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JOIN THE CLUB

Okotoks BMX Club is a 100% volunteer run organization that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle through BMX racing. Our club welcomes riders of all ages, from 4 to 94 years old, who are interested in learning and competing in BMX races. Our mission is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for riders to develop their skills, make friends, and have fun!

  • What is BMX Racing?
    BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross, which began on vacant dirt lots in the 1970’s and evolved through the years to the World class activity is it now; recently BMX has become an official Olympic sport! Races take place on proper UCI compliant tracks and are short single lap races over bumps, jumps and around corners from the start gate to the finish line. A full gate for a race consists of 8 riders.
  • Can anyone ride the Okotoks BMX track?
    Our track is generally open to the public to use at their own risk. We do close the track gates if we need to keep riders off due to potential damage that may be caused to the track, such as when the track is too wet to ride due to rain. The track is also not open to the public during our Club races and events. If our Club is using the track, the gates are closed, or the track is wet, please stay off.
  • What age do you have to be to join the Club?
    Anyone who can ride a two-wheel pedal bike can join our club and race on our track however if the rider is under 4 years old they will not be able to get an Alberta Bicycle Association License, they will only be able to acquire a membership and those can be attained down at our track. Riders need to be 5 by the end of the current calendar year to race Provincially.
  • When does the season start?
    We typically start our season early to mid May and run through until mid to end of September… of course this all depends on what kind of weather we are having.
  • How do I register a rider for the season?
    See our registration page for details on pricing and how to register a rider for the current season.
  • We are interested in BMX but would like to try it out first, is this possible?
    Yes! Every year we participate in Alberta BMX Day which typically takes place at the end of May, beginning of June. On this day, anyone can come down to our track and try it out for free. We have all the gear for you to use! If you’ve missed this event, just send us a note and we will likely be able to set you up to come down and try it while we are down at the track.
  • What kind of bike is used in BMX racing?
    BMX Race bikes are designed to be lighter, faster and stiffer than other BMX bikes for maximum speed and handling on the track. Race bikes are typically made of aluminum and carbon fiber to help reduce weight and increase speed. They tend to be lighter than freestyle bikes and will not hold up well if used for stunt or trick riding. The most popular wheel size is 20″. There is also 24″ bikes which are known as “Cruisers” and are usually chosen by racers wanting a second race category or by adult riders due to the larger frame size. Choosing the right size bike is critical to getting the most out of a rider’s experience on the track. Reputable BMX race bike shops and experienced local riders are a great resource to help you get the correct bike. Typical kids BMX race bike:
  • Are “Strider” bikes allowed?
    Strider or balance bikes cannot be used by club members in regular races however we often have fun “Strider Races” for younger siblings who may be coming down to watch on race night. They typically race a short section of the track. We will give families advance notice when we will be holding a Strider Event on race nights.
  • What gear is needed to race BMX?
    All riders must have the following in order to ride the BMX track: • Full faced helmet with a nice snug fit (DOT recommended) • Gloves (full fingered) • Long sleeved shirt • Long pants (tear resistant, durable fabric, no denim) • Fully closed shoes (no sandals)
  • I’ve just registered my child for the season, does that mean we need to race every week?
    How much your rider comes down to the track to race or to train is completely up to them. We have some riders who just come to practice nights but they have no interest in racing, that’s ok! We also have some that just come to race nights but not for practice, that’s ok too! BMX racing is an individual sport so if a rider does not come, it does not affect other riders at all, although coming to practice and racing does help riders improve on their skills and points are accumulated with racing to help determine a racer’s overall standing at the end of the year in their age category. Every club rider who races at least 5 races on our track will be a club trophy at the end of the year.
  • When is race night and what time is it at?
    Please see our Schedules page for details on racing and practice times
  • How do I register my child to race on district race nights?
    If your rider wants to race on our race nights, they must be registered prior to racing. This can be done via our website up to 5pm on race day.
  • My kid races…can I race too?
    Yes!! As long as you register with the Club and get an Alberta Bicycle Association Licence you are more than welcome to race. We have many parents who join their kids on race nights and compete against others in their age and riding category/class. We have a very strong representation of both women and men riders in our Club who race and have a ton of fun on the track each week!
  • What do practice nights look like?
    Your rider will come to coaching at the track based on the the practice schedule. Please respect the practice times and encourage your rider to stay off the track if it is not their time to be there. Practice nights usually start with open track where riders can make their way up the start hill and around the track to warm up. Depending on the number of riders in attendance each night, large groups may be split up into smaller working groups. The coach will determine which skill will be worked on each week. Typically the skill is demonstrated to the riders and then the riders get the chance to practice that skill while getting feedback on their performance. Typical skills practiced may include: balancing in the gate, starting in the gate, pumping skills, pumping skills specific to the rhythm section, building confidence down the start hill and learning strategies in the corners for races just to name a few.
  • Can I go on the track to help my child if they fall during racing or practice?
