There are several levels of racing which progress through club, regional, national and then worldwide.
The Rockets hold a club race series each Summer on Tuesday evenings and Winter on Saturday afternoons. The details of each series can be found here and the dates are here. These are open to all club members and are a great way to find out how even the biggest events are run as they all run to the same basic format.
The country is split up into Regions – Royston, along with the clubs from Braintree, Norwich, Ipswich, Peterborough and Milton Keynes are in the BMX East Region. When you enter a regional race you will be competing in your age group against riders from these clubs – these events are usually on a Sunday and take most f the day. To enter a Regional race you must have Silver or Gold membership of British Cycling.
The Regional Series does give you the opportunity to qualify for the British Championships – the biggest domestic event on the UK calendar. We suggest to talk to experienced club members if this is to be your target.
National / International Racing
Lets not get ahead of ourselves – to get into the National BMX Racing Series you have to of competed in at least 5 summer regional races before you can enter so lets learn about club and regional stuff first.
What to do at your first Race
On arrival, after you have found your way to the track area, you or your parents should check the schedule for the day and then go to Race Administration and complete your registration—the officials will want know your name and may ask for your age and race plate number – this varies from event to event but if you watch a few other riders you will soon get the idea. Please make sure you have your plate fitted and the number you give to registration is the same as your plate. If you have not pre-registered for the event please try to have the correct race fee as this helps speed up the day’s registration. Most events are pre-registered and many now do not allow for On Day registration so check this well before the race day – at least a week.
You may now practice the track remembering that you are now under race rules and these must be obeyed. Anyone seen riding the wrong way round the track or taking short cuts across the track may be disqualified. Always start at the Start Hill and ride to the finish and make sure you have all your safety kit on. Listen carefully to the commentators as they will be announcing when official Gate Practice starts – often by age groups. It is important to listen carefully and if you do not understand just ask.
Soon after Registration closes the Pre-Moto Sheets will be posted, listen for the commentator to announce “Pre Sheets are posted” – check that your name, class, plate and club is correct. Moto sheets maybe in paper form on a moto board – or with technology enhancements you will often find you need to use an app on your phone.
Other information you should know about includes;
Number Plates – Click Here
Transponders – Click here
MOTO ( Race ) Sheet
When the “Moto” sheets are published you can check which race and start lane you are in. The sample above shows the information you should expect to see but different types of race software have slightly differing formats – as do the phone apps!
If there are more than eight riders in your class you will race in at least three rounds of races called “moto’s”. Most domestic events use “Moto Rotation” which means if you are in a class of 9 or more riders you will not race the same riders each moto.
If there are eight or less riders in the class then you will ride in four moto’s in a “Grand Prix” system where your final position depends on your points from all four moto’s. In each moto you will receive points relative to your finishing position (1st place- 1 point, 2nd- 2 points etc.)
After the moto’s your points are added together and the top riders in each class go into the quarter, semi, or main finals depending on the number of riders in the class. After the first three motos the sheets for the next round will be posted, check if you have qualified and note the race number.
The fourth moto in a Grand Prix is normally run with the main finals. Depending on the event you may find the sheets show your lane chosen by the computer or as in the format shown with “PICK SEQUENCE” where the order the riders are shown is the order they pick their start lane.
If you do not understand what you should do next, you should ask at Race Administration which is normally based near the finish line—often the same place you registered at. At larger meetings you may not be able to get to race administrator but there will always be someone from the your or the organising club who you can ask.
When the riders are called up for racing to start go to the back of the Start Hill before and listen carefully for your moto number and your name. If the area is marked off in lanes make sure you go in the correct one for your race. When your name is called tell the Start hill marshal you are there. They will then direct you onto the start hill where you line up behind your gate position— Please listen carefully so you do not go in the wrong race!
The starter will call you to the gate immediately after the previous race has left. If you are not there by then the race may start without you. It is your responsibility to be at the gate – no one else. When called to the gate position your front wheel centrally in your lane and wait for the pre-recorded start instructions.
a) OK RIDERS—RANDOM START This is the beginning of the starting procedure. If you are not ready to start you must shout “WAIT” or “NO” very loudly so that the starter can hear you—raise your hand as well. The starter will start the call again from the beginning after checking that all riders appear to be ready.
b) RIDERS READY By the time you hear this call you should be in your starting position on your bike—the start is now in progress.
c) WATCH THE LIGHTS. The start will not stop at this time and at some time between 0 and 2.5 secs. the traffic lights will go through their sequence until the gate is released as the Green light comes on – the race is on!
You should race right up to the finish line – many races have been lost in the last few pedals! After you have crossed the line you will probably have to slow down quickly so use your brake but be careful of the other riders behind you coming across the line fast. Clear the finish area as quickly as possible and then “warm down” as the coaches have show you and start preparing for your next race – or the journey home!