How does a BMX race work and what do I have to do?

The first thing you have to do when you turn up on race day at the track, is sign up to race at the administration area. This could be a table or desk set up in a tent or Cabin. You fill out a card with all your details, like name, age and plate number. If you don't have a plate, the club normally have loner ones or they will give you a temporary paper one with a number on it. You then pay your race fee (normally £5.00 for a Novice).

Then you are ready to practice. You will normally get around 1 hour of practice on the startgate and track before the race. A rider will then have to check the moto sheets, which are normally posted on a board near the start hill or near the admin area, to see what race they are in and what gates they have for their 3 motos. A good idea is to write your race number and gate positions on the back of your hand so you remember, if not, there will be a Race Official at the back of the start hill or pens during racing to call up the riders into their races.

Each rider will have 3 qualifing motos, your points will then be added up for the 3 races and if you are in the first 4 you will go into the next round, ie: quarter or semi final depending on how many riders are in your age group.

If there are 8 or less riders in your class or age group, you will then go straight into a final after your 3 motos. After the 3 motos have finished, new moto sheets will go up to tell you what race you are in.

So if you have made a Novice final, best of luck and hopefully you will do well and get in the top 3 and get a medal or trophy.

BMX Race Terms

Wheelie: Lifting your front wheel off the ground whilst still pedaling.
Manual: Lifting your front wheel off the ground and freewheeling.
Swoop: To pass another rider through a berm.
Holeshot/Snap: Getting a fast start and being in the lead from the startgate.
Moto: A BMX race. One of three qualifying races.
Berm: Banked turn or corner on a BMX Track.
Lip: The crest or take-off point on a jump.
Table-top: This can mean two things in BMX:
  1. A basic jump on a track with a flat middle section.
  2. A classic trick done mid-jump leaning the bike over horizontally.
Speed jump: Single rounded roller jump.
Whoops: Steeper speed jumps set out in pairs. Jump them or roll them.
Triples: Steeper speed jumps set out in sets of three.
Rhythm section: A combination of jumps placed close together on a track to force riders to pump, manual or jump smoothly through the section.

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