Monday, October 20, 2014
About / Terminology

Talk the Talk!

If you're relatively new to the sport and it sounds like everyone is speaking in code, here is a quick reference guide to help you through some of the most commonly used BMX Racing terms and phrases:

Berm: A corner of the track that is built-up on the topside of a turn to create a banked curve.

Case: Coming up short on a jump where the back wheel of the bike hits the peak of the landing.

Cruiser: A BMX bicycle with 24" wheel diameter. The standard wheel is just 20".

Double: A jump made of of two different bumps, one acting as a takeoff (lip), and the other as a landing, with a dip in the middle.  Also known as a "gap" jump. "Step-Ups" and "Step-Downs" fall within this general category.

Expert: The highest rider classification achievable in amateur BMX competition.

Hole Shot: Taking the lead position out of the starting gate going into the first turn.

Intermediate: The classification above novice (beginner).

Main: To determine the finishing place ranking in classes with more than 8 riders, it's a final race after all qualifying heats have taken place to determine final placement of the top 8 qualified riders.

Manual: The act of riding a wheelie without pedaling – typically over top sections of various jumps and through rhythm sections.

Moto: A single racing heat (out of three), or reference to a riders' specific heat.

Moto Board: An area where the moto sheets are posted before and during the race.

Moto Number: The number corresponding to the riders' specific heats (moto).

Moto Sheet: The paperwork displaying the class heats in specific numbered order and the riders starting lane position (1 –8) for each (of their 3) specific heat.

Novice: The classification of a new/beginner rider to the sport.

Number Plate: Mounted on the front of the handlebars, it's a plate that displays the riders' earned or temporary number for scoring and identification purposes.

Rhythm Section: A back-to-back series of jumps or rollers within a section of the track.

Roller: A track obstacle that is rolled over as opposed to being jumped.

Sandbagging: Intentionally allowing other riders to pass during a main event, or within any round of a total points race, with the purpose of not gaining wins towards class advancement.

Staging Area: An area before the gate where the riders are organized into their motos prior to loading the gate.

Starting Gate: These gates are positioned on the top of the start hill. They can accommodate up to eight racers and are mechanically synchronized to release riders simultaneously at races. Riders balance the front wheels of their bikes against a vertical barrier that falls away when the race starts. A random start gate timing cadence, audio and light system is used to start the race. In general it consists of the phrase “Ok riders, Random start. Riders ready? Watch the gate". This cadence is followed by 4 tones that coincide with the display of a light tree and the gate begins to fall on the last tone and light. It is up to the rider to push their bike forward at the moment the gate drops.

Step-Up: A jump in which the landing is elevated above the launch.

Table Top: A jump that has a angled takeoff and landing but a completely level or flat 'table' across on the top. These are better for less experienced riders who come up short of the landing and need to ride across the top of the jump.

terminology

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