the very basics
What is BMX
A BMX race is a series of 3 "motos" and could also include 1/8's, 1/4's, and semi finals depending on the number of athletes registered in your group. A moto starts from the starting gate where a maximum of 8 riders of the same age and ability level leave at the same time and race as fast as they can over dirt jumps, around banked corners, and across the finish line. The winner of the moto is the racer who crosses the finish line first. Athletes race at least 3 motos in a race, and the riders are ranked based on how they finished in the 3 motos with "points" being awarded. The rider with lowest "points" wins. So if "Rider A" got a 1st - 2nd - 3rd (6pts), "Rider B" got a 2nd - 1st - 1st (4pts), and Rider C finished 3rd - 3rd - 2nd (7 pts). Rider B would win the race.
There needs to be at least 3 racers in a catgory to run a race
If there are more than 8 but less than 17 riders registered there will be a "Main"
If there are 17 but less than 24 riders there will be a Semi final, then a Main.
If there are 24 riders but less than 32 there will be a Quarter final, Semi, and a Main.
And so on.
Riders generally compete against other athletes of the same age, gender, and ability. Although if some classes are small (less than 3) they may be combined with another similar age/gender/ability. Male athletes have 3 categories. Novice, Intermediate, and Expert. Female athletes have two, Novice and Expert. Athletes will upgrade ability levels based on the number of wins they achieve. This is race wins, not moto wins. District racing (club level) and Provincial wins both count towards the upgrade, though a win at a Provincial race counts as two wins. Wins do not expire, so you don't need to acquire all your wins in a single season to upgrade.
Ability Class Upgrades (Male):
Novice to Intermediate: 10 Wins
Intermediate to Expert: 20 Wins
Ability Class Upgrades (Female):
Novice to Expert: 25 Wins
A day at the track also includes Strider races, race-day awards, and a great social environment to meet some new friends. Everyone gets to compete and unlike many team sports you'll never have to sit on the bench. BMX is for all ages and offers skill and age categories for everyone. BMX Racing really is fun for the whole family.
HISTORY OF BMX
BMX first began in California in the early 70's and it's popularity grew at a rate unparalleled in the modern sports of today. BMX was the product of kids who wanted to emulate the thrill of Motorcross racers who were getting "air" and performing tricks on their bikes. BMX Racing has the exciting elements of an 'extreme' sport yet it is safe and challenging for everyone.
The sport came to Canada in the late 70's and was prominent in the Western provinces before gaining popularity nationwide in the early 80's. Today, the Canadian BMX Association sanctions over 20 tracks across Western Canada, each one with an exciting and challenging race course for you to explore. Double-jumps, table-tops and even exciting 'Pro' Sections are all part of the formula.
What you need
In order to compete in a BMX race there are certain pieces of equipment you need, and some paper work to do. First of all you need a BMX bike, preferably a BMX race bike. The bike must have a number plate of the proper colour with the correct number on it. Your plate number is the last 3 digits on your UCI license. If you need a plate, we have some available for a small fee. Park/trick bikes are usable provided they don't have pegs and have a rear brake, but the wider tires and heavy weight make them slower. If you don't have a bike, YEGBMX does have a large fleet of loaner bikes available on a first come-first served basis, and we do have a group purchase option available through Haro that gets you a sizeable discount.
You will also need a certified full face helmet, full finger gloves, tear resistant full length pants (NO DENIM), and a long sleeve jersey or shirt. Again, if you are unprepared we have all of this available to loan out. Shorts are acceptable but shin and knee protection MUST be worn as well.
You don't HAVE to join our club, but loaner equipment is for club members only. Also, practice nights and open tracks are only open to club members. For members of another ABA affiliated club there is a $5 drop in fee. For ABA license holders not affiliated with any sanctioned club that fee increases to $20.
You will also need an ABA/UCI license. This is purchased through the Alberta Bicycle Association.
what you need to know
Helmets are to be worn at all times an athlete is riding a bicycle on property as well as in the parking lot. No exceptions.
Jerseys should be tucked into pants, and the sleeves should be long enough to leave no skin exposed between the cuff and the glove.
Sweat/track pants are frowned upon at district racing and prohibited at Provincial level and higher races. Once you see someone's track pants melt into their flesh when they go down in a corner you will understand why we don't like these.
Athletes race the age category of the age they will be on Dec 31st of the current calendar year. So if little Jenny is 8 and was born on Dec 20th she will race as a 9 year old for the entire season.
Clipless pedals are forbidden for children under 10 regardless of ability level.
ready to hit the track?
Still wanting more info? There is lots to be found under the New Riders dropdown.
Or simply click here.