Beginners Guide To BMX Racing
BMX For Beginners
Ever since kids could ride bikes, the desire to race has pushed them to compete with other local kids to decide who would be the king of the course. Back in the 1970s, kids started racing their bikes on dirt tracks in Southern California to emulate their heroes in the motocross circuit. Hence the acronym Bicycle Motocross or BMX. Since then, the sport of BMX racing has gained in popularity and is now an Olympic sport. This is a sport for young and old alike and you don’t even need to be very good at it when you start out.
We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to BMX racing so you or your young someone can get in on the action of this exhilarating sport.
Why Is BMX So Popular?
BMX’s popularity can be put down to the fact that it is exciting, fun, and competitive. A good BMX bike has a strong and sturdy construction that can take the brunt of flying over dirt mounds and landing safely. It’s just as much about winning a race or having the best time as it is about performing gravity-defying stunts. It’s one of those activities where you can start with a few skills and develop them until you’re riding like a pro.
What Age Should You Start BMX Racing?
BMX racing is a sport that kids can start at a very young age. In fact, some of the top competitors usually start between the ages of 3 or 4. The only criteria are that the child needs to be able to get on and off the bike on their own and ride around the track without assistance. Okay, so this may be a little too much for a toddler, but this is a good age to get them on a mini BMX bike and start teaching them to race, fall and get up again.
Protective gear is a must for BMX racing and this includes padded coveralls, gloves, a helmet, and goggles. Proper footwear is also necessary to complete the outfit with a pair of BMX shoes.
What Is The Easiest BMX Trick For Beginners?
The very first trick a beginner should learn on a BMX bike is also the easiest. The hop is usually the very first trick any BMXer will learn and it simply involves pulling the front of the bike up as high as you can and then leaning forward to the back comes up too. Once both tires are in the air you can pull the whole bikes towards you before landing again. Once you master this trick, you can do variations of the trick by turning the front tires to 90-degree angle mid-air or even turning the bike around 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Learn the basics first and implement new tricks as you go. To make your ride more enjoyable, check out our guide on Everything You Need For A Comfortable Bike Ride.
Get The Right Bike
The first consideration for getting the right BMX bike is size. Fortunately, BMX bikes are available in a size for every rider from the very young to those a lot older. Then you need to consider what type of riding you plan on doing as there are BMX bikes for stunts and the different types of terrain you plan on racing on. Decide on that first before you commit to purchasing a BMX bike as good quality ones don’t’ come cheap and you don’t want to end up with one you’re not going to be happy with.
If you like riding longer distances an all-round BMX bike is a good choice or if you like tracks with lots of dirt jumps and dips then go for a jump bike.
Find A Local Track Or Club
Once you’re completely outfitted, have the right bike, and have got some of the basic moves down pat, it’s time to join your local BMX track or club. The best way to learn how to navigate your way around a proper BMX track and learn new and complicated tricks is to watch the experts do them. Seasoned riders usually love to show off so they’ll be more than happy to show you how to get around the tracks faster and with more tricks as well.
Don’t think of BMX racing and stunts as just a sport. When you’re a member of a club you’re in a different world where the mannerisms and even the language is foreign to outsiders. It’s a fantastic way to meet new friends and for parents of kids who are riders, a way to get them out of the house and into an outdoor sport.
If you’ve just developed an interest in BMX racing, or your young person has, it’s time to get on your bike and have some fun. You don’t need to be good at this sport to start as the speed and skills will come with experience. The competition is there and so is the fun.