BMX Racing - Whats it All About?
The sport of BMX racing is gaining popularity all over the world, especially since it was made an official Olympic sport in the summer of 2008. BMX racing is a sport that is derived from motocross racing, hence the name, bicycle motorcross (BMX). It's been around since the 1960's, however it wasn't until the 1970's when more and more kids started to mimic the Motocross legends that they looked up to, increasing the popularity of the sport.
The BMX race track is a dirt course that is made of a starting block, jumps in various places throughout the course and a finish line. Most races are ran in sprint format allowing only eight riders on the track at a time. Out of the eight riders the fastest will move onto the final race. The motos or the qualifying races give the BMX riders up to three times to get a spot in the final race. Depending on the number of riders there are in the event, there will be many mini races or heats that will filter into the last one that determines the champion.
Protective gear is an important element of BMX racing. The racers' gear looks somewhat similar to that of Motocross racers. The competitor wears long sleeve jerseys to protect their arms from track burn in case of a fall or crash. Their legs are covered by protective heavy-duty leather racing pants. Leather gloves are also worn to prevent hand injury. Riders in official races must wear a full face helmet to protect from head and neck injuries. Knee, shin and elbow guards are worn to protect the most vulnerable bones that are likely to make contact with the ground if the rider wrecks.
The standard rim size for BMX bikes 20 inches, although there are smaller and bigger sizes depending on age and height of the rider. BMX racing bikes are typically smaller than a mountain or road bike. It is this smaller size and lightweight, sturdy construction that allows the biker to fly around the course at top speed and take to the air when they hit the jumps.
BMX frames are made out of lightweight aluminum, alloy and/or cro-moly (chromium molybdenum), making them light and sturdy so they can hold up to any punishment that the rider puts it through on the track. Although BMX racing a solo sport, teams are formed by sponsors to cover the cost of the riders needs.
If you are interested in becoming a professional BMX rider you must be at least sixteen years of age. You must be confident in your riding skills and have proven yourself in the amateur classes. Once you break into the professional class you have to practice and hone your skills to stay there. BMX racing is a relatively new sport. A sport that thanks to the summer 2008 Olympics has now been seen world wide. This exposure is sure to keep the sport growing and strong. The future for BMX racing is truly limitless.
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