stingray type bikes off road in vacant lots and fields, not much competition but a lot of fun. Today the sport of bicycle motor cross is sweeping the country and the world. There are over a 150,000 riders of all ages racing in organized races at permanent tracks across America. BMX racing is clean, exciting fun that whole families can get involved in whether as a racer, spectator, pit crew or track volunteer. BMX has something to offer everyone. Races are organized according to age group and skill levels, so everyone gets the opportunity to compete on a fair and competitive basis. Even beginning riders have the chance to race safely with other new riders. All riders compete for awards and points. The points system determines a rider's annual ranking within that rider's district.|
|BMX racing is a type of off-road bicycle racing. The format of BMX was derived from motocross racing. BMX bicycle races are sprint races on purpose built off-road single lap racetracks. The track usually consists of a starting gate for up to eight racers, a groomed serpentine dirt racecourse made up of various jumps, banked and flat corners, and a finish line. The sport of BMX racing is facilitated by a number of regional and international sanctioning bodies. These sanctioning bodies provide a set of rules for governing the conduct of the races, specify age-group and skill level classifications among the racers, and maintain some kind of points accumulation system over the racing season.|
|The sport is largely participant-driven with the average racer age of approximately 9–10 years. Professional ranks exist for both men and women, where the average age is 18–21. A BMX "Class" bike is a strong, quick-handling, lightweight derivative of the standard 20" wheel single-speed youth bicycle. Variations include a larger 24" wheel "Cruiser" class. While BMX racing is an individual sport, racing teams are often formed from racers in different classifications for camaraderie and often for business exposure of a sponsoring organization or company. BMX racing rewards strength, quickness, and bike handling skills. Many successful BMX racers have gone on to leverage their skills in other forms of bicycle and motorcycle competitions.|
|BMX racing became a medal sport at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, USABMX is recognized by the Olympic Committee.|
|WHAT IS THE USABMX?|
|USABMX combines the American Bicycle Association and National Bicycle Leagues to provide organized racing and give national prominence to the sport of BMX. Under USABMX rules of sanction and to give all members and equal and fair opportunity, riders may accumulate district points at any USA BMX sanctioned track in the U.S. Additionally, a national level points program will be offered for an increased interest of competition.|
|WHO CAN RACE?|
|Races are organized into separate girls and boy’s classes, then subdivided into age groups and skill levels. The age groups range from 5 and under, to 51 and over age classes. Within these age groups are three skill levels: Novice, Intermediate and Expert. All riders start as Novices and work up to the more advanced levels by winning races.|
|Every rider practicing or competing on any USABMX sanctioned track must attain prior USA BMX membership. Memberships can be purchased at the track. There are two types of memberships available, which are as follows, along with a 1-day trial.|
|Temporary - The USABMX offers a trial membership for $30. This membership is intended ONLY for new riders to the sport and is valid for 30 days ONLY. A rider may hold a temporary membership only one time in their BMX career. This membership allows riders to compete at single point races ONLY, yet no USABMX points will be awarded and provides you with no medical insurance coverage. If within the 30 day period the rider wishes to become a full (annual) member, there will be a $30 Temporary Conversion fee, with the initial $30 Temporary fee also being applied toward the full membership fee, with presentation of the temporary membership receipt.|
|Full (annual) - A full membership costs only $60 and is valid for 1 full year at any USABMX sanctioned event in the U.S. Points will be awarded to all riders competing in any USABMX sanctioned race with those points returning to each rider's home district. Full membership riders will receive the monthly publication of the BMX magazine and all pertinent information mailings. Also, each rider will receive a current rulebook and official membership card.|
|HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RACE?|
|Once you have become an USABMX member, the only other cost will be the race day entry fee. The entry fee entitles you to be a participant in the day's action. A typical BMX race includes 2-3 qualifying moto's along with a main event. In the main event, you race for awards, determined by your finish, along with the precious USABMX points. Average price for a single point race varies from $5 to $10 check with your local race track.|
|WHERE CAN I RACE - PHONE NUMBERS?|
|The USABMX has tracks nationwide! Chances are there is one near you. Contact Fond du Lac BMX Club on Race Days to talks to Al or Marie Klebs "Track Operators" (920) 979-4021 or you can call the USABMX at (480) 961-1903 and ask for the track nearest you.|
|HOW CAN I GET STARTED?|
|Simply visit your local track during the practice or racing times and ask for a membership application or information. You can watch the races, talk to other BMX families, or give it a try yourself.|
|WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?|
|1. Helmet it is required, and the USABMX and Fond du Lac BMX Club highly recommends one with full-face protection. Most USABMX tracks have "loaner" helmets for beginners to use. A lot of times, a good inexpensive helmet can be found at garage sales or in the pit area of your local BMX track.
2. Long sleeve shirt.
3. Long pants like jeans or jogging pants.
4. Tennis shoes are sufficient although skateboarding shoes work better.
|WHAT KIND OF BIKE DO I NEED?|
BMX racing does not require a lot of expensive equipment. Most racers start with their 20" street bike and make the following Required modifications: