It is very easy to get yourself on track for BMX – comparatively little equipment is required and BMX bikes are simple and robust (which means they’re not too expensive), with powerful brakes and no gears.
BMX is perhaps the most family-friendly branch of cycle sport – often the whole family will compete at an event and there are an amazing 22 categories plus 3 Novice categories covering all ages and abilities in the National Series.
There is a thriving club structure nation-wide – use the British Cycling Club Finder option to find your local club. Most clubs have their own BMX track, which they use for club events and practice days and evenings. Regional series take place in most parts of the UK, allowing you to develop your skills on other tracks. So, why not get down to your local club.
I want to race BMX in my own region, but don’t feel ready for nationals. What level of membership and licence do I need?
Probably the most confusing area for riders, parents or guardians. Go to the membership section for a full breakdown of each level of membership and what benefits you can gain from Bronze, Silver or Gold membership. For BMX regional events, all participating riders in the Expert categories need to be Silver or Gold members of British Cycling. Your BMX Regional Secretary will be able to explain to you how many races you can attend as a Novice before moving to the Expert categories, but as a guide, one season in Novice should be enough.
For BMX national events, all riders need to have Silver or Gold membership and a racing licence.
If I wish to test myself against older or faster riders, can I just move up into the next age band?
No, a rider has to earn the right to “move up”. Any rider who achieves a ranking in the top two of their own class may elect to “ride up” one age group the following year. Should the rider again achieve a top two ranking they may elect to ride up one further year.
- Any Male rider in his 15th year can elect to ride in either 15/16s or Elite Men.
- Any Male rider in his 16th year can elect to ride in either 15/16s or Elite Men.
- Any Female rider in her 14th or 15th year can elect to ride 13 – 15 Female or Junior Female.
- A Cruiser rider aged 30 years or over, may choose to compete at either the oldest level below that age level or in the appropriate age group in one of the 30 years and over Cruiser classes.
- A 20″ rider aged 30 or over may choose to compete in 19+, Masters (30+) or Elite Men.
The choice of competing class shall be made for the whole Series. Any rider wishing to return to their normal age race class or move out of the Elite category may only do so by written application to the BC BMX Commission.
My birthday is in June. How do I work out which category I race in?
The age class a rider is eligible to ride is determined by his age, which shall be calculated by subtracting the rider’s year of birth from the current year. Example: 2009 – 1998 = 11. A rider born in 1995 would race in the 11/12 Boys or 10-12 Girls.
I’ve raced events in my region, but I sometimes race riders a lot older than me. What categories are there at nationals and can I compete against riders my age?
The female categories are spaced in multiple year age bands until you reach the age of 16. Male categories are in single age bands until you reach 11 years old, then they are in 2-year age bands until you reach the age of 19. See the table below:
|20″ Wheel Classes Male||20″ Wheel Classes Female||Cruiser (24″ Wheel) Classes|
|6 & Under – Male*||7 & Under – Female*||9 - 12 and Under*|
|7 yrs*||8 yrs*||13 - 14 yrs|
|8 yrs*||9 yrs*||15 - 16 + yrs|
|9 yrs*||10 yrs*||17 – 29 yrs|
|10 yrs*||11 yrs*||40 - 44 yrs|
|11 yrs*||12 yrs*||45 - 49 yrs|
|12 yrs*||13 yrs||50+ yrs|
|13 yrs||14 yrs|
|14 yrs||15 yrs||13 - 16 Female|
|15 yrs||16 yrs||17 - 29 Female|
|16 yrs||Championship Women (17+)||30+ Female|
|17 - 24 yrs|
|Junior Men (17 – 18 yrs)|
|25 - 29 yrs|
|Grand Veteran (50+)|
|Elite Men (Money Class)|
Note: Riders in classes marked ‘*’ are not allowed to use clip type pedals
I feel ready to race national events, but I’d like to race against other beginners. What do I need to know and what categories are there for me to race in?
Novice racing at national level is not delivered consistently and it is up to the host event organisers to decide if Novice racing will take place. If Novice racing takes place, the categories are defined on the day based on the age of the riders wishing to compete. A Novice rider is defined as: Any rider who has not competed in a full Regional series as regional “expert” in the previous year or Any rider who has never competed at National level as “expert” or Any rider who has not competed in 3 or more National events as “novice”. Novice registration will take place during normal registration on Saturday morning. Except in exceptional circumstances and where practicable, no registrations will be taken on Sunday. Novice Plate numbers will be the last three digits of the riders British Cycling Membership if they have one, or any random three digit number starting with #9.
I’m unsure which region I am supposed to be racing in?
I’ve bought my own number plate. What is the correct colour for the plate and numbers?
To ensure we keep consistency with Europe, we keep the colours the same as Internationals. Regional coloured plates and Regional ranking numbers are not allowed at BMX National Series events, with the exception of current British Champions and World/European finalists who may choose to use their Championship plates and numbers.
- Male 20″ White Plates Black Numbers
- Female 20″ Blue Plates White Numbers
- Cruisers (Male and Female) Red Plates White Numbers
- Elite Male (and Female) Yellow Plates Black Numbers
I’m really enjoying my racing, but don’t understand how the lane allocation is drawn. I won my Motos, but drew lane 6. Is this right?
The inside gate isn’t always the best draw, so the following method is used. In Motos, Qualifier rounds and Main Finals, a rider’s lane will be selected by the computer software, which will automatically and randomly allocate the rider’s lane.
There were only 7 riders in my category, so there was no final as such. How are points awarded for these races?
This type of race is called a Grand Prix. When there are no more than 8 riders in a class, the riders shall compete as one group and race 3 Motos with the points awarded for each placing as in Table A plus a 4th GP Final Race with the “A” Final points based on the results of the four races.
I’ve started racing nationals, but I can’t understand how the points are allocated!
For every race (Moto) you complete, you are awarded points. The higher the position, the more points you get. If you get as far as the final, then you are awarded more points. The table below demonstrates:
|Position||Moto||B Final||A Final|