top of page

Safety, rules & etiquette

We have a strong safety track record at the Wellington Velodrome.  Riding safely is your first priority.  Track riders, supporters and spectators should be courteous, friendly and always aware of others.  At Wellington Velodrome the riders follow BikeNZ and UCI track rules, which are enforced by a Commissaire or the Race Manager when no Commissaire is available.


BikeNZ Road & Track Racing Rules

The BikeNZ technical panel have worked hard to update their rules to ensure a comprehensive guide for all cyclists for the coming season. Have a read by clicking here. It’s helpful stuff for cyclists, particularly those that want to complete at National events.


Bike check

Before each race meet, all bikes will be checked for safety. You should also do a thorough bike check yourself at all times you are using 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).

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

  • Seat: must be fixed tightly with no movement.

  • Attachments: remove anything that could fall off including drink bottles, pumps, spare tubes, tool bag, computer (Note it is not safe to look at your computer during a race so best remove temptation). You do not want to be wearing anything either that could fall onto the track. Snug fitting sunglasses are OK but use clear lens in the evening. Shoe cleats must be in tiptop order –replace when the wear indicator holes not visible.

  • People using clincher (HP) tyres are recommended to use clean tubes without patches on them. Patches have a tendency to fail at 100psi or greater. The less punctures on the velodrome the better.


Track layout

The inner flat area/duck boards is called the apron or safety zone or on some tracks where it is painted blue, thecote 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 inner 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.

The next line up is red and is called the sprinters line. The lane between this line and the pole line is the sprinters’ lane or the pole lane. In races, its significance is that 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. Note you can follow the leader in the sprint lane but to pass you must go above the sprint line and pass on the outside.

The blue line a third of the way up the track is the stayers’ line. This has no significance in racing but is relevant in training sessions. If you are circling slowly during training you should ride above this line to stay out of way of faster riders down below but reserve the uppermost metre of the track for emergency use by riders accelerating and for those doing flying starts.


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

  • Do not throw bikes over fence onto the track

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

  • One lap warm down after a race unless race manager allows more

  • No racing on the boards/apron – can use briefly in emergency situation in race.

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

  • Ride anti-clockwise at all times

  • When on track bikes – keep peddling when in motion.


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.

  • The pole lane or sprinters lane is reserved for fast riding.

  • Use the area above the stayers’ line (blue) for slower or recovery speeds, but leave the top metre of track clear for emergency use or flying starts.

  • Never ride more than two abreast when going slow.

  • During training, only in a pace line should four or more riders ride together. At all other times, riders should be in groups of four or less.

  • Turn your head in the direction you want to move, and glance back as you gradually move up or down the track, paying attention to where you’re going and to over-taking traffic at the same time. Do not rely wholly on your peripheral vision.

  • 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 manoeuvring and hear “STICK”, correct your line so you’re riding straight.

  • When others are using the track do not practice standing starts in the pole lane unless it is an organised starting practice session.

  • Do not hook your bike on the running board at the top of the track when races being held as it can create a dangerous situation.

  • 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 race commissaire or race manager. 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.

bottom of page