Beginners Corner

Here you'll find the most Frequently Asked Questions About BMX Racing In Torrington.

  1. How do I go about getting involved with racing?
  2. What Is The National Bicycle League?
  3. What Does It Cost To Race?
  4. What Is a Race and How Are They Run?
  5. What are Classifications?
  6. Do you have any Riding Tips For The New Rider?



  1. How do I go about getting involved with racing?
    The track is open to the general public whenever there is not a scheduled event. Get to the track and try it out. Be advised that you always ride the track at your own risk. There are only a few things that we ask:

    - Never ride the track without a helmet on.
    - Always go in one direction only.
    - Do not use foul language.
    - We recommend that long pants and a shirt with sleeves be worn.

    To race on race days you must join the National Bicycle League. This is easily done and takes about 20 minutes. There are forms to fill out the day you first register with the NBL. Bring a copy of your birth certificate. A legal guardian must sign your NBL registration. Both the birth certificate and the registration forms will be forwarded to the National Bicycle League office with you registration fee. (See cost information below). You may race the same day that you fill out the paperwork.

  1. What Is The National Bicycle League?
    The NBL is the sanctioning body for the entire program. We abide by their rules and regulations. All riders participating in our program, must be members of the National Bicycle League. An NBL membership allows you to race at any NBL sanctioned track in the USA and Canada (over 130 and growing). It also provides you with secondary medical insurance, qualified officiating, national and state point standings, a subscription to “BMX Today” a monthly magazine, a list of tracks and schedules along with a membership card.

  2. What Does It Cost To Race?
    The NBL membership is $50.00 for a one-year period. There is a 30-day “Trial” program for anyone unsure about participating. This cost is $30.00. You simply pay the additional $20.00 if you decide to become a member at any time during the 30 day period.

    Each race day you must pay an entry fee at the time of registration. If you are racing for the opportunity to win a trophy, the entry fee at Foothills is $8.00 for a "Regular Race". If you just want race for the fun of it and earn points only, the entry fee is $5.00.

    For the "Bob Warnicke Scholarship Race" its $10.00 and the track will make a donation to the Scholarship fund.

    For the "Double Point Races" the entry fee is $15.00 or $8.00 for points only.

    NOTE: Be advised that the Double races are "Pre-Registration Encouraged" and a fee of $5.00 extra will be charged if you wait till the day of the race to enter. (State Assoc. Rule).
  3. What Is a Race and How Are They Run?
    REGISTRATION: If you already have an NBL license, present it, along with your entry fee, to the person at the registration window. Be sure to inform her of your age on the day of the race. You must register for the days race before 12:30 p.m. Any later than that and we cannot guarantee your entry for the 1:30 p.m. race. You may call in your registration (860-626-1BMX) starting at 10:00 a.m. on race days. (Do not leave information on the answering machine).

    MOTO BOARDS: The motos are your races. They will be run as three rounds. The moto boards are where the moto sheets are “posted”. The moto sheets are the written forms with all the information about your class that day. This includes your race number or “moto number” and your gate position for each of your three motos. Motos are posted at approximately 1:15 p.m.

    PRACTICE: Gate practice starts approximately at 11:00 a.m. on race days and continues until about 1:15 p.m. You may show up at any time within that time window to take practice. Full NBL required gear must be worn during all race day activities.

    THE RACE: After the posting of the motos, the first 15 are called to the starting hill at 1:25 p.m.. Each moto is run one after the other. When one moto is crossing the finish line, another is leaving the starting gate. With an average of 50 motos, the running of the race takes about 2.5 hours. (About the same time as a little league baseball game).

    FINISHING POSITION: To arrive at the finishing positions for each class, the “Olympic Scoring System” is applied to each moto. 1 point for a first place finish, 2 for a second, 3 for a third etc. The rider with the least number of points for the three rounds of motos, will be declared the winner. In case of a tie, the finishing position will be determined on the basis of the finish in the third round of motos. (If its a two moto system the second moto is the tie breaker).

  4. What are Classifications?
    20” wheels maximum size.

    Most new riders start off in the ROOKIE Class. Each ROOKIE is grouped in the motos with other ROOKIES of the same age. To become classified as a NOVICE, a ROOKIE must accumulate 15 overall wins. These wins must be in classes which had a minimum of three riders in them on that race day to count towards the 15 win total. A NOVICE becomes an EXPERT when he accumulates 20 overall wins in his NOVICE career.

    There are no proficiency classes for girls. Girl’s classes are formed simply by age.

    There are also classes for CRUISERS. These are 24 or 26-inch bicycles.

    If there are not enough riders registered to make a class in a particular age group, the clerk will combine them with the closest age group according to the NBL rules.

  5. Riding Tips For The New Rider
    If you are new on the track, you’ll probably make a few mistakes. Don’t worry about it. Just use these general guidelines to help you avoid some of the most common errors.

    Don’t Get Scared If this is your first race, you’ll probably feel like you’re not too sure what you are doing. You may think that everybody has a better bike than you. You may have a hundred other doubts as well. Just relax. Remember that everybody else in your moto will be a Rookie too. You’re all in the same boat.
    Gate Start The basic one-pedal start is all you need to know to get going. Put your bike straight in the gate, set your pedals so that your starting pedal (strongest) is a little above level. Lean back a little and watch the lights. When the green light comes on, throw your weight forward and push down the pedal. Give a medium hard first pedal, a real hard second pedal and you’re off.
    Don’t Get Carried Away Just because Ernie the Expert is jumping the whoops on the last straight doesn’t mean you have to try them. Don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities.
    Pedal All You Can Coast only in places where pedaling will cause you to lose control, like in a drop off or on the tight curves where you might lean far enough over that a pedal snags on the ground.
    If You Coast, Keep Your Feet On The Pedals If you lift them off for any reason you will spend valuable time getting them back on again.
    Use You Brakes As Little As Possible Be sure to use them just enough to stay in control of your bike. Taking the lead won’t matter much if you wipe out later in the race.
    Don’t Do Tricks During a Race One fancy wheelie could easily cost you the lead, or worse, take yourself out of the moto.
    Don’t Get Discouraged Especially the first few times out. In fact, don’t get discouraged at all. BMX is just for fun. If you win, great, if you don’t, no big deal. Every rider out there is in a learning process.