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For a BMX racer track time is almost worth as much as gold. For most of us we get one night of practice and maybe two days of racing a week. When you factor in weather and that most of us have other activities as well you can see why track time is so valuable. While you can do other training no prepares you for BMX racing quite like BMX racing. So we should do our best to maximize our time when we are able to ride at the track.

So once we get to the track we need a plan for what we plan to work on. There are dozens of skills and drills we can do. As a new rider we want to focus on mastering the basic building blocks. Learn to be smooth on the track, maintain good body position and bike control. If there is someone at your local track who you can work with it would really benefit you. It always helps to get another pair of eyes to watch what you're doing and give you some feedback.
Part 2
Training at the Track
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One thing I encourage new riders to do at the track is to work on doing full laps all the way from the gate start to the finish line. I know at first this can be difficult accomplish it does help when you actually start racing. Even if it means that you have to take it slower than you would during a race it gets you used to putting all of the skills together. If riders do not ever practice full laps or just spend time working on one particular area you may find that it hurts endurance and transitions from one skill to the next. When I'm working with a new rider I will have them work the first half of practice on full laps and then for the second half work on individual skills or track sections.

One drill that will really help with both learning how to use bike control and track skills is to work on pump laps. The rider will start in the gate as normal but at a set point on the track will stop pedaling and only use the skill of pumping to complete the rest of the lap. When you first start try to only pedal down the first straight and through the first corner. As this becomes easier then try moving the point where you stop pedaling further back, say try just doing the first straight. The goal should be to stop pedaling just before the first obstacle or jump and maintain good track speed for the remainder of the lap.

It can also be beneficial to pick a spot on the track where you feel you need to improve and just work that section. We do this a lot for rhythm sections. I'll have riders pedal all of the way through the turn before the rhythm and then see if the can maintain or increase their speed at the end of the section. Another good section to work on is just doing gate starts through the first turn. If you can work with another rider or someone who can video your practice this can really help to see what is really going on as you ride.

Since it is usually much easier for people to learn and understand a concept through video we have included a video playlist from a Redline Flight School taught by Vet Pro Jason Carnes. I highly recommend that new riders take advantage of clinics as often as they can. Having a coach or trainer be able to watch and work with you is far better than just trying to figure out how to do things better. Most tracks have several opportunites every year when traveling clinics are available. A growing number of tracks also offer clinics for newer riders taught by a local pro or expert. Ask your track operator when they might be having a clinic near you.