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Just about every BMX track is a unique design. They vary in length, size, shape and layout.
Fortunately even though each one is different they all share the same common building blocks. So
whether you are talking about a local track or one of the national series tracks you can see how these
pieces have been fit together. So let's go over these basic parts of track anatomy.
Anatomy of a BMX track
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS (OKC AREA)
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This is probably the basis for every other type of obstacle on a
BMX track. They are typically a small rounded hill less than 36"
high. It is not unusal for a single roller to be used as a sort of
speed bump at some tracks, but it is becoming less common
to have a single roller.
When you have a section of the track with several rollers together it is called the rhythm section. This
is the area of the track where learning to pump over obstacles pays off. Sometimes the rhythm section
is a series of evenly spaced rollers of about the same size. Other times you may have a couple of
rollers with a jump in the middle followed by more rollers. The options are almost unlimited.
The most common obstacle on today's track is the jump. The most basic is a
single jump which is essentially a very large roller. Those are not as common
anymore but a close relative is the Table Top Jump. It is kind of a blend
between a single and a double. These are usually very easy for new riders to
learn to manuever over. They are also a safer way to learn jumping skills.
A variation on the regular double jump is the step
up/step down obstacles. On a step up the first lip
is lower than the second one, so it "steps up".
They are a little more difficult to get over than a
regular double jump but not too much and most
riders learn it pretty quickly.
The reverse of the step up is a step down where
the first lip is higher than the last lip. Step jumps
are not limited to only two lips. Triple step ups
and a step up/step down is becoming popular for
track rebuilds. Not to mention that most national
tracks have a variety of step jumps.
The double jump is similar to a
table top with the middle
scooped out. These are very
common and new riders need to
work to master getting over
Turns, just like riders, come in every size and shape you can imagine.
We have some long, sweeping 180s, tight hairpins, hip turns and even
some 90s here and there. Most of us are familiar with turns in general.
What we do want to know is the difference between and banked turn
and a berm turn. Banked turns are a pretty much even slope from top
to bottom. These are usually used on small short turns such as a hip
turn in a straight.
Berm turns are a curved surface that increases the slope as you move up the turn. This allows riders
to carry more speed through the turns. This is the most common type of turn on most BMX tracks.
Although riders need to be prepared for various designs.
The last major item on our track tour is the starting hill. The first area that you come to is Staging.
This is where riders go before their moto is called. Usually in this area there are ropes or painted lines
separating the motos. This is where all riders stay until they are called onto the hill. At larger events
there will probably be an area just behind staging where riders wait to be called to the staging lanes.
After your moto is called to the hill you will then proceed to the Flat. This is immediately behind the
gate area. Usually there will be a person working the staging area making sure that riders are present
for their motos and their gate assignments.
The last area is the gate area. This is an inclined ramp that includes the gate and operating gear.
This is where riders
actually load into the
gate and prepare to
start the race.
Generally the gates are
numbered from 1 - 8
with 1 being the
closest to the starting booth. You should always be aware of what is going on around you when you
are up in the gate area as you could be seriously injured if the gate were to come down on an arm or
This should give you a pretty good introduction to the parts of a BMX track. If you have any questions
feel free to ask someone. They'll be more than happy to help you out.