BMX, an abbreviation for BICYCLE MOTOCROSS, is a cycle sport
BMX bikes , either in competitive
BMX racing or freestyle
BMX , or else in general on- or off-road recreation.
BMX began when
young cyclists appropriated motocross tracks for fun, racing and
stunts, eventually evolving specialized
BMX bikes and competitions.
* 1 History
* 2 UK
* 3 US Timeline
* 4 See also
* 5 Notes
* 6 References
* 7 External links
BMX began during the early 1970s in the United States when children
began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in southern California ,
inspired by the motocross stars of the time. The size and availability
Schwinn Sting-Ray and other wheelie bikes made them the natural
bike of choice for these races, since they were easily customized for
better handling and performance.
BMX racing was a phenomenon by the
mid-1970s. Children were racing standard road bikes off-road, around
purpose-built tracks in California. The 1972 motorcycle racing
On Any Sunday is generally credited with inspiring the
movement nationally in the United States; its opening scene shows kids
riding their Sting-Rays off-road. By the middle of that decade, the
sport achieved critical mass , and manufacturers began creating
bicycles designed especially for the sport.
In the UK,
BMX was a craze which took off in the early 1980s,
specifically 1982/3, when it became the "must have" bicycle for
children and teenager. Previously a small niche area,
BMX exploded at
this time into the dominant bicycle for the younger rider, with older
teenagers and even adults becoming known names through publications
BMX Bi weekly, featuring big names like Tim March and Andy
RuffelI. The shift to Freestyle from Racing came in 1985 with popular
styling moving from chrome frames and contrasting components in black
blue or red being the norm, to brightly coloured bikes in one colour
only, including their mag wheels and even matching tyres. Because BMX
exploded into Britain's streets so suddenly, it was perhaps inevitable
that it would implode with similar speed, when the kids who rode the
bikes left school and went to work. This was indeed the case, as by
1986/7 sales in the UK had dropped off dramatically, with the new ATB
or "Mountain Bike" taking off and soon to become the generic adult
bicycle, again from California where it had begun in the mid 1970s.
As Mountain Bikes began to dominate, this was the period when the
BMX bikes sold during the early/mid 1980s went through
their "worthless" period, as the Raleigh Chopper had done during the
BMX boom. A new spike in
BMX came in the 1990s but fashions had
changed. Colour schemes were low key, mirroring street fashion, the
opposite to the bright colours and flashy decals of the 1980s. The
influence of the "trendies" had given way to the next generation, with
bottle green or even Brown frames, black components and a general lack
of visual identification. Mag wheels were firmly out of fashion. The
BMX scene was now history.
George E. Esser founded the National
Bicycle League as a non-profit
bicycle motocross sanctioning organization in 1974. Before they set up
the NBL, Esser and his wife, Mary, sanctioned motorcycle races with
Motocross Association (AMA). Their two sons, Greg and
Brian, raced motorcycles, but also enjoyed riding and racing
their friends. It was their sons’ interest, and the lack of BMX
organizations in the East, which prompted Esser to start the NBL in
By 1977, the
American Bicycle Association (ABA) was organized as a
national sanctioning body for the growing sport. In April 1981, the
BMX Federation was founded, and the first world
championships were held in 1982. Since January 1993,
BMX has been
integrated into the
Union Cycliste Internationale .
Freestyle BMX is now one of the staple events at the annual Summer X
Games Extreme Sports competition and the
Etnies Backyard Jam, held
primarily on the East and West coasts of the United States. The
popularity of the sport has increased due to its relative ease and
availability of places to ride and do tricks.
In 2003, the International Olympic Committee made
BMX a full medal
Olympic sport for
2008 Summer Olympic Games in
China , and
Māris Štrombergs (male, for
Latvia ) and Anne-Caroline Chausson
France ) became the first Olympic champions.
BMX riders go on to other cycling sports like downhill
, including Australian Olympian
Jared Graves ,
Eric Carter , and youth
Aaron Gwin .
* The history of
BMX by UCI.
Glossary of cycling
* ^ "University of
BMX in Holland". Archived from the
original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
* ^ Richards Mountain Bike Book by Richard Ballantyne article on
Repack and the birth of Mountain bikes
* ^ "A Short History of BMX". Retrieved 2007-10-14.
* ^ "
BMX will be added to the 2008 Olympics (UCI press release)".
2003-07-01. Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved
* ^ "
BMX at Official Olympic movement site(description of
* Bakshi, Amar. "How the World Sees America:
BMX in UK v. U.S.".