There are many types of cycling disciplines that can be found these days. From cycling for fitness and health to competitive cycling races, there are many choices to consider. This makes the decision to choose the correct one a bit daunting!
One of the most popular choices for competitive racers is BMX racing. The BMX bike (or Bicycle Motocross) is also a name that refers to a popular bicycle in itself that is used by many people for casual purposes. BMX racing is an off-road racing competition and is also considered a form of motocross racing. These races are essentially sprints on race tracks that are single laps and purpose built for these competitions. The dirt tracks are usually serpentine-like with big banked corners. Such corners help the BMX racers maintain their racing speed which is crucial to successfully completing the race. A variety of rollers and jumps are incorporated in these courses to test the various skills and agility of the competitors.
Official BMX racing is governed by rules of conduct such as age groups and classifications of skill of the racers. Many countries have national governing bodies and you can also find international and regional sanctioning bodies for events that take place worldwide. The various well-known sanctioning bodies are the (NBL) National Bicycle League and the (ABA) American Bicycle Association in the US. These races are similar to other racing competitions in that the competitors accumulate points over a racing period or season. This helps in determining the overall winner for a particular season, etc.
There are corporations that encourage team sports such as BMX racing by sponsoring these events. They do so mainly as a marketing effort to boost exposure for their business. It is a very lucrative industry and a lot of money is involved in these races.
The main skill and expertise that is required for this race is agility, handling of bikes, strength and knowledge of how bikes perform on different areas of the course. With BMX racing, the jumps that are incorporated can vary from very small rollers to step-up doubles. All these add to the complexity of the race and the handling of the bikes by the competitors.
Under the UCI body, the sport of BMX racing was officially made a medal sport at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Committee has officially recognized the ABA (American Bicycle Association) which is certified by the International Cycling Union or the Union Cyclist International (UCI).
Another version of this particular sport that is growing in popularity is the BMX Freestyle. It is now one of the on-going races at the yearly Summer X Games Extreme Sports which is held in the US. This form of riding has no particular rules and creativity, and innovative style of handling bikes are encouraged.
BMX racing is not without its risks as in many other sports involving vehicles. There are risks of bodily injuries that many riders experience at one time or another. These risks can be minimised by following the various guidelines and wearing proper equipment such as helmets, etc. As in many sports that showcases the agility of an individual, the thrill and excitement of this sport continues to draw many competitors and fans.