How to Get Started
Cactus Park BMX is a dirt track approximately 900 feet long, with banked turns and jumps of all shapes and sizes. Actually, the first thing you need to do is find the sign-up / registration building. It is there that you'll need to fill out an
USABMX application and sign up to race. First-time racers are able to purchase a temporary membership for $25, which is good for 30 days. A "Temp" provides you with
ABA's secondary insurance and enables you to go out on the track. Entry fees are 15.00 per rider for members.
Before you get up on the starting gate, it is suggested that first you closely watch the 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:
Since BMX is a "short sprint" sport (with most races lasting 35 to 45 seconds), the start of a race is usually the most important. When you first begin racing, you'll most likely do what is called a one-footed start. Which is having one foot on your pedal and the other foot acting as a "kickstand," resting on the ground to keep you balanced. The majority of riders start with their right foot "forward" (on the pedals). Much like skateboarders or surfers, racers who line up in the gate with a left foot forward are called "goofy footed." Find out which feels most comfortable - there is no right or wrong way.
Soon, you will want to learn how to do the normal "two-footed start." Some riders can pick this up on their first day at the races and some beginners take weeks to learn how. You can practice the two-footed start anywhere - find a wall and ride up to it, with your front wheel touching. Apply a little bit of pressure on your forward pedal - just enough to keep your front wheel solid against the surface of the imaginary starting gate. Stand in an upright position, relax, and use both of your arms to balance the bike.
Once you've got the feel of balancing your bike on the gate, then you'll
need to learn how to "snap" out of the gate. This is the motion of thrusting
your hips into your handlebars and cranking down on your forward pedal as
the gate is falling. The best way to learn this is watching the local pros
and experts at the track, and constantly practice.
Obviously, the more you race and ride your bike, the better you will get.
That old saying "Practice makes perfect" stands true in the world of BMX
racing. Check our
schedule for Practice times. also, check out
Kearny Moto Park web site for more practice and racing time.
Throughout the year, there are many top pros in the sport of BMX who travel
around the country putting on beginner clinics. Attending a clinic is one of
the best ways to learn how to get better in BMX.
Clinic dates and time will be posted on
Kearny Moto Park web site.
Racing BMX is easy to get started and the
has made it inexpensive to begin. What you need to know:
A bicycle - any
type and size will do, but it is recommended that you start with one that
has no more than a 20'' wheel diameter - as that is the allowable limit in
the Novice class.
How do I get to Kearny Moto Park?
What time do you
How much will it
cost to begin racing?
How big are your
first place trophies?
Links page for your equipment merchants.
simple checklist to make sure your bike is
safe & race ready:
Make sure all bolts
are tight - especially your axle bolts and stem bolts.
All reflectors must
be removed for safety purposes.
If your bike has a
kickstand, it must be taken off.
Your bike needs the
three required pads
crossbar of your handlebars
handlebar stem (or gooseneck)
covering on the
top tube of your frame
You'll also need
a number plate. You will be provided a number plate with your membership
Next, there's the
checklist of what you will need to wear in order to race:
A helmet. The ABA
highly recommends a full-face helmet. Kearny Moto Park has "loaner helmets" for
beginners to use.
Any enclosed shoe
is sufficient. Tennis shoes are suggested
Gloves are a good
idea, as well as elbow pads and chest protectors
For more information, visit the official American Bicycle Association's BMX site www.ababmx.com