Quite simply, Dirk Winter doesn’t go unnoticed.

COVER PIC: Dirk Winter competing at the second round of the 2018 BMXA National Series at Frankston BMX Club. (Pic courtesy of ProLab Projects)

The current winning record of Sunshine Coast BMX rider Dirk Winter is unparalleled.

Winter has swept victories in his age class at the national series in every event he has contested throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons and shows no signs of slowing down.

Like so many other riders, Winter is passionate and has been living the BMX dream for most of his life. His plate number is #541, is phone number ends with 541 – as does his wife’s – and his better half even cruises around town with the plates “MRS541” adorning her bumpers.

Quite simply, Dirk Winter doesn’t go unnoticed.

But Winter isn’t in this game just for his own benefit and for the cheers of those who enjoy watching him race. He’s also a dedicated coach and from that, has put a mobile app on the market named ‘Gate Snap’ to help young kids master their gate starts.

The beauty of Gate Snap is its simplicity. Unlike so many gaming apps on the market, there is nothing complicated about Winter’s app. In fact, the concept is simple. The screen shows the start lights seen on any BMX gate around the world and has the audio cues to go with it. The player simply needs to react to the sound and lights with a quick sweep of their thumb on the phone screen.

Rider ready, watch the gate, this app is all about reaction time. Although a replica of the visual and audio sensations a rider experiences on the gate, the app doesn’t simulate the physical action of a rider being on the gate. It just requires a fast thumb movement.

While seemingly a shortfall of an app that is intended to genuinely help riders improve their starts, Winter explains that Gate Snap is about assisting familiarity with the procedure of a gate start, not the execution of it.

“There are a few gate apps out there, but none are interactive and get the kids to listen to it [the start procedure] without being on the gate,” Winter explains.

“This is a reaction test that riders of all levels can use. However, the primary age we were targeting were sprockets and those up to the 11-12yrs ages. At that point, you haven’t done as many gate starts and it helps to be more familiar with the gate call.

“All of us riders know and learnt from experience, that if you aren’t paying attention and you miss the beeps and audio call on the gate, then it can ruin your whole race. If a rider can be prepared mentally, your chances of a good start and run to the first corner improve.

“I can remember when I was a youngster, I never put much thought into how I would react on the gate. So, I think being able to do it outside of the track environment helps.”

Gate Snap also represents something more than just gate starts. It’s yet another signifier of a plethora of training tools that are readily available at the fingertips of young riders. Accordingly, Winter believes that the quality of emerging riders is a cut above it was when he was forging his way in the sport as a teenager.

“BMX has gone to the next level and beyond from where I was,” Winter proclaimed.

“The access to tracks and the level of tracks are two much improved areas and the riders aged 14-15 are doing a lot more with their training than I was at that age. I can’t wait to see where the sport heads in the future.”

As a coach – and now app owner – Winter has thrown his hat in the ring to help shape a part of where BMX heads in the future. Undoubtedly his appetite for the sport is just as strong as ever.