For General Club Enquiries - Contact Gareth Lauchlan on , or e-Mail:

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Click on a question to read the answer.

Is BMX racing at Waitakere like what I saw in the Olympics?

Yes and no. The Olympic track is what is known as a 'BMX Supercross' track. Supercross tracks have higher, steeper start ramps - and much, much bigger jumps. You won't be riding anything quite as extreme as that when you ride at Waitakere BMX club. There are, however, several similarities between what you saw at the Olympics and standard BMX racing. For instance, our racing starts with an electronic start gate, you race up to 7 other people at a time and you do get to do jumps if you want to.

There are no parts of the Waitakere track that you 'have' to jump - you can choose to just ride over everything and stay firmly on the ground - if you like.

It's worth noting that the riders competing at the Olympics are true athletes who also happen to have exceptional bike skills. If the average rider attempted what they do, it probably wouldn't end well.....

However, BMX is a sport that anyone who can ride a bike can compete in. You don't have to be an amazing bike rider to enjoy it. Several of our members ride simply because they enjoy riding their BMX bikes.

Take a look at our videos page for an idea of what club racing is like.

Is the Waitakere BMX track open to the public?

Yes! The track is open for public use, free of charge, at any time that it is not being used by the club. Waitakere BMX club uses the track on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and sometimes on weekends when big meetings or training sessions take place. But most of the time, the track is open for use. Just turn up and have a go.

If you do ride at the track, please wear a helmet and gloves, and cover any exposed skin (long-sleeved tops, and long pants are a very good idea). If you have knee/shin pads, wear those. The same goes for elbow pads, if you have them, wear them.

If you don't know how to get to the track, take a look at our 'Find our track' page.

When does Waitakere BMX hold race meetings?

We hold or club nights on Friday nights from Sept through till May every year. BMX racing is a seasonal sport and does not happen during the winter.

Our club nights start with rider registration at 5:30 p.m., and racing normally begins by 6:45 p.m. Racing takes around 60-90 mins, so the kids are back home and ready for bed at a reasonably early time!

We also use our track on Monday and Wednesday nights - for club-member training sessions. Mondays start at 5:00 p.m. and Wednesdays start at 6:00 p.m. Training sessions normally go for one hour.

We use the track, sometimes, during the weekends - but normally only if we are holding a big race meeting, a training session or a working bee.

Where is Waitakere BMX track?

Our track is located in Te Rangi Hiroa Reserve, 103 Glen Road, Ranui, Auckland.

We have a map and directions available here (pdf document download).

The track is open to the public at any time it is not being used by the club.

I have a young child who wants to race BMX, what is the minimum age?

The youngest we have had ride at our track is around 3 and a half years old.

The oldest rider in New Zealand is in his seventies!

If your child is confident on his/her bike, then there's no reason he/she can't race BMX.

BMX has classes for all age groups. The younger kids race in a classes known as the "Sprocket" classes. Their results are not scored, as the emphasis is on having fun, not who wins or loses.

Sometimes, if we have enough of the younger kids, we run what we call a "Trikes and Trainers" class. The kids ride over a shortened course and Mum or Dad can walk alongside to help out.

Is the track suitable for my young child?

Yes.

We have some very young kids who regularly ride at the track.

If you've never been to the track, we suggest that you start your child at the lower half of the start ramp until he/she gains confidence to start higher up. Starting your child lower down on the ramp will mean that he/she won't be going too fast when arriving at the first jump.

If your child knows to use the brakes, it's important that he/she does to begin with.

You may be best to walk alongside your child while they learn the track, there are some steep sections of track that they may require your assistance on (don't worry though, the kids always adjust very quickly and likely won't require your help for long!)

Please make sure your child wears a helmet, gloves and has his/her skin covered. Make sure he/she is wearing snug fitting lace-up shoes.

Do you guys do back-flips and tricks?

No.

There is a lot of confusion in the public eye about what BMX is. Originally BMX started as a racing-only form of cycling.

