No more pulling back or jumping the gate!
Just the other day, I received a revolutionary idea from former cruiser World Champion, Teun Stam - Holland. Teun did sent in a reaction on my article "Opinion on the 2004 Worlds" more specific the section were I talk about the false starts I did see during this years Worlds (watch the TV pictures).
The present gates used, do have always the possibility in them, that when one jumps the gate or pulls back, by not doing it the right way, you might end up under the starting gate and hurt yourself. Also a problem occurs when the gate doesn't drop for some reason and all riders crash because of that. Main reason to suggest this new gate is, having a system that is fair to all riders.
It's simple and the system is used during all important bicycle track disciplines with a standing start. Teun Stam suggests to have the back wheel of all competitors fixed in a firm way in between a clamp/starting device.
A starting light will be used as usual and at the green light, the clamp lets go of the tire. So, on the starting hill, the riders have nothing in front of him, they don' t have to balance because the new system keeps them in balance. If you want to see this starting system work, just check the bicycle track events at the Olympic games 2004.
Probably adjustments have to be made on this system (to be simplified for BMX), but the principal is clear and fair. Great suggestion TEUN!
Who is going to take action now!
Talking about it is one thing, now somebody has to take action and built a prototype gate as suggested. Who will be the first? Just let us know, o.k.!
Personally I think in fact it should be UCI coming up with suggestions like above and also having a prototype built and tested at their BMX track next to their main office in Switzerland. Let's see what they will do!
Good luck to anybody picking up this great idea of Teun Stam.