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Essential tips and tricks

We have a strong safety track record at the Wellington Velodrome - riding safely is our first priority and needs to be yours too.


Bike check

Do a thorough bike check every time you use the track.

  • Handlebars: check for movement, side to side (head set), up and down (bar clamp), end plugs must be fitted.

  • Wheels: tight cones, no buckles in wheel rim, wheels bolted tight, if using quick release levers make sure they are firmly locked in place and taped to fork.

  • Tyres: must be in good condition, no big nicks, no canvas showing. Tubular tyres must be glued securely so cannot be rolled off the rim (ensure glued on at least 24 hours before use). Check pressure, no spongey tyres!

  • Drive Chain: wheels to have locking ring on rear sprocket. Chain tension needs to be reasonably tight so doesn’t come off.

  • Seat: fixed tightly with no movement.

  • Attachments: remove anything that could fall off including drink bottles, pumps, spare tubes, tool bag, watches and computers (it's not safe to look at your computer while riding).

  • Shoe cleats: replace when the wear indicator holes not visible.


Track layout

The inner flat area/duck boards is called the apron or safety zone or on some tracks where it is painted blue, the cote d’azur. You can use it in the first lap of a head to head 3 lap sprint but otherwise must be avoided except in emergency cases to avoid a collision.


The lower black line is the marker line or pole line. All race distances are measured on this line so this is the shortest distance around the track.

Next line up is red and is called the sprinters line - between this and the pole line is called the sprinters’ lane. In races, once a sprint for the finish line has begun (as in a head to head sprint race, or in any mass start race such as a points race, a miss and out, or scratch race), the rider who leads in the sprint lane has exclusive use of it unless you are ahead by a clear bike length. Other riders you can follow the leader in the sprint lane but to pass you must go above and pass on the outside. Additionally, once the leading rider enters the sprinters' lane once the sprint has begun, they are not permitted to move up out of it.


The blue line a third of the way up the track is the madison line. Madison races have teams of two riders who constantly switch places "in the race". Changes should take place below the line, and riders who are not in the race should stay above it.

If you are warming up or riding slowly during a training session, stay above the madison line.


General safety
  • No jumping the fence to access track, all entry is through the gates.

  • Do not throw bikes over fence onto the track.

  • Riders enter and exit track from the fence not the grass.

  • No racing on the boards/apron – except in a racing emergency situation.

  • Non-riders in the centre to stand on the grass, not the safety apron.

  • Ride anti-clockwise at all times.


Track etiquette
  • The faster rider is responsible for passing safely.

  • Slow riders are responsible for riding straight and allowing faster riders to pass predictably.

  • Never get out of the way of a faster rider, maintain a straight line.

  • Use the area above the stayers’ line (blue) for slower or recovery speeds, leave a gap above you as well.

  • Never ride more than two abreast when going slow.

  • As you approach a slower rider with their heads turned in the direction you want to pass, call out with the command “STICK” in order to keep the slower rider from moving into your path.

  • If you hear “STICK”, ride straight (parallel to the pole line). If you are maneuvering and hear “STICK”, correct your line so you’re riding straight.

  • Keep the track clear when in use, e.g. don't hook your bike onto the fence.

  • Never, never walk onto or cross the track when a race is in progress. Wait until the race has ended. Always look before walking onto the track.

  • If another rider breaks these rules or rides in a manner that you perceive as unsafe or unwise please discuss the issue with the  commissaire, race manager or coach. The race manager will then discuss the issue with the other rider in question. Please don’t take it upon yourself to address the issue with the rider – either during or before the race.

Cycling NZ Road and Track Racing Rules

Cycling NZ update the Road and Track racing regulations occasionally and publish to their website here

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