    It can be hard for parents when their child falls while on the track to not run out to help them but it is unsafe to do so. We will always have first-aid attendants down at the track for races and they will be the ones to attend to any fallen riders first. If your child does fall, please try to remain calm. More than likely your child will bounce right back up on their own quickly, or they will after a short while. The first-aid attendant will assess them if the crash was more serious. If you are needed on the track, track officials will let you know and you will be able to go to your child when the track has been deemed safe. The worst thing to do is to run out onto the track as you are likely be be injured by others on their bikes. A good rule of thumb is to know that the track is off limits to spectators at all times, unless asked to go on the track.
  • Must riders always ride the track in the same direction? Can you ride it backwards?
    Please only ride the track the way it was intended to be ridden, in the direction of the start hill down towards the finish line. BMX riders can go very fast and a collision between riders could be disastrous. BMX riders are not expecting to see a rider coming towards them on the track. If your child begins to ride the track backwards during open track or in practice, please ask them to stop as quickly as you can to avoid injuries to them and/or to other riders.
  • Why is my child not being shown to jump the obstacles on the track?
    BMX racing is different than freestyle or park BMX. Riders who progress in BMX racing can eventually learn to jump and manual (riding with the front tire lifted off the ground), but these skills are not taught to new riders. The focus for new riders will be to learn how to stay standing while racing, how to keep their pedals parallel, how to balance in the start gate, how to navigate the start hill with confidence (it’s high!), how to “pump” the track and how to ride the corners. Riders may not learn to jump or manual for years as they need to learn the basics first.
  • What are “Provincials” and can any rider go?
    Alberta has a race series that runs from June to September called Provincials which consists of 8 races through the summer and one Final “Grands” event and Championship race in September. Different cities and towns across Alberta host the events each year. Over the summer there will be 4 scheduled events that host 2 races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. You do not need to qualify for anything to attend, you just need to sign up and have a current ABA full racing license (an ABA General membership will not allow you to race at provincials). You do not have to register for the full weekend of any of the events, you can just go for one day if you like. The races are run the same as our regular race nights down at our track; riders race others their same age, class and gender. If riders want to compete in the Grands, which is the final event of the series in September, they must have ridden in 4 races (2 full weekends) at any location over the summer to qualify. It does not matter what they placed, they just have to have raced 4 to qualify for the final “Grands” race. Have a look at our calendar for the dates and locations of upcoming Provincials and/or click here for more information. Any rider can register to race in the Championship race in September as well. These races are run differently than a typical district and provincial race in that riders race against other riders of the same age and gender only. For example, all 7 year old boys compete in the same race regardless if they are Novice, Intermediate or Expert. Attending Provincials is a great experience! If you are considering attending, feel free to ask other club members questions about it, we would be happy to help explain things! We understand that there is a lot to learn! **You must have full ABA race license to participate at any events outside of your home track. An ABA UCI General Membership, while cheaper, only allows racing at your home track. See our registration page for more details.
  • Who runs the Okotoks BMX Club?
    Our Club is run solely by volunteers. All registered members and their families have an obligation to volunteer as well, which helps to truly make this a family activity. A board of directors, generally made up of parents or riders, is elected by Club members annually to oversee operations and finances of the facility. Board meetings are held to manage the Club and are open for all members to attend. If you are a current member of our Club and you would like to see the most recent meeting minutes from an Okotoks BMX Board meeting please contact us.
  • Am I required to volunteer?
    Okotoks BMX Club is run 100% by volunteers. Running and maintaining the Club needs as many hands on deck as possible. Your participation is needed to ensure a smooth running season and to maintain the integrity of our track. In order to keep our operations running smoothly, we require each family to: Fulfill the required volunteer and fundraising commitments of the following (more details will be available with your welcome package when you sign up) 20 Standard Hours (Alberta BMX Day & Friday Night Lights to be included in the regular hours) 2 Provincial Shifts 8 hours at a work bee (usually held over a weekend) You must provide one deposit cheque in the amount of $400 per family. Should your volunteer requirements not be met, the cheque will be cashed. We require our members to participate in 2 fundraising activities during the season. Typical fundraising opportunities include bottle drives, raffles, 50/50’s and product purchasing. Online Volunteer sign up is mandatory. In the event that we do not have enough volunteers to run an event (race or practice), it will be cancelled. Volunteer Opt-Out In certain situations we understand that due to varying circumstances members are not be able to fulfill the required Volunteer Commitment. Okotoks BMX has provided a Volunteer Opt-out option of $400 per family. This is payable at the time of registration. Volunteer signup opportunities will be sent out via email on a weekly basis. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to check in with the volunteer coordinator 15 minutes before any event to be sure your volunteer shift is accounted for.
  • How does Okotoks BMX get its funding?
    Okotoks BMX is a volunteer run organization receiving no municipal, provincial or federal funding. The land we use is owned by The Town of Okotoks and is leased to our Club for its activities. In exchange, the general public can use the space during dry track conditions May-October while not in use by our club for an organized event (see calendar). All of our funding comes from registrations, corporate and personal donations/sponsorships and fund raising initiatives such as casinos, 50/50 draws and so forth. If you would like to get involved as a sponsor or have the ability to donate please contact us.
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