The flat inner surface that adjoins the banked surface of the velodrome. Used as an entry/exit ramp and escape route for competitors.
A sudden acceleration to escape from another rider or group of riders.
The wall or fence that surrounds the velodrome surface.
One lap remaining in a race is signaled by the ringing of a bell.
When one or a group of riders moves to the front and slows down the field.
Electronically triggered pneumatic gates used with an electronic timing system to assure a fair standing start. Holds the bike in place while the rider mounts and until the timing system releases it.
the 20 centimeter wide band of blue paint at the bottom of the track surface. It’s out-of-bounds at anything but the slowest of speeds.
Running completely out of energy. Also known as “hitting the wall.”
When a rider is impeded by a opponents in a position of disadvantage and can’t advance.
A rider or group of riders that leaves the main group behind.
To leave one group of riders and join another group that is further ahead.
Riders who are trying to catch a breakaway group.
The most common type of bicycle tire, less common on high-performance track bikes (see SEW UP below). Much like tires on a car, the bead and tire casing of a ‘clincher’ tire mates with the bicycle rim – held in place by the pressure of the inflated inner tube. In the case of puncture, the inner tube is easily replaceable.
An abrupt movement down track intended to impede an opponent’s progress.
A 50cc motor-assisted bicycle used in paced racing in Europe. True dernys aren’t made or sold in America, so U.S. track operators usually substitute a small motorcycle or track tandem when a pacer is needed for training or racing events like the Keirin.
Riding in a slipstream, or pocket of moving air, created by the rider in front. This enables the following rider to maintain speed with less effort.
A diagonal line of riders that develops under windy conditions, with the lead rider positioned either to provide shelter from the wind to the riders that follow or deny it to them.
The relaying of relief riders in and out of the Madison. In order to make a legal exchange, the racing rider has to draw even with the relief rider, and may push, pull or use a handsling to launch the relief rider in.
The main group of riders. Also known as the “pack,” “bunch” or “peloton.”
A sprint to the finish among the main group of riders.
When a rider “soft pedals” – allowing the pedals to turn freely on a fixed gear bike.
A surprise attack, usually done alone.
When one rider goes faster at the front of the pack to increase the tempo or speed.
To get free of the field, or the space between groups on the track.
To position one’s self overlapping another rider in such a way that you provide no draft or shelter from the wind.
Riding hard. Going all out.
Method used by partners on a Madison team to change riders in the competition. As the rider at speed comes up from behind the slower relief rider, their hands meet and the faster rider ‘throws’ the other up to speed and into the fray.
Barely maintaining contact at the back of the pack.
Part of a trio of illegal activities starting with the letter “H”. The Head Butt is used to establish or control a position in the pack by bumping or leaning on an adjacent rider using only the head and shoulders.
One rider bumping another with the hips.
To move up the track banking in order to impede the progress of a rider that is passing.
An extended chasing effort to bridge up to a lead group or bring that group back to the field.
In the Madison event, it’s a wood dowel sewn into the waist of the shorts used as a grab handle so one’s teammate grabs the stick and throws that rider up to speed and into the race.
The initial burst of acceleration that usually develops into a sprint.
The burst of speed saved for the last laps of an event that hopefully provides a rider with a last chance for victory.
As a noun, it’s short for the kilometer time trial. As a verb, to “kilo” is to go all-out from the start of a match sprint, hoping to catch the other rider(s) off-guard.
An intentional sacrificing tactic whereby one rider attacks all-out and early to provide a high speed draft to a rider in tow. The rider in the draft can then launch an attack from a much faster starting speed to escape those sprinting on their own.
Any race in which all the racers start at the same time.
The innermost line on the velodrome surface. This line is used to measure the length of the track.
A track race in which the last rider to complete each of the assigned laps is eliminated. Winner is either the last non-eliminated racer on the track or the winner of a sprint among three to five remaining riders.
Training method where cyclists ride behind a motorcycle, taking advantage of the aerodynamic draft.
The pack in a large field event stages by hanging on to the balustrade. Rolling slowly away from the rail, they take a slow, neutral lap around the track. If the officials deem they are grouped in a tight bunch, the race will be started with the sound of a gun or whistle.
A group of events in a track meet whose results determine the best rider in an age group or category.
A group of riders taking advantage of the aerodynamics of drafting by rotating leaders. The leader of the group moves aside and falls to the back as the following rider takes up the lead.
The main group of riders on the track.
The 90cm wide “lane” between the black measurement line and the red sprinters line at the bottom of the track.
(pronounced “PREEM”) A special sprint within a race for cash or prizes.
To take a turn riding at the front of a group, maintaining the same rate of speed.
A deceptive tactic used by sprinters. The rider in the lead allows the other rider to pull almost even and instead of going full speed, accelerates only as much as necessary to keep the other rider beside them, out the draft and unable to pass.
The full distance in a handicap race. Also an event in which everyone goes the same distance.
(or “tubular”) A type of tire often used by competitive cyclists. The tire casing is sewn closed so that tube and tire are one unit and glued to the rim. Cased in silk, cotton or nylon, these tires weigh 150-250 grams and can cost over $100 a piece.
Following close behind a rider or riders in an effort to save strength until later in the race.
The area of low wind resistance behind a moving body (also called the “DRAFT”).
The blue line in the middle of the track surface. Slow-moving riders in training or the relief rider in the Madison race are required to stay above this line.
A nervous or unstable rider.
To suddenly ride away from the group.
Rider or riders sharing work at the front of a group to maintain a higher pace (see FORCE THE PACE).
A maneuver encountered in sprints when neither rider wishes to lead, so one comes to a complete stop and balances in place in an effort to force the other into taking the lead. This maneuver usually results in both riders remaining motionless – balanced in place on the track until one can no longer hold still and rolls away. By rule, riders must not enter a track stand until they have completed a full lap at at least a walking pace, they may not roll backwards more than 8 inches nor hop their rear wheel beyond the amount necessary to ‘set’ their position, or stay in the track stand more than 3 minutes.
A bicycle racing oval from 100 to 500 meters in length with banked turns and relatively flat straight-aways. Can be indoors or outdoors. Almost all modern velodromes have either concrete or wood surfaces, but there are a number of oddities out there. Asphalt surfaced tracks in Japan that are ridable in all conditions, a pair of portable designs from Canada – one with your choice of five surfaces (including aluminum) and a homemade FIGURE-8 that is touring Canadian warehouses from coast-to-coast, and finally some that are no more than an oval marked out in the grass.