“Riders ready? Watch the lights.”
That is the cadence you’ll probably hear from the starter as the gate is about to fall in front of you for the very first time. But before you go all out, first take a moment to scope out the track. Watch a few laps of practice and memorize how some of the good riders are going around. Take mental notes of where they ride in the turn and where they pedal and where they stop pedaling. Keep in mind that, in the beginning, you probably won’t be able to jump as they do; that will come in time.
Your first few laps around the track should be slow. Take it easy. By all means, don’t go all out on your first lap! Take time to familiarize yourself with the track so that you know what jumps are coming up and what it feels like to go over them. It will be totally different once you take the track at faster speeds. As you’ll soon find out, a good start can be the difference between the first and eighth, so we’d suggest working on your gates as much as possible. And remember that all-so-true saying, “Practice makes perfect.” So……practice, practice, practice.
Another smart idea for any BMX rider is to take advantage of the many BMX clinics and camps that are available. In addition to the clinics and programs at your local track, there are teams and pros that travel from track to track, teaching riders just like you everything they need to know in order to get better at BMX racing.