What is Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX)?


A BMX race can be described as “sprint cycling over a specially prepared dirt racetrack.” Races are run on dirt tracks, usually 300-400 meters long and consist of a series of jumps, rollers and bumps with banked corners known as “berms.” Riders start off a 4m or 8m start ramp and race each other over one lap with eight riders in each race. The main goal is to cross the finish line first. BMX race is probably the most competitive side of the discipline. In BMX racing, riders need a lot of high-speed strength as the dirt tracks are short, and a lap takes only 30-40 seconds. Almost comparable to 100m sprint athletes, riders often work out at the gym to get solid legs.

The bikes are way smaller than usual bikes as the riders never sit down based on their need to nimble on the bike. The bikes are built lightweight while adding a measure of maneuverability and stability to achieve the right mix of strength, control, and speed. In BMX Race, riders wear a full-face helmet, gloves, goggles, long sleeves, and durable pants with pads for their safety.


BMX Freestyle is more a competition based on creative expression and sports than a race. It can be broken out into Street, Part, Dirt, Snake runs and Flatland. During competitions, riders execute tricks on ramps, banks, walls, box jumps and spines in a designated area – mostly a park or a specific street section. Like gymnastics, BMX riders are judged on the quality of their specific run. Difficulty, originality, and style are the relevant factors for this judgement.

Both categories are part of the IOC’s Olympic programme. While BMX freestyle was introduced to the 2020[ne] Tokyo Olympic Games, BMX race is already part of the Olympic programme since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

How do you get involved?

With their feet on the pedals and their head in the clouds, cyclists in all parts of Ontario enjoy the freedom of feeling the fresh air on their skin. If this is the feeling you are seeking, you came to the right place. Our members are drawn from all areas and backgrounds, with riders from under five years of age up to forty plus. By becoming a member at Ontario Cycling, you are joining the cycling community, and it will get you access to several activities and member benefits. Get your membership and license here.

Ontario Cups – BMX Canada

Ontario Cups are raced at the highest provincial level against riders of their age or ability group. The people and families involved are usually interested in bikes, competitive sports, and their children’s physical and mental health. Ontario Cups also pride themselves on offering equal opportunities to both sexes and top-class competitive sports to all members. It is common for the whole family to be involved. The family nature gives the race day far more depth and dimension than just a simple race – it is an event with an outstanding atmosphere. Even though BMX racing is a fast, exhilarating sport, its safety record is second to none within the cycling sport. At each event, qualified first aid is present. At all events, riders are required to wear suitable safety equipment, the details of which are covered in the rules of BMX racing.

Events and Races are organized by and affiliated with BMX Canada, which is a subdivision of BMX USA. BMX Canada hosts the National Series which is a different race system that the UCI. Most of the BMX tracks are run by clubs and offer learn-to-ride or race programmes for all ability levels. In addition, these clubs host a variety of racing events. As these events are affiliated with BMX Canada, they fall outside of the Ontario Cycling jurisdiction. Unfortunately, Ontario Cycling is not organizing any BMX races or competitions in 2022. Nevertheless, the first step into the World of BMX is reaching out to a BMX track closest to where you live. Most tracks offer learn-to or try-out sessions. This is where you start elevating your skills and preparing for the upcoming events in this discipline.

Homegrown: At Canada Cups, and Canadian National Championships a UCI license is mandatory to participate. Ontario Cycling runs a Provincial BMX Program for developing and high-performance athletes. Please get in touch with Technical Lead & Performance Program Michael Suraci for further discipline-related inquiries.