BMX racing is an elite sport but isn’t elitist. At the top level of competition professional riders compete in an international World Cup series with the Olympic Games as the sport’s highest prize.
At the grassroots level, clubs based at tracks across the country run races for every ability from novice upwards. Unlike many sports, BMX racing will have the country’s top athletes competing at the same event as amateurs.
BMX is short for Bicycle Motocross which points to the sport’s origins in California in the 1970’s where kids keen to emulate their Motocross heroes began modifying bicycles to race on dirt. It became a craze and took off, with companies springing up as fast as tracks across the USA and soon after, internationally.
Although tracks have progressed significantly in the 40 years of BMX racing, they’re still based on a series of jumps and banked corners (berms.)
The main race series in the UK is the British BMX Series, run under British Cycling Federation rules with classes for all ages of rider. Known as Nationals, these races are held at the top tracks in the country and attract the best riders. Winning a National is a major achievement but there are also points at stake for the overall series title.
BMX is split into regions; North, Midlands, South, East Anglia and South West. Each region is made up of the clubs based at the tracks there and a regional series takes place in each. This regional series is how riders qualify for the British BMX Championships which is the biggest event on the UK race calendar.
Bruntwood Park BMX Club is in the North Region along with clubs in Manchester, Knowsley, Crewe, Preston, Coppull, Barnard Castle, Hartlepool, Heywood, Blackpool, Bradford, Lytham and Rotherham. At the British Championships, most riders wear region race jerseys and the clubs group together to create a fantastic atmosphere!
As well as clubs, there are teams in the sport. Varying from factory teams backed by bike brands to those supported by bike shops or other companies, the actual level of “sponsorship” a rider receives will vary.