A typical BMX race consists of a starting gate in which 8 riders or less line up and wait for a cadence to sound. Both well known federations, the ABA and NBL have similar cadences with Christmas Tree lights off to the side for riders to time their starts. The tracks usually start out with a sprint to the first obstacle which is typically a jump or series of jumps all the way to the first turn. The jumps themselves can be step up, step downs, table tops, doubles, triples, or worse. The first turn is usually dirt, sometimes paved blacktop which adds a different dimension. The rest of the track layout is usually made of jumps, a rythym section and a small sprint to the finish line. Typically races last about 50 seconds and are extremely grueling on the body. A combination of power, endurance, agility, and intelligence make up the complete racer. The top Pro’s in the sport are typically some of the best conditioned athletes in the world.
Starting from California (United States) in the late 60’s, BMX was the most popular way for teenagers to imitate motocross champions. The founder of BMX is called Scot Breithaupt w(the “OM” of BMX) while the motorcycle racing documentary “On Any Sunday” is widely accepted and credited for inspiring the whole movement nationally. Although the sport spread very quickly, it wasn’t until the middle of the decade that the bike constructors started producing real BMX – oriented bikes. Another very important person that needs to be mentioned here is Bob Haro; he is the person who merged BMX and skateboarding tricks together and without him the whole scheme wouldn’t have advanced so far.
There is a class for everyone in BMX racing. From 5 yrs old to 60+, both girls and boys. No one sits on the bench in BMX!