How do I get started racing BMX?
So you want to start racing BMX? Great decision! It's a great sport and you're sure to have a lot of fun. Here's some information on how to get started.
Who can race BMX?
Almost everyone! Young and old, male or female, everyone is welcome. Kids as young as three can jump on a 'strider' bike (no pedals) and have a go at riding the track, but don't think it's just for the kids! Plenty of adults take to the track in classes catering for all ages up to over fifty, and there's plenty of proof that you're never too old.
I'm not sure if I/my child would like it?
That's OK! Head on down to one of our training nights and give it a go! It helps if you can ride a bike on the flat first before you take it to the BMX track, though, so make sure you're comfortable riding, balancing and turning first. Spectators are also welcome at our training nights.
And don't worry about the gear: the club has helmets, gloves and bikes for you to borrow if you don't already have your own, although any bike with a working brake and/or a motocross helmet will generally work fine (remove the trick pegs or chain guard on your bike though if you have them). You'll also need to wear:
- Closed-toe shoes (runners or skate shoes are best, but most anything will do).
- Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Gloves (Gardening gloves are fine, just something to cover the hands. The club has gloves you can borrow but bring some just in case).
To ride in our training nights, you'll need an AusCycling license (see below). A four-week free trial license is available for those trying BMX for the first time.
Do I need to spend a lot of money? What gear do I need?
The club has bikes and helmets for you to borrow, while you get hooked on BMX, so don't worry about it for now! Eventually though, you'll want to get your hands on your own. You'll want:
- A full-face helmet
- A well-fitting race-specific BMX bike
Once you've mastered the basics and want to start racing at other clubs, you'll need:
- A number plate (to identify you while you're racing. You can order through our club and nominate your preferred number)
- You might need a transponder mounted to your bike's front fork (it's what tells the timing system you've crossed the finish line- check with the club if you need one as some classes are 'participation only' and don't need one).
And later on down the track, you might like to buy:
- A race jersey (these can also be personalised with your name and race number and ordered through the club)
- Protective pants
- Bike-specific, full-fingered gloves
It doesn't have to be expensive, either. Plenty of good deals on used gear can be found on places like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, with the only reason for selling is that the rider has grown out of it! (It's recommended that you don't buy used helmets though, it is your brain after all!). And don't forget about our club supporters Wheel Heat in Wonthaggi and Gippy Cycles in Traralgon, who can hook you up with a good deal for all the gear you need. If you get stuck, come and ask at the club; we're more than happy to help (we love talking about BMX!).
And you'll need a license!
To participate in club activity, you'll need to become a member of the club through AusCycling, the governing body for cycling (including BMX) in Australia. More information about joining the club and joining AusCycling here.