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BMX stands for "Bicycle moto cross". BMX races are held on dirt tracks of around 350 metres, including jumps, banked corners and other obstacles. Eight riders of the same age category and skill level compete head-to head in each heat, with the top four qualifying for the next round. Races are approximately 30-40 seconds in length and riders race three heats or motos heats per event (qualifying rounds, quarter finals, semi-finals) to qualify for the main event (finals), assuming there is more than eight riders in the corresponding class.
BMX began in the in the U.S.A. (California) in the early 1960s as a result of children and teenagers riding bicycles in self-built tracks and motocross gear. The sport grew so fast that several organizations in the U.S. began to sanction organized events across the country by 1974. Modeled after its nearest cousin, Motocross, BMX racing was an affordable alternative to motorized dirt track racing. Anyone with a 20" bicycle could get into the action. Now there are competitive cruiser classes (24" BMX bicycles) that also compete on these courses.
Since then, the sport of BMX is rising in popularity and is one of the fastest growing family sports in Canada.
INTRODUCTION TO THE UCI
BMX is a highly technical sport involving high levels of balance, and coordination. BMX is the window to opening up youth driven participation in cycling. As a youth orientated sport BMX encourages life long cycling and fitness practices.
- In the early 1970s a sanctioning body for BMX was founded in the U.S.A. This is considered as the official start of BMX racing
- Introduced on other continents too, among them Europe in 1978
- In April 1981, the International BMX Federation (IBMXF) was founded, and the first world championships were held in 1982
- Since January 1993 BMX has been fully integrated into the Union Cycliste Internationale. Presently, 53 national federations, including over 70,000 licensed riders, organize BMX races sanctioned by the UCI
- On June 2003, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to introduce BMX in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
- 20" Wheels (standard) or 24" Wheels (cruiser)
- Pads on the top tube of the frame, stem, and handlebar crossbar
- Back brakes
- Number plate (white background with black numbers)
- Full-face helmet
- Long pants
- Long sleeve shirt or jersey
The age category is based on racer's age as of December 31st of the year he/she racing in. The categories are separated into male and female and range from 5 years old to 50 years & over.
- Novice - new riders
- Intermediate - moderately skilled riders
- Expert - highly skilled riders
- Junior - 17 and 18 year old highly skilled riders
- Elite - 19 and over, the highest level of the sport
In July 2007, Canada will proudly host the BMX World Championships in Victoria, en route to the sport's Olympic debut in the 2008 Olympic Games. Official web site here.