Ten amazing facts on BMX racing

The BMX racing event at Glasgow 2018 will take place at the new permanent Olympic standard BMX track in Knightswood Park. Always a fan favourite, BMX racing delivers high-octane excitement and this summer will be no different.

Races normally last under a minute, but with all the heats in quick succession, it is sure to be an exciting event for fans and riders alike.

Here are ten facts on BMX racing that you may not have known:

  • BMX is a sport designed for racing fast, off-road tracks on a bicycle smaller and lighter than a road bike or mountain bike.
  • BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross and is a form of cycling that is considered an extreme sport.
  • It is widely agreed that BMX bicycles came onto the scene in the 1960s as a cheap and easy alternative of motocross. Young cyclists in southern California had the idea to mod their own bicycles and create light and versatile bikes that could be used in urban and dirt track environments.
  • The sport became part of the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI, the world governing body for sports cycling, in 1993, and since then the sport has become widely recognised through the likes of the X Games and more recently for the first time at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
  • Initially, the sport was born for fast racing, but from that culture other disciplines spawned under the banner of ‘freestyle’. This included flatland BMX, street BMX, park riding and dirt riding.
  • BMX racing is heavily influenced by motocross and this can be seen today, with specially built, off-road, single-lap race tracks featuring a start gate from which eight riders are let loose to take on dirt rollers, jumps and wide corners before they reach the finish line.
  • BMX races are fast, lasting 20-40 seconds and take place on a motocross modelled track of 900 to 1,100 feet in length with riders reaching speeds of 15 mph to 35 mph.
  • The BMX bike is much smaller than the standard road bike, with a strong fixed size frame. BMX bikes only have one fixed gear, making it simple to race but poor for transport riding. BMX bikes usually have 20-inch wheels and high handle bars to give racers an upright position.
  • The UK’s sanctioning body is the United Kingdom Bicycle Motocross Association (UKBMXA) and was created in 1980 by David Duffield as a way of promoting BMX in the UK.
  • One of the best riders in the UK at the moment is Beth Shriever, and at 19, is regarded as the standard bearer of British BMX riding. She won the junior women’s title at the World Championships in the United States last year and will be hoping to add to her successes as a senior.

BMX racing takes place at Knightswood Park in Glasgow over two days, during 10 -11 August.

Tickets are priced at £15 - £25 and are on sale now at glasgow2018.com/tickets

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