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Riding the Track

We have set a comprehensive guideline for everybody joining our training sessions. It is a lengthy one, so we made some simple rules summarizing the whole thing. If you follow it chances are you will have a safe session. .


The Rules are:


1-Check your bike: especially important if renting one of those high tech machines from Whitehead

2-Hold your Line: Keep a straight line! If you are shaky or afraid of moving up the banks approach the coordinator

3-Changing Lines: Look over your shoulder. Right or Left! ALWAYS! ANYWHERE! EVERYWHERE!

4-Speak: Better overdo it than under do it. If you overtake do it safely. Let the one ahead know you are there.

5-Don’t be a pig: Spitting and snot rocketing have no place here. Behave like at Grandma’s!

6-Be predictable: simple ha?

7-Understand the track marks: Read the guide below or approach the coordinator

8-Always overtake on the right

9-Ride Safe & always wear a helmet.

10-Ride Safe


The Guideline:


So now that you know the rules, lets split the track from the center (Apron) to the edge (Rail). Also bear in mind that when you read “black line”, we are referring to the space from the black line up to the subsequent line up the track, i.e. , the red one. Same for the red line, which indicates the space from the red line up to the blue line. Check the picture as a reference.


The line colors will be used to describe the areas of the velodrome. Some of their nick names will be mentioned as a reference only. Since they vary from country to country and here in Hong Kong you may be riding with people from different nationalities, better to use the most common pattern, colors!


Also indoor Velodromes may have different rules for the space between the Red line and the rail. Always check with the local coordinator for additional info!


Last but not least, below applies for Training only. Racing is a different animal. You can check some videos on Youtube for additional clarification! Later we may include some descriptions about it here. You may find plenty of information around the web about racing as well.




Apron: this is the center area of the velodrome. Used for warm ups and cool downs, don’t go fast, don’t loop forever. No efforts to be done here! If overtaking someone, do it on the right!


Blue Band (Cote d’Azur): first colored mark of the velodrome, a wide blue stripe. During training sessions use it on the straight lanes to gain speed and get into the track. During competition to be used as emergency escape only. NEVER OVERTAKE A RIDER USING THE COTE DE AZUR! This lane should NEVER be used for warm ups and cool downs!


Black Line (Sprinters lane/Measurement line): this is where you go fast, really fast. Save it for jumps, team efforts and sprints. If you are there, none should overtake you on your left!


Red Line (No man’s land) : between the red and the blue line is where you overtake someone riding the black line. This area should ALWAYS be cleared of traffic. Don’t use it for cool down, warm up, anything! This is to be used by the guys overtaking a sprinter or easing back during team pursuit transition. Other than that, no men to be seeing there!


Blue Line (Stayer’s line): this is where you cool down for a lap or two or before going for an effort. If you want to chill more than this, make way, go to the apron, relax, and later get back on the track. In Hong Kong, never ride it more than 2 abreast. This gives you space in case of emergency and also room for those using the rail.


Rail: this is used by guys doing long and steady efforts. There is no mark, but they will be as far out and high as possible, riding single line. If you decide to do efforts there, be aware of other riders doing so. This should make your life easier and you won’t be surprised while being overtaken. Talking about it, overtaking on the rail is tricky, you should do it on the right as usual. Use the command “rail” as described below.  Careful with those looping around the blue line! There should be room, but you, as the overtaker, are the one responsible to make the transition safe!




Much easier than on the road! You don’t have to worry about potholes, stop lights, rocks, dogs, Lantau taxis, etc! all you  need to know are three words, Stick, Stay and Rail.


Stick/Stay: if you hear any of these, all you have to do is hold your line! Put yourself parallel to any of the lines and hang in there! As simple as that! Whoever overtakes you is responsible for the safety of the maneuver.  Stick and stay means HOLD YOUR LINE.


Rail: you will just hear this one if you are on the blue line. This will probably be Eric or Nora doing some massive threshold intervals up in the outer edge of the track. Again, if you hear that, hold your line and expect to have someone passing you (fast) on your right. There should be plenty of space for them since, as explained above, the blue line is to be ridden by 2 abreast maximum.


Overall Etiquette



Changing lines: if you consider moving out of your line (which has to be straight no matter what) look over your shoulder! Left or right, does not matter! Even if you are using the sprinters lane during a training session it is worthwhile to give a check. Other people may be using the track which are unaware about the rules. For safety sake, ALWAYS look over your shoulder!


Before entering the track: spend a minute or two observing who is around and what they are doing. You may see a sprinter coming up the rail preparing for a Flying 200, some guys practicing turns on a team pursuit, a newbie finding his way up the track, people learning how to ride around cones , guys recovering from efforts using the stayers line. Our sessions should last around 3 hours. There will be plenty of time for you to do your efforts, even if you have to wait a few minutes to use the sprinters lane. A lot may be happening and being aware about what is going on will just make your training safer and more pleasant. Things happen fast in 250 meters!


Control your spitting and please keep nose cleaning manners: Ya, it is pretty cool to rocket out some crap out of your nose at full speed while riding down The Beast...but you don’t want that slippery crap around the track. Although our velodrome here in Hong Kong is a concrete one, you better make it a habit and never do it on the track. Do it on a wooden velodrome and be ready to put yourself in trouble with other riders. Did you notice that none of the bikes have bottle cages? Have you ever wondered why? Liquid and velodrome surface don’t get along well.


Be respectful: you will have people doing different types of efforts and with different levels of experience riding with you. Eventually we may be having a pool session with other teams. During an open training session, if you detect something wrong with other riders from different teams, approach your team manager or track coordinator which should approach the other team’s manager for corrective actions. If it is one of your team members, politely remind him of the rules and ask him to check our website again! Everybody is responsible to make the training session safe. The coordinator may be looking after 20+ bikes so he will always welcome a warning about any inconformity happening around the track.


Standing Starts: It is fine to do so as long as you are kind enough to ask others to make way for it. Walk to the Apron dismounted from your bike together with whoever is going to help you and ask the guys looping around for permission. Once you make sure you have been heard and when everybody is riding above the blue line, safely enter the track! Do it for every standing start unless otherwise agreed with the other riders.


Ride Safe: If you think you are doing something stupid, you probably are. Your number one goal should be to let everybody using the track safely arrive home. The number two should be for you to be back home in one piece! It does not matter how fast or experienced you are, riding with constant care will always pay off. Always keep an eye on what is happening ahead of you. If you see a crash, look over your right shoulder and carefully move up the track. Be careful with the fast guys up the rail though. Trash always goes down the banks!