Welcome to Okotoks BMX!
Our Club would like to welcome you to this amazing sport! We are a family oriented Club and have riders of all ages as members.
Here are a few things you should note as you start out…
BMX races are sprint-style on bikes that are designed small to go fast. The bikes are meant to be ridden standing up and up to 8 riders may compete at a time in each Moto (qualifying heat). Each race will have at least 3 Motos if there are 8 or less riders in the race category. If there are more than 8 riders registered in a category, finalists will need to be determined by race points during the 3 Motos to determine the top 8 riders. The final race with the top 8 riders in categories with over 8 riders registered is called a “main event” or “main”.
Your rider’s category will be determined by their age, gender and skill. For example all boys who are 7 or who will be turning 7 by Dec 31st, and are Novice will be in the same class/category. (A six year old who would only be turning 7 in December will still be racing in the 7 year old category)
Please note that in order for a rider to be able to race at our track, they will need a current Okotoks BMX membership as well as an Alberta Bicycle Association (ABA) license.
You will of course require a bike! 20 inch diameter wheels recommended, 24 inch if you are riding in the Cruiser class (see below for sizing information). Please remove all reflectors, bike stands, pegs, bells or other extra stuff before you arrive. Gears are allowed, but not needed and only bikes with rear brakes can be used, coaster or backward pedal brakes are not safe on a BMX track due to the technical way riders navigate the track.
Rider gear must ALWAYS be worn when riding the track. Mandatory gear includes:
- Full face DOT helmet with a nice snug fit
- Gloves (full fingered)
- Jersey/Long sleeved shirt
- Long pants (tear resistant, durable fabric, no denim)
- Flat type running shoes (no sandals or open toed shoes)
You will need to register your rider to race each week. This can be done via our website before 5pm on our race nights. Registration can also be done in person down at the track on practice nights and at our Moto Shed window on race nights prior to 6:15pm.
Rider lists will be posted once all registrations are received and prior to races starting. It is important that the rider’s information is correct on the sheet. Once the list is posted, please review your rider’s name, plate number, age and class/category. If any of the information for your rider is incorrect, please inform someone at the Moto shed registration window immediately so changes can be made. Riders will usually be racing others who are the same age, in the same skill level (novice, intermediate, expert) and typically the same gender.
After rider lists are finalized, the Moto list will be posted. A Moto is a single racing heat and each rider will typically race in 3 Motos per race night unless there is a “main”. Note how many riders are registered in your rider’s category…if there are more than 8, your rider may end up racing a semi-final or a “main” depending on how they place in their 3 Motos. Each rider will need to check the list for their Moto information and it is encouraged that this information is written down on a piece of masking/painter’s tape with a Sharpie and placed somewhere easily visible on the bike as it will be used in the staging to organize the riders. The list will show which Moto and which lane they are in for each one.
John Smith 12:3 24:8 36:2
This rider would ride in the 12th Moto in lane 3, the 24th Moto in lane 8 and the 36th Moto in lane 2 and this is how it would be written on the piece of tape and placed in a visible spot on the bike such as behind the race plate or on the top bar of the bike frame.
Encourage your rider to head to the staging area which is right below the start gate ramp, no later than 5 Motos ahead of theirs. This will help the volunteers at the staging area ensure your rider gets into the gate for their proper Moto. Parents do not need to accompany the riders to the staging area unless they feel their rider needs some extra help. Volunteers will also be at the top of the start hill to help your rider get into their proper gate.
Once all riders in a Moto are in place in the gate, the gate is dropped and the race begins!
There is a lot to learn as a new BMX rider! Encourage your rider to have fun! A great way to learn more about how the techniques used in BMX is to attend our coached practice nights, Mondays for Advanced riders and Tuesdays for Novice and Intermediate riders. Watching the more experienced riders race and paying attention to their body positioning and the strategies they use to make their way around the track is another great way to learn tips and tricks.
If your rider races at least 5 races, they will get a club trophy at the end of the season!
If you are ever unsure or confused about anything, please do not hesitate to ask someone for help. We pride ourselves on being a Club with members who are friendly and approachable…just ask someone, we would be happy to help you! Also you can click here for other frequently asked questions and answers.
Rider Class Advancement
Male BMX riders race in 3 classes/categories: Novice, Intermediate and Expert and female riders in 2 classes: Novice and Expert. All riders start as Novice no matter what their age and they advance by winning. It is important to note that they need to win the full race (average 1st place of all 3 Motos) in order for the win to count towards an advancement, not just win one Moto. For example a rider may place 1st, 2nd and then 1st in their Motos. This rider would place 1st overall and “win” that race and that win would count towards advancing to Intermediate. Another rider may place 2nd, 1st and 2nd in the same race. They would end up placing 2nd overall and their one “win” in the second Moto would not count towards advancing since they placed 2nd overall.
Here is what is needed to advance:
- Novice to Intermediate – 10 wins as a Novice
- Intermediate to Expert – 20 wins as an Intermediate
- Novice to Expert – 25 wins as a Novice
Close to skill advancement? Need to know how many wins? Contact the Lead Sport Coordinator listed on the ABA Contact Us page.
It is the responsibility of each ride/parent to keep track of the wins for advancement. If found to be racing out of class, riders could be penalized/suspended. Need more info? View the complete Alberta Bicycle BMX Policy manual.
Online copies of the BMX racing rule books can be found on the website of Alberta BMX Association (not to be confused with Alberta Bicycle Association).
Here you will find 3 sets of rule books used for different levels of events:
- Official UCI Rulebook – The Union Cyclist International rule book is used for the events of the Olympics, Worlds and Championship races.
- Cycling Canada Companion Guide – The Cycling Canadian Association guide is used for events of the Western National Series.
- Alberta Bicycle Aassociation Policy Book – The Alberta Bicycle Association Policy Book is used for events of the Provincial series and District Races.
All racing is followed by the UCI rulebook with modifications specific to what series you are racing such as Provincials, Western Nationals or District.
Please take the time to know these rule books before you attend these events if you have questions on how the event is being run and why events are run differently.