The bike race in Chrono Trigger is a minigame that most players will breeze through, and then forget about it. That player would not miss out on much of the game, only a few brief, monster-infested few similar to the ruins seen previously. However, in those ruins, so casually passed, is the Race Log. By talking to Johnny after picking up the Log item, you can view your three highest scores on the racetrack. In addition, you have the choice to switch race modes. Default is Mode 1, and has the fixed racing from left to right and the ability to boost using the B button. This mode will be the mode you use if you're racing for the first time. Mode 2 lets the player change the camera angle to any perspective they desire using the L and R buttons. However the ability to use B to boost has been removed from this mode. You can also zoom in and out on the action using X and A respectively, but it doesn't do much to help. Of course, these buttons are correct only for the SNES and NDS versions - if you're on the PSX, check our Button Mapping page to double-check.
Winning the race is a simple enough task. In Mode 1, all you'll need to do (provided a high score isn't your aim) is to just let the race go until it nears the finish line, get ahead and use a boost to maintain that lead until you pass the line. Mode 2 is slightly more difficult, as you have no boost, and will therefore need to get ahead of Johnny and bounce off the front of his vehicle until the finish line.
So what's the point of racing? Good question. The only major point it has is to skip the ruins of Lab 32, which is easily made pointless once the Epoch has been required. There are multiple rewards for getting certain scores on the Bike Race, and they are as follows:
Keep in mind that the highest score possible is 2371. In addition, any score composing of the same numbers, eg 1111 or 999, will net you either an Ether, a Mid Ether or a FullTonic. However, if you get 777, and this is the only extra-special score, you'll get 10 Mid Ethers.
Getting high scores in the Bike Race can get quite frustrating. In particular, the times that you DO get a new high score and it doesn't count because Johnny got ahead of you at the last second. It's almost like mairocrat. And, no, you're not supposed to get that joke, don't worry. Although Mode 1 allows for boosting, the perspective can be quite difficult to consistently stay ahead of Johnny, which is why using Mode 2 makes it easier to get the scores necessary for prizes. By placing the camera directly in front of (or behind, if you prefer), it's far easier to see how far to move to either side to stay in front. Not that it's at all easy, in any way.
And that's it for the bike race. The only prize worth the effort is the Power Tab, and it may be worth considering getting at the first point that the bike race is available to you, since Power Tabs are typically the rarest of the three. It's only 1500 points, after all. Nothing a little time and anger won't get for you. Good luck!