The term 'B.M.X.' actually stands for "Bicycle Moto-X" (Bicycle Motor Cross).

Nowadays, when people say "BMX" they might mean freestyle riding, dirt jumping or racing. "BMX" also refers to the bike itself (the bikes are called BMX bikes)

Waitakere BMX club is a BMX racing club. We don't do freestyle or dirt jump competitions.

How long is the Waitakere BMX track?

Our track is about 360 metres long.

It's an all-dirt track with lime sprinkled on its surface to form a hard crust.

The track consists of four straights, with 3 banked concrete corners.

The fastest riders get around it in approx 40 seconds.

I have a BMX bike, will it be OK for racing?

It most likely will be, yes.

Pretty much any BMX bike can be raced.

Freestyle BMX bikes (or the sort of bike you might buy at the Warehouse or K-Mart) are often made of heavier steel materials and sometimes have 'foot pegs' on the front and rear axle to aid the rider during freestyle moves. For racing, those foot pegs are considered a hazard and must be removed from the bike (at Waitakere we can help you remove, then re-fit, those pegs so that you can race). Heavier bikes are harder to get around a track fast, but most kids don't even really notice - they're busy having too much fun.

Purpose-built race bikes are made of aluminium and other light-weight materials.

Once you get serious with your racing, you'll most like want to shift to a purpose-built race bike. Brands like Redline, ABD and GT are popular choices. They're all readily available in New Zealand, so you don't need to get something in from overseas.

I don't have a BMX bike, can I race?

We don't stop people from riding in the sport just because they don't have a flash looking race bike. We have a saying at Waitakere BMX club, "All riders welcome" - and we mean it.

If your bike is safe and can handle the demands of the track, it'll be OK for club racing.

Here at Waitakere, we often have kids riding on smaller mountain bikes (with gears), because they are the bikes they already own - and they are comfortable on them. We've also had adult riders turn up on their mountain bikes.

For you parents out there, it's often cheaper to allow your child to ride on a bike they are comfortable on to begin with, rather than spend money on a flash BMX bike.

The main concern is that each bike that is raced at Waitakere is safe, has working brakes and is in a good enough condition that it does not pose a risk to the person riding it, or to other riders. If your bike is not right for racing at Waitakere - we'll let you know and help you get it into a race-ready state if we can.

If you don't have a bike at all, but you want to give BMX racing a go, come to one of our club nights and let us know. Some of us are more than happy to give you a ride on our bikes to see if you like the sport.

We do have a very limited supply of hire/loan bikes available to us, but we need to know in advance if you need to use one. Just contact us and let us know prior to the time you want to ride.

What equipment do I need if I want to race?

The bare minimum you need to race BMX at Waitakere is;

- A bike that can handle BMX racing (you might be able to hire one - see question above)
- A full-face helmet (we hire those out too)
- Gloves (we also have those available for hire)
- Long pants and a long-sleeved top.
- Lace-up shoes that cover your entire foot

We strongly recommend the wearing of elbow and knee/shin guards.

What does it cost to race BMX?

Like most sports out there, you can spend as much money as you want to get the equipment you might want. There is no real single answer to this question, but we will give you an idea of the price ranges of various items.

Bikes
BMX bikes can go for as little as $150 second-hand, through to $3000-$4000 brand new (for the very, very 'high end' brands).

If you have a child who wants to race and needs a BMX race bike, we would strongly urge you to contact us before you buy. There are three or four different sizes of bikes available for kids, so it can be confusing to start with. Contact us and come to a race night to have a look at what size bikes are available.

Trade Me is a very good option for a BMX bike for a child, as kids are always growing out of bikes, so there is always a good supply of second-hand bikes available in great condition. Good condition BMX bikes suitable for younger kids can be bought for as little as $150 on Trade Me, and brand new they are often available for between $350-$800. Like all sports, the brand of the equipment can have a big effect on price!

