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BMX Course Design input needed

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BMX Course Design input needed

Old 02-18-08, 01:32 PM
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BMX Course Design input needed

I am a Landscape Architect looking to learn a thing or two about good course design. I have a strong conviction about not designing something unless I would know how to use it myself - however, as a priority, I need to serve my client as best possible and short of picking up a new cycling sport (I'm a road cyclist), I'd like to ask for any insight or thoughts that I know the members of this community have a TON of.
The project I am working on is in the very beginning stages, which means that everything is conceptual and may or may not be built the exact way it is documented at this stage. That being said, it is important for me to understand the general components of a good course (i.e. jumps, lengths of straights, starting/ending areas, etc.), but it is also very important for me to understand what the course is constructed of.
Specifically, is anyone familiar with (or have seen) a layer within the cross-section of the track that, once worn down (assumably at the low points of the course) would serve as a warning layer - in essence, indicating that this area of the track needs some maintenance?
We're really concerned with erosion and would like to incorporate something into the base of the track design that would serve that purpose.
Also, generally speaking, is there many problems with puddling (holding water) on the tracks? Does it matter if there's some water/muddy areas on the track or is it more ideal to have a dry, smooth surface??
If so, what kind of strategies have been developed to minimize water pooling?

Any information, resources, knowledge or insight would be great!

Thanks in advance for your help and understanding.
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Old 02-18-08, 01:57 PM
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twahl
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First and foremost, you want a smooth, dry suface. Drainage is very important. While it's possible to race on mud if necessary, it's dangerous and it damages the track.

I've never seen any kind of wear indicating construction, but it's not a bad idea.

Our local track has it's main banked turns paved, which actually works out pretty well. Being an old guy they scared the crap out of me to start.

In general you want the track to flow downhill if possible. The starting gate should be raised probably 15 feet or so above the main surface, and the first and second stretches usually have a couple of jumps. most tracks I've raced have a small jump right at the gate, but some may have a larger jump. There's usually a larger flat top jump second, then a turn around. Second stretch may have a double coming out of the turn, then another decent jump before the second turn. The third stretch seems to usually be the rythem section, which is a series of smaller jumps that can be manualed or jumped depending on the skills of the rider. Then there's usually either a turnaround for a fairly flat section, or a 90 degree turn that brings you up around the back side of the first turn.

They all vary. One of the nicest I've ever ridden is in DeSoto, TX: Link

Our local track is also nice: link

I would suggest getting in touch with either (or both) the ABA and NBL depending on which league is active in your area. You'll want to be on the local race schedule and I'm sure they will help you with getting a track started, including design information.

Localities can really benefit from having a world class track, don't be afraid to go big. Ask the folks in DeSoto.
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Old 02-19-08, 09:31 AM
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hey thanks! that info helps alot...so does the links.

I called NBL yesterday and they're helping me out.

Anyone else have any ideas??
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Old 02-26-08, 12:32 AM
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Goto youtube and watch videos of races. It is hard to explain things like this through typing. Search for people like bubba harris, rich bartlet, jason reynolds. That should bring some racing. MY only advice is to keep the flow through the track. I have ridden a couple of tracks that seemed like 30 ideas mashed in one quick bumpy trip. Best of luck to you, always glad to hear of more things coming about for bikes.
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