Argyll Velodrome -Track Rules and Etiquette
1. To get on the track, start from the wide blue band (the "Cote d'Azur") and enter the track at a very gentle angle. Plan your entry. Look well behind you before going up onto the track to avoid becoming an obstacle to an oncoming rider.
2. Do not ride on the Cote d'Azur for any longer than is necessary to either access the track from the infield or vice versa. Specifically, do not warm up/warm down on the Cote d'Azur.
3. During training sessions, it is helpful to separate the track into two concentric ovals, with the blue line (the "stayers' line") being the mark of separation. Generally, training lines will form both at the bottom of the track (in the "pole lane", between the black and red lines), and in the 1-metre wide area of the track just above the stayers' (blue) line. Crossing over the stayers' line, either from above or below, requires the same level of awareness and care as entering the track from the Cote d'Azur. It is best to consider the area between the red and blue lines as a passing area only, and to avoid training in that area.
4. When riding more slowly than those in pace lines (such as between intervals or when warming up), make every effort to stay within the area which is 1 - 1.5 metres above the stayers' (blue) line. This will allow the riders in both training lines (in the pole lane and above the stayers' line) to continue unimpeded.
5. Do not ride slowly at the top of the track. The risk of sliding is much greater on the track's upper edge, particularly because of the unevenness of the surface. Any rider who loses grip and slides down the full width of the track will cause will be a safety issue for all other riders below.
6. When the track is crowded, be very aware of everything and everyone in the 50-metre area of the track directly in front of you. Continuously plan your escape route should problems arise.
Rules for Passing:
7. Normally, you pass above slower-moving riders, i.e. on their right. When passing, shout "Stick" or "Stay" (loudly enough for them to hear you). This will let them know you are about to overtake them and that they must "hold their line".
8. You will occasionally pass below riders, i.e. on their left. If you are passing below riders (on their left) shout "Stick" or "Stay" to let them know that you are doing so.
9. If you hear a rider behind you yell "Stick" or "Stay", hold your line. Ride straight and make no sudden movements. It is then the passing rider's responsibility to avoid you.
10. If you are riding on the highest point of the track next to the rail and passing a rider on his/her right who is positioned just below you, say "Rail" to let him/her know that you are passing between them and the rail.
11. During Training
A. Communicate with other riders to make them aware of your presence, whenever necessary.
B. As previously mentioned, training lines (groups/pace lines) form either at the bottom of the track in the pole lane (between the black and red lines) and just above the stayers' (blue) line.
C. While participating in a training line, ride in a straight, smooth and predictable manner. On the track, riders follow other riders very closely, so maintaining a consistent speed is critical to everyone's safety. You will note that while in line a rider will position him/herself just slightly to the right of (above) the rider directly in front of him/her. This allows a rider to move up the track should an accident occur in front of him/her.
D. If an accident occurs several bike lengths in front of you, be prepared for the rider directly in front of you to move up the track to avoid running over riders and/or bicycles. A fallen rider will immediately tumble down the track's slope; you must therefore move upward to avoid him/her and his/her bicycle. Never try to pass below riders who have fallen in front of you-you will fail every time.
E. Each rider will take a turn at the front of the training line, and then remove him/herself as the leader by riding up the bank in a corner. This allows next rider to become the line's leader, and the rest of riders in the line to pass below him/her. Once the former leader lets all of the remaining riders pass by, (s)he will rejoin the training line by repositioning him/herself behind the last rider. The lead rider will almost always give up the lead in the corners of the track, as that is the most energy-efficient place to do so. When you are the lead rider and you are preparing to peel off, you must check over your right shoulder to ensure that the area above the line is unoccupied. When you are certain that the area is clear, make sure you accelerate up the banking. If you do not, you may slow down, and the rider following you may catch up to you and touch your rear wheel, resulting in that rider (and likely others) falling.
F. If you are part of a training line that is riding above the stayers' (blue) line, you must ensure that you remain above the stayers' line at all times. If the track is not overly crowded, riders may take the opportunity to engage in interval training/sprints in the area located directly below you, between the red line and stayers' line. For maximum safety that area must be kept as clear as possible.
G. If you are part of a training line that is riding in the pole lane (between the black and red lines), when you peel off the front, make sure that you do not cross the stayers' (blue) line, as the other training line may be positioned directly above you on the track.
H. If you are riding in the pole lane (between the red and black lines) at the bottom of the track (either on your own or in a training line), you may see a rider on the Cote d'Azur in the corner you are approaching. To avoid hitting that rider, you will have to ride up the banking (above the red line) to pass him/her. This is necessary because you will be leaning into the corner on an angle, while the rider on the Cote d'Azur will be riding perpendicular to the ground. The two of you will knock heads unless you give space to that rider. If you are riding in a line and feel comfortable doing so, give the rider behind you a hand signal indicating that you intend to move upward. In addition, all persons riding above the pole lane but below the stayers' (blue) line must also be vigilant enough to note that you will need to move upward. It is incumbent on them to make the necessary adjustments to avoid you.
I. At no time during training is a rider allowed to use the Cote d'Azur to pass underneath another rider.
J. Use common sense when deciding if it is appropriate to practice sprints. If the number of riders training approaches 25 or 30 and the track is getting crowded, refrain from doing so.
11. During Races
A. Communicate with other riders to make them aware of your presence, whenever necessary.
B. As is the case during training, the lead rider of a group will peel off the front of the line in the corners. Be prepared for this, especially if you are trying to pass the group from above.
C. Do not "double-switch", i.e. if you are the second-placed rider in a race, do not follow the lead rider up the track when (s)he peels off. Always take your turn at the front of the line, and then peel off. Double-switching is dangerous, as the third rider in the line will not expect this to occur, and may be in a position where his/her front wheel overlaps your rear wheel. The results of this scenario need not be explained.
D. During sprint laps (a race official will ring the bell), do not change your line! No one expects the lead rider to peel off; the absolute rule is that every rider will sprint in a straight line during that lap.
E. During sprint laps, the rider occupying the pole lane is entitled to use that entire lane. That rider has the absolute right of way. No one can enter the pole lane from either above or below in the final 200m (final lap) of any sprint during a race. If you are located above that rider, you are forbidden from crossing the red line and entering the pole lane.
F. At no time during a race is a rider allowed to use the Cote d'Azur to pass underneath another rider.
Be Respectful of Others
12. Treat volunteers and officials with respect and consideration. They give up their free time to make sure that the velodrome sessions are safe and well-run. The Club's volunteers and officials work hard to make riding and racing consistent and safe; your respect is the least they deserve.
13. Treat the other riders with respect and consideration. Racing is intense, competition is intense, and even training is intense. However, all members benefit if the prevailing mood at the track is one of friendly competition. Treating others with common courtesy promotes the formation of alliances during races. It also contributes to an atmosphere within which members can approach others for help with equipment problems, to borrow/loan tools, and to discuss techniques and strategy. This Club needs to grow and develop. Do your part to assist in that process by respecting your fellow members.