In short - BMX racing is for everyone!
The bikes may be small, but that's so riders can go big, using their bodies to generate speed and movement. The youngest age class is 6 & Under, the oldest is 50+!
BMX Racing has no upper age limit, so there isn't an excuse not to get involved!
Whatever the issue, there'll be someone appropriate to contact.
As a general principle, your club secretary is the ideal first point of contact for enquiries.
If you've seen BMX racing on TV (or being modern, on an internet feed) or been to a race near you, it's easy to look at experienced riders jumping, speeding around making daring moves and think to yourself "I'll never be that good" or something similar.
Well... everybody has to start somewhere and a BMX track is rideable for all ages and abilities from walking pace to warp speed.
Ask a BMX racer about it and they'll encourage you to give riding a go. Club sessions are ideal times to get kitted up, get on a bike and give it a go. You'll get pointers and get a feel for it. It's daunting at first depending on your sporting ability, but newcomers of all ages can successfully, and safely, negotiate a BMX track.
The different levels of racing outlined above cater for all abilities too, so you needn't worry about being totally outclassed. It's the taking part that counts!
Besides, the best way to get good at riding a BMX, is to ride a BMX!
If you're just starting out, whatever your age, your best bet is to enter a club race. These are hosted by most clubs across the country and vary in size from a couple of dozen riders to a 100 or more.
If you've followed our advice and joined your local club, the track should be familiar to you and it's an ideal way to get a taste of racing in an environment you know.
Novice or Expert?
One of the first distinctions is between Novice riders and Expert riders;
Novice - For riders new to BMX
If you're new to the sport, whether as a beginner at riding or ride a bit but have never competed before, Novice is the class for you. It's a chance to experience racing and learn how it all works as well as perfecting skills and having fun.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Novice racing should be about the PROCESS not the RESULT so race to gain experience, not because you think you'll win easily!
Expert - for riders with some experience
You don't have to be winning races to move up to Expert, it's more a matter of having some race experience and being ready to test yourself. The best way to improve and ultimately to have more fun, is to step up to Expert and get stuck in!
At Novice level, PARTICIPATION is rewarded, so finalists usually get a medal. At Expert level, ACHIEVEMENT is rewarded so usually it's only at the end of a whole series that riders making the podium overall get a trophy.
Types of races
Club: The entry level of the sport - ideal for first timers
A fun day of racing at your home track is the order of the day at a club race, less riders than bigger events but still following the standard format of registration, practice, motos, finals etc. The best way to get a taste of racing and learn how it all works before venturing to other tracks to compete.
Club racing can still be tough, as expert riders get a great workout on a familiar track and it really keeps skills sharp!
Regional: different tracks, more riders!
Every region has a summer race series which will have rounds at most if not all of the tracks in their region. It's through this series that riders can qualify for that season's British Championships and for racing Nationals (if they haven't done so before)
There are novice classes and expert classes so those new to the sport can still gain essential experience without adding pressure! Regions vary in size, some will have 200 riders at an event, others 400+!
Regional racing is a great way to experience the sport on a bigger scale, with a variety of tracks, a step up in competition and lots of the fun, community side of BMX racing to see.
Nationals: The top domestic level of racing
The British BMX Series is the top UK race series, it is for expert riders only so beginners need to do at least one season of regional racing at expert level to qualify to race "Nationals" as it's a big step up in competition. The tracks are often the toughest in the country and there'll usually be 750+ riders at the event! A whole weekend of racing with trade stands to tempt you with shiny bits and everyone in the sport all in the same place.
If you've done a regional series, chances are you'll already have done a race on a track that's hosting a National, so it won't be a shock to the system! It's a fantastic spectacle of BMX and well worth going to watch even if you're not riding.