New Riders & Parents
Want to know what to expect when you go to a BMX track? Here's a New Rider video from USA BMX that gives you the 1-2-3's of our sport.
YOUR VERY FIRST NIGHT AT THE TRACK
Your first night at the track might seem a little overwhelming. Relax. That’s understandable and perfectly normal. The lights… the sounds…the riders zipping all around… announcers giving out instructions over the PA system… Not to worry. We’re here to help make your experience an enjoyable one! Remember, everyone at the track was once a “first timer”, too.
Let us offer two suggestions: 1) Arrive early. 2) Come straight to the Registration Window, introduce yourself, and let us know it’s your first time. Our staff will get you squared away in no time and pair you up with one of our Track Ambassadors who will show you around.
New riders will need to complete a USA BMX membership application and sign up to race. Full, annual membership is $60.00. Many new riders take advantage of the, 1-day, temporary membership. The “Temp” provides you with USA BMX’s secondary insurance and enables you to go out on the track.
Blue Springs BMX has a limited number of loaner bikes and helmets for you to use while you get acclimated. It is important to know that riders MUST wear long sleeves and long pants. Gloves are strongly recommended. For the safety of our new riders, full-face helmets are MANDATORY at Blue Springs BMX. “Park” helmets or open face helmets are not permitted.
CHECK OUT THE TRACK
Blue Springs BMX is dirt track with banked turns and jumps of all shapes and sizes.
Before you get up on the starting gate, take a few minutes to closely watch the other riders go around the track. Pay attention to their body motion over jumps (using arms and legs as shock absorbers) and note where riders are pedaling and when they are coasting. Take it slow on your first few laps. Remember, you are brand new to this and those fast, expert racers started off just like you. Take time to learn the track – know which obstacles are coming up and how to take it smoothly. Often, the difference in the beginner class is who is smoothest around the course rather than quickest.
THE STARTING GATE
It all starts here. BMX racing is a "short sprint" sport (most races lasting 35 to 45 seconds). The start of a race is often the most important. As a beginner you’ll most likely do what is called a “one-footed start” (one foot on your pedal and the other foot acting as a resting on the ground to keep you balanced). Most new riders begin with their right foot "forward" (on the pedals) and the left foot on the ground. How you decide to start is a matter of personal preference. There is no right or wrong method - find out which feels most comfortable.
With time you will learn how to do the normal "two-footed start" (both feet on the pedals, balancing on the gate). Some riders master balancing on the gate very quickly while others take can pick this up on their first day at the races and some beginners take weeks to learn how.
It is important to know that during practice, parents may assist riders of any age at the gate. However, during racing, only riders 5 years of age and younger may be assisted at the gate. This assistance may include the rear wheel being placed between the assistant’s legs. Use of the hands to “prop up” the rider is not allowed.
Moto? Motoboard? Transfer? Mains?
Once every racer in attendance has been entered into the day’s event, your Track Operator will print and post MOTO-SHEETS. These sheets list the order/number of races or “motos”, riders competing in each moto, assigned bike numbers and rider serial numbers, as well as starting gate numbers for each of the three qualifying rounds and the Main Event. Beyond this we suggest ASKING. Our volunteers and staff are here to help you. Head over to the Registration window, tell them you need help reading/ understanding the Motos posted on the Motoboard and we will get you connceted with a well-versed volunteer or track staff member to walk you through the process.
The more you race and ride your bike, the better you will get. Blue Springs BMX holds open practice on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Practice nights provide riders the opportunity to practice all or certain portions of the track at their leisure and the chance to get to know other riders at the track, all in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Many newer and younger riders will take advantage of this time by finding an experienced rider willing to help them develop their skills. As a new BMX parent we strongly encourage you to introduce yourself to the other parents at the track and to use any time not spent watching and assisting your new “BMX’er” asking any questions you may have. Most BMX Moms and Dads are more than willing to help and to share what they’ve learned.
BMX CAMPS AND CLINICS
Blue Springs BMX coordinates a variety of independently owned and operated BMX racing camps and clinics throughout the year. These events bring top-level, national BMX racing talent to the local scene and offer riders the opportunity to experience different skill-teaching styles and greatly expand their skills. Scheduled camps and clinics are posted to our Events page as they are scheduled and are also announced through our Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to “LIKE” Blue Springs BMX to receive the most up to date information!