Adult sized BMX bikes can be bought for $250-$1000 second hand, and start from around $600-$800 dollars brand new. There's really no limit on how much you can spend, but a $600-$800 dollar bike is absolutely fine for most riders.

Number Plates
There are places available that do number plates for $15, but your best option is to make your own to start with. Cut an ice cream container lid into shape and cable-tie it to your handle bars (number plate colours vary from class to class - so speak to use first about what class you'll be riding in).

Numbers can be bought from motorcylce stores that deal in Moto-X gear, or you can go to your local sign-writer and ask them to provide you with stick-on vinyl numbers - it'll cost something like $3 per number.

Helmets
The helmet is likely the most important piece of safety equipment you'll need, so 'going cheap' when buying a helmet is not necessarily a wise decision. Safety equipment can be expensive, but there are affordable, good quality brands out there. Generally speaking, helmets go from around $200-$1000 brand new (you can spend much, much more - if you want to). $300 will get you a very good helmet at most bike stores. Remember, only full face helmets are allowed for racing.

If you have a small child who wants to race, but doesn't have a full-face helmet, we hire them out for a small fee on club nights.

Finding a helmet for a small child can be difficult, so we're hoping to have a list of suppliers available here soon.

Helmets can be bought second hand from Trade Me, but be very careful as the history of a pre-used helmet cannot be guaranteed. You might be buying a helmet that has been involved in a big crash already.

Gloves
Generally speaking, gloves start at around $50 and go through to a few hundred dollars. However, you can also use cotton gardening gloves with rubber dimples on them if you like - you can buy them from the local supermarket for less than $10. (in fact, for younger riders who are just starting, we recommend you do that before you spend any money on anything flash-looking). Most bike stores have gloves for sale. Gloves must be full-fingered gloves.

Footwear
Any lace-up shoes in good condition are fine for racing. It you are wanting to ride with clip-in pedals, shoes will cost anywhere from $150-400. Several of our riders ride in $30 shoes from the Number 1 shoes, or the Warehouse. Flat-soled shoes with a grid-style tread pattern are the best for riding, so that the feet don't slip on the pedals when pedalling fast.

Pads and other safety gear
Elbow pads generally start at around $50, but can be purchased much cheaper on Trade Me. Likewise, knee and shin guards also start at around $50. Most bike stores have a reasonable selection of pads available. It's probably worth coming down to the track to what sort of gear riders are using before you purchase any gear.

Shoulder and body protection suits can be purchased and normally start from $300 or so.

Racing Licence and club fees
If you want to race inter-club and National level, you'll need a BMXNZ racing licence. If you purchase one of those, your club membership at Waitakere BMX is included in the fee. For adults, the yearly fee for a National Licence is $92. For "Sprocket" riders (riders under 8 yrs) that fee is $66. Entry fees for bigger meetings generally cost around $25. Entry to the National Championship meeting costs $75 (although this can change yearly).

If you just want to race at the club - and you're not interested in doing national or interclub events - you have a few options. You can become a club-only member for $46 (for all age groups) or you can just race casually for $5 per meeting without being a member, or holding a licence.

If you purchase a BMXNZ Licence, or become a club-only member, you only pay $3 to race at each club night. Another advantage you have is that you are able to attend our club training sessions and start gate practice (not available to non-members).

Everything you need to race BMX (bike and riding gear) can be purchased second hand - you don't have to spend a lot of money.

Please be very cautious if buying a second-hand helmet - we cannot stress that enough.

Can I use my mini-bike/motorbike on the track?

Waitakere BMX Track is for bicycle use only.

The use of motorised vehicles of any sort is prohibited on our track. This means;

No motorbikes
No mini-bikes
No motorised scooters
No radio controlled cars

The riding of horses on the grounds is also prohibited.

Motorised equipment on our track does huge damage to the track's surface and costs us a lot in terms of time and money to repair.

Our standard procedure is to call the police if/when we find people using motorised vehicles on the track.