BMX Racing - How To Get Started!
There is a lot more to racing than just winning and losing. It offers a
family oriented sport that is fun for all ages.
BMX Racing locally is usually pretty cheap. That is, if a BMX track is
in your town/city. Traveling to other communitys to BMX Race and to big
BMX Race events like Nationals can cost a person or family a lot of money.
The ABA-USA BMX ( American Bicycle Association ) Sanction offers very
inexpensive trial memberships, so you can see if you like BMX or not before
you go full-bore with it. Check out the trial membership before full membership.
The Full ABA-USA BMX Membership cost is $45.00 a year per person-rider.
Most local BMX track registriation fee`s are $10.00 to $20.00 pre BMX event.
Note: - As Of 2013-2014 The Full ABA-USA BMX Membership Cost Is $60.00.
The price has went up for membership making it not so cheap to race BMX locally.
With the high price for the membership, Use your judgment if you can afford it or not.
A lot of people can`t afford it and have dropped out of BMX racing due to high costs.
Also, there are no costs for spectators to watch and everyone is welcome at most local
BMX tracks. Although at some BMX track-facilities a small parking fee may be seen
to park a automobile at or around-next to a BMX track. - Also at some of the bigger
Olympic BMX Race style events, spectators may have to pay a entrance fee to watch.
At the BMX track, a big down fall is parents of BMX racers hang around drinking
alcohol and smoking around BMX Race tracks and BMX Race events from locally
all the way up to the big Olympic BMX Race style events. So if you are a parent or
a young kid and do not like being around people drinking alcohol and smoking,
then BMX Racing may not be the sport for you.
To get Started First and foremost, you obviously need a BMX bike.
You dont need an expensive, fancy bike to race BMX.
The bike does not play that much of a role in the out come of BMX races.
Ive had bikes worth over eleven hundred dollars in the past and Ive been
beaten by racers on $200 junk piles, and Im certainly not alone.
Sure, having a high-tech, trick bike that is the right size for you can help your
performance, but only to a relatively small degree really. Later on, when you
get the hang of BMX and have some experience in it, you will probably want
a good, dependable bike if you dont already have one.
You can get a pretty decent, dependable new bike for around $300 or so.
If you are made of money, and are sure you are going to stick with BMX,
a good bike that needs little or no upgrading, that will last you through all
proficiencies ( rookie, novice, expert, pro, etc.) will probably run about $575
or so brand new.
Dont think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike to get into racing!
Just about any bike will do starting out. When you get better at BMX you might
decide later you need (or just want) a better bike.
You can buy used bikes at Flea Markets, pawn shops, bmx tracks, individuals,
and some bike shops, some are really cheap too. The basic requirements for
bikes to race is that all reflectors, the chainguard, the kickstand, and any axle
pegs be removed.
You will also need pads covering the handlebar crossbar, the stem, and the top
tube of your bike. You can get pads as well as bike parts and complete bikes
from mail order companies such as Dans Competition - www.danscomp.com
or from your local bike shop.
Your handlebars can not be sticking through the end of your grips.
You may want to make sure your bike is tuned up good - check your
tires for wear and tear, and make sure everything is good and tight.
You can run coaster brakes on your bike, but I strongly recommend that you dont.
Its generally better if you have a freewheel on the back wheel
(a part that lets you pedal backwards without the brakes engaging)
and use hand brakes that mount on your handlebars.
You can use front brakes, but using rear brakes instead is usually better.
You will need a helmet to race, which can normally be borrowed at your local
track if you dont have one yet. You can use a full face helmet, but an open
face one will work fine as well. You will probably need a mouth guard if you
are using an open face helmet.
It is also required that you wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants. You can
get by with about any long sleeve shirt and jeans for the time being though.
You dont need a race jersey or a sponsor to get into BMX racing.
The first step in getting involved in BMX Racing is finding your local BMX track.
You can find out where your local track is by visiting the ABA-USA BMX sanction:
( BMX Track Directory ) Or you can stop in, call your local bike shop and ask them.
Also see Northwest BMX Directorys: Washington BMX Tracks
Oregon BMX Tracks | Idaho BMX Tracks | Canadian BMX Tracks
You will find the tracks are very similar to motorcycle tracks, except the
jumps and the track are much smaller of course. Pretty much all you have
to do is show up, get a trial membership, and pay a entry fee.
The track operator will help you out with anything you need, and they usually
give or sell you a temporary numberplate if you need one. Also, you just need
to show up with your parent or a guardian if you are under the age 18.
Dont be afraid to ask questions. Most BMXers will be glad to help you out.
When you first ride the track, take it slow at first - be careful.
Watch how the other riders balance at the starting gate and take the jumps and
turns. Dont ride over your head. You will get the hang of it eventually, dont worry
if you cant clear jumps or handle the track very well at first - it takes time, practice.
Sometimes at local tracks there might not be any racers in your skill level or
your age. You may be racing people who have been racing a lot longer than you
have, or people who are older than you are.
You need to compete in the skill level and age class you are supposed to be in,
in order to keep from getting discouraged. Sometimes at small, local tracks this
just isnt possible. After you have raced locally for a while, you can race state
wide for more competition, and ultimately race nationally.
That is where the fun comes in, traveling all over the country, having plenty of
competition, seeing friends, and of course, racing. Well, have fun - BMX Racing,
its an awesome sport!
The ABA-USA BMX sanction has also put together web pages in order to help too:
* ABA-USA BMX.com - Getting Started In BMX Racing. ( Information + More )
~~ A small checklist for getting started BMX racing ~~~
Research BMX Racing and make sure it is what you want
Visit some BMX web sites, - A good place to start
* www.genesbmx.com - BMX Links List * www.genesbmx.com/BMXLINKS1.html
Find out where the closest ABA-USA BMX track is to you.
Get your BMX bike ready for BMX Racing. Remove any chainguards
and all reflectors. Remove any and all pegs (axle or frame) Also note:
Clip-in pedals are dangerous for beginners.
Make sure you have a Helmet! Gloves are good to have. Get a temporary
membership at the track. Try to practice at the track some before racing.
Some Tips For BMX Racing, - How To Develop Good BMX Racing Strategy
Remember To Have Fun!