Getting Started in BMX Racing - sama7b



Getting Started in BMX Racing

BMX racing is a fun and exciting sport for young people who love to ride bikes. It’s a great way to get some exercise, meet new friends, and have a great time. For kids who want to get started in BMX racing, there are a few things they need to know to get started.

The first thing a potential BMX racer needs is the right bike. For kids, the basic bike should have 20-inch wheels. Riders under age six can use whatever type of bike they have, even if it’s not a true BMX freestyle bike. These little folks might still be riding bikes with wheels as small as 12 inches. Some tracks even have races for Big Wheel bikes.

A cruiser or mountain bike with 24-inch or 26-inch wheels might be okay, too, but it’s important to check ahead of time with the local track for advice. Many tracks will let you race a mountain bike in the “Cruiser” class. Whatever bike is used should be in safe working order, have at least one working brake, and be equipped with safety features such as pads on the top tube, stem, and crossbar.

Remove all reflectors and take off the kickstand and chainguard to prevent injury in a wreck. Finally, tie a paper plate to the handlebars to serve as a number plate. This will be used to identify riders to judges and fans during races.

Safety is paramount in BMX racing. Head protection is essential, and a helmet is required to race. Depending on the track rules, this may need to be a full-face helmet or a helmet with a separate mouthguard. Other tracks will accept any inexpensive motocross-style helmet.

Wearing protective clothing is also crucial to prevent injuries. Regular long pants or jeans will protect the rider’s legs, while a long-sleeved shirt will protect their arms. Good sturdy shoes that are comfortable for riding should be worn. Although it’s possible to race without gloves, wearing them is a good idea, ensuring they fit well and don’t interfere with hand movements. It’s also essential to bring bike tools and an air pump in case repairs are needed.

To race, a potential rider needs to find a track. Local bike shops may have information on the nearest track, or visit the National Bicycle League (NBL) or American Bicycle Association (ABA) websites, which are the sanctioning bodies of BMX racing. They provide advice and insurance to local tracks. As an NBL or ABA member, riders will have some medical insurance if they get hurt on the way during a race and do not have other insurance.

A parent or guardian must accompany the rider to permit for the child to race, and a birth certificate must be shown as proof of age. Most tracks charge between $15 and $35 for a racing license that is licensed well for a year, and there is also an entry fee for each race, usually between $6 and $10.

For the first visit to a particular track, it’s best to arrive about two hours before the first race starts. Find the registration tent or trailer and sign up. Then take a walk around the track and try to remember where the jumps are. Next, it’s time to practice.

Put on the helmet and other gear and follow the others to the starting gate. Watch what everyone else does and where they go. A beginner should put their front wheel against the starting gate, keeping one foot on a pedal and the other on the ground. Start pedaling when the gate drops. Go slow the first few times until you feel comfortable.

After practice, the races will be posted, and the people at the registration tent can tell riders where their particular race is.