BMX

BMX racing is a discipline of BMX riding that involves competitive racing over obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty against 8 other riders.  The aim is to get from the start to finish in 1st place, using an array of skill, speed and tactical awareness.  Once mastered, BMX Racing is a high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled riding experience.

BMX_1.jpgWhat's Involved In BMX?

As with most sports – practice does make perfect. The off-road adventure that BMX has become allows riders to showcase their skills in a single lap race of up to 400 metres. At a race, a starting gate greets up to eight eager riders who are ready to rip and roar banked and flat obstacles, perform jumps, and cross the finish line. In order to get to the point where maneuvering a bike is second nature, riders must train to prepare their body, mind, and skill.

Getting used to the bike used for BMX racing is a challenge for some because they tend to display durable and quick-handling characteristics. The bikes are also lightweight.

Age Considerations

The unique benefit to BMX racing is the age range it attracts.  In the current UK 2012 National Race Series the youngest rider is 6 and the oldest 62…no other sport boasts such an all-inclusive age range! The age level of a rider usually determines the intensity and basic requirements needed to race BMX. Youth riders should approach sprint training to enhance their track speed endurance, power, strength, and maximum leg speed.

Younger riders are still growing; meaning careful attention is needed during training to make sure all muscle groups are conditioned while exercising sensitivity for joint development.

Teenage riders should concentrate on improving overall riding strength though weight training. Some individuals have made great strides when following a circuit training method. Track racing and extra work goes a long way, where proper warm up and cool down exercises help with daily training. More experienced riders will benefit from 30 to 120 minutes of training throughout the week.

Serious and career BMX racers set aside 30 to 60 minutes per day for training for the majority of the week.

BMX_3.jpgKey Skills

As you enter BMX racing, there are a few basic details to learn, which will make your experience and training much easier. A working knowledge of bicycle parts, maintenance, fundamental riding techniques, and what to expect for the first time are just some of the things that place you on the path towards improvement. An array of essential components makes up the art of BMX racing. To better your craft on a BMX bike, you should familiarize yourself with the nuts and bolts:

Body Positioning
A rider must learn how to adjust their body position when bending around corners, performing a basic attack, jumping, and exploding out of the starting gate. Knowing when to sit and stand is also important. If you do not master body positioning, you could fall of a bike, collide with another, or become injured.

Jumping
Many individuals get into BMX because they are intrigued about the aspect of jumping. Learning how to correct mid-air mistakes and improve your jumping skills is necessary to enhance both freestyle and racing skills. Pushing yourself to reach higher and farther goals in jumping also improves an individual’s overall BMX skill.

Cornering
A rider needs to learn when, where, and how to properly corner since this can determine where the rider finishes the race. This includes knowing when to brake, accelerate, or lean into the bike.

Braking
Riders also need to learn how to utilize the braking mechanism of a bike, which allow individuals to master cornering, jumping, and whoops.

Other Skills
Additional training exercises to consider include passing, peddle control, advanced jumping techniques. Overall, BMX Racing is a challenging sport that permits one to test the strength and agility of the mind and muscles

BMX_2.jpgIs BMX Racing Seasonal?

Ordinarily you’d think BMX racing could only take place in summer months.  It’s actually a sport, which takes place all year round.  Tracks are covered with all-weather surfaces and dry out quickly after rain.  However, if winter chills aren’t your thing then try the indoor BMX track at Cherry Orchard in Dublin (www.bmxpursuits.ie).  For full-on, international standard BMXing the track at Ratoath Co. Meath offers the most challenging BMX race facility in Ireland.  Check their Facebook page link at www.ratoathbmx.com for opening times.

UK & Ireland BMX Race ‘Stars’

In the UK the list is endless of talented BMX racers but those who stand out are the Elite Mens rider Liam Phillips and Elite Ladies rider Shanaze Reade.  Both Liam and Shanaze represented GB at the recent London 2012 Olympics.  In Ireland the top Elite Mens rider is Kelvin Batley, who just missed a place at the Olympics but continues to race hard for Ireland in the UK BMX Series and at overseas BMX events.

Within one short year of re-establishing itself as a sport in Ireland, some riders have really shone and are hot tips for future BMX success.  Six year old Corey Waller from Dublin competed for Ireland at the BMX World Championships in 2012 and came away with a world ranking!  Corey went on to get a magnificent 3rd place at Round 9 of the British BMX Series in Derby in July 2012 – an amazing feat and results that will surely mean Corey is a BMX Sate of the future.

The Future

For BMX Racing to endure it needs tracks.  Having a couple of tracks spread throughout the country just doesn’t work as you’ll only ever get locals and very dedicated people visit those tracks.  With a good number of tracks throughout the island of Ireland, it opens up the sport to a huge audience, more funding, more exposure, more involvement from communities, and offers a new, dynamic and exciting sport for out young people.*

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