cycling utah May 1999

Bicycle Moto Cross not just for kids any more

By Bruce Ritter

First of all, you are thinking, yea I'd like to try BMX racing but I don't know how to get started or the great excuse "I'm too old."

BMX racing is for anyone who can ride a bicycle, and wants to experience the thrill of bike racing that mountain or road bikes can't give you.

There are no limits. There are classes for boys, girls, moms (women cruiser), dads (51 & over cruiser), small kids, (5 & under), big kids (28 & over experts & pros), just-learning-how kids (novices), mid-skill level kids (intermediates) and fast kids (experts). In BMX, thanks to the age splits and skill levels, competion is at a relatively equal level.

These are the simple steps you need to start racing.

1. You need a 20 in. or 24 in. (cruiser) bike. You don't need a top of the line bike. Just something that you feel comfortable on and is mechanically sound.

2. Locate your nearest track. There are numerous BMX tracks around the state of Utah. There is a listing of the tracks in this issue of Cycling Utah. Rad Canyon BMX in West Jordan is the most popular one in Utah. It is ABA sanctioned.

3. Saftey gear. Now that you know where you're going to race, you need the right gear. A helmet, long sleeve shirt and long pants. Gloves, elbow pads and kneepads are not required, but are recommended. For helmets the current rage is the full-face motocross helmets the pros use.

4. Get signed up. Find the registration building and fill out the required forms. You will have to join the sanction (ABA or NBL) in order to be eligible to race. The people at the sign-up building will help you with filling out the forms and can help you with all the questions you might have. Now you're ready to race.

Right now in Utah, and across the U.S., BMX racing is about as popular as it's ever been. The current trend is the growing cruiser classes that have the 1st generation bmxers. Referred to as "old school" racers, the 26-30, 31-35 and 36-40 cruiser classes are some of the largest in the state. Some racers return after being away for as long as 15 years from the sport. Others are full time mountain bikers looking to hone their technical skills.

Whether you're a young kid or thirty-something housewife, if you enjoy riding your bike and want a little more excitement in your life, come out and visit your local BMX track. It might just get you hooked for life.

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