Getting Started In BMX

Getting started in BMX is easy and we have put this page together in order to help familiarize you with the sport as well as get you ready for the track.  You may also want to look through the USA BMX New Riders Manual and the USA BMX Rule Book

Location of the Track

Waterford Oaks BMX is located inside of Waterford Oaks County Park at 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford, MI 48328. Phone (248) 858-0915

Go to the Directions Page

What is BMX?

Bicycle Motocross or BMX is a sport where riders of all ages use manual power to maneuver a pedal bike over jumps, banked corners and other obstacles.  BMX was created by kids but it’s becoming popular with older racers as well.  Unlike most sports, BMX racing depends 100% on your performance, not the combined performance of a team, or team effort.  Riders compete in classes, and will remain with that class until he/she has a birthday or he/she progresses by first place wins.

 BMX Racing Facts

Statistics have proven that BMX racing is one of the safest of all sports today. Part of this is due to the mandatory safety requirements. All Riders MUST wear long sleeves, long pants and a full face helmet.

BMX is an excellent individual and family orientated sport. Races are organized into girl’s classes and boys classes, and then subdivided into age groups and skill levels. The age groups range from 5 & under classes to 36 & older. Within these age groups are three skill levels: Novice, Intermediate and Expert. All riders start as Novices and must work up to the more advanced levels by winning races. A Novice must move up to the Intermediate class after they have 6 wins in the Novice class. An Intermediate must move up to the Expert class after they have 25 wins as an Intermediate. There is also competition in the Cruiser class for boys and girls. The age groups for the Cruiser class are 7 & under to 56 & older.

How Much Will It Cost?

You can obtain a USA BMX thirty day trial membership for $30.  A trial membership is good only at the track where purchased.  During the thirty day trial, you can upgrade to full membership for only $35 more.  If you would like to skip the trial membership, you may purchase a full membership for $60, that’s a savings of $5 over the trial membership with the conversion cost.  The full membership is good for one year from the date of purchase.  Once you have your full membership, points will be awarded to you at each race and you may compete in any USA BMX sanctioned event.  You can get family discounts when signing up additional family members. Open ride fee is $5; race fee is $7 (ribbon only) or $10 (for trophy) awards are given to 1st – 4th place in the main event.

See a copy of the USA BMX Application

What Does My Bike Need to Be Track Ready?

  • Fenders, kickstands, reflectors, pegs and chain guards must be removed
  • Handle bars must have a cover over the metal end of the bars
  • Frame must be in good condition with no cracks
  • Wheels cannot exceed 20 inches (unless you are racing cruiser class 24”+ wheels)
  • Handle bars cannot exceed 28 inches in width
  • Brakes must be in good condition

What Type of Clothing Do I Need?

  • Long pants (racing pants are not mandatory)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Full-face helmet with chin strap
  • Closed toe sneaker like a skate shoe
  • Gloves, knee and elbow pads are recommended but not mandatory

Rental Equipment

We have onsite bikes and helmets for rent if you need them.

  • Helmet: $5 for the day
  • Bike: $5 for the day

What Do I Do When I Arrive?

The first thing you need to do is come to the sign-up at the registration building.  It is there that you’ll fill out a USA BMX application and a Oakland County Parks waiver.

See a copy of the USA BMX Application

Next we recommend that you closely watch the riders go around the track. Pay attention to their body motion over jumps (using arms and legs as shock absorbers) and note where riders are pedaling and when they are coasting. Take it slow on your first few laps. Remember, you are brand new to this and those fast, expert racers started off just like you. Take time to learn the track – know which obstacles are coming up and how to take it smoothly. Often, the difference in the beginner class is who is smoothest around the course rather than quickest

See the Track Here

The Starting Gate

When you’re ready to start riding you will need to take your bike up to the starting hill.  Again we recommend that you spend a few moments watching the other riders and how they use the gate.  It is very important that you wait until the gate is all the way in the up position before your bike into the gate and then begin to set up your bike.  If you have any questions or concerns before starting please speak to the gate operator and they will be happy to assist you.

 Open Ride Times

Obviously, the more you ride your bike, the better you will get. That old saying “Practice makes perfect” stands true in the world of BMX racing. Check our Calendar of Events for open ride times and come out as often as you can.

See Calendar here.  (Open ride are dates in blue and yellow dates signify race dates.)

 Clinics

Throughout the year, Waterford Oaks BMX offers Beginner Riding Clinics.  Attending a clinic is one of the best ways to learn how to get better in BMX. Clinic dates and time will be posted on our web site as well as announced at the track.

USA BMX New Rider Video

For more information on getting started in BMX racing, watch the USA BMX New Rider Video

USA BMX New Riders Manual

For more information on getting started in BMX racing, look through the USA BMX New Riders Manual

USA BMX Rule Book

To see the rules look through the Official USA BMX Rule Book