Track FAQ feat. Kevin Mansker

S_L_D_S_L_D_ Riding Level: 453
Migrating this over because it's track season. Track racing is like NASCAR, but with siqq fixayz instead of dogecars.

Alright, so now that track season is 50 day away, and I've noticed quite a lot of question revolving the track, I figured I'd create a little FAQ.
Feel free to post any and ALL question you might have revolving Alpenrose, track racing in general, or any other track racing related question in here and I'll do my best to answer.

1) Our track is called Alpenrose. It is located at 6149 SW Shattuck, in the middle of the Alpenrose dairy. It is 268.43 meters long (exactly 1/6 of a mile) and has banking in the turns of 42° to 43°. The radius of the turns is 16.6 meters. The shape is described as an "extreme cigar". Aka it has very long straights, and very tight, short turns. It is one of the steepest in the USA. It's nationally known for being one of, if not the hardest track to ride due to its shape and rough concrete construction

2) These are all the written rules of Alpenrose:
-The velodrome is open for riding during daylight hours when there are no other scheduled sessions. Sessions are scheduled by contacting Mike Murray, 503-661-5874,

-During scheduled sessions there will be an established program that will be set by the individual or group that has scheduled the session. Riders on the track during those sessions will adhere to this program and follow the direction of the person in charge of the session. Riders that do not follow the program and/or do not follow direction will be asked to leave the velodrome until the session is completed.

-Riders must wear helmets while riding on the track.

-Riders must always ride in a counterclockwise direction.

-Track bikes will generally be used. Road bikes may be used for specific sessions but will not be ridden while track bikes are on the track. Mountain bikes, BMX bikes or other types of bicycles will not be used.

-Motorized vehicles are only to be used with prior permission for specific motor paced events.

-Skates and skateboards are not to be used on the track surface.

-Minors must always have adult supervision.

-Glass containers are forbidden.

-Climbing on the track rails or sliding down the track surface is prohibited

3) Learning to ride: Track Development Classes (TDC) is most Wednesdays at 6:00PM. Check the OBRA Schedule for confirmation. During these classes, you will be taught all the different markings on the track getting on and off the track, etiquette and safety.

You will generally have 3 goes at the track; with each go introducing you do something new. The goal for a new rider is go get them to just do a several full laps around the track. That might sound lame, but the first time you are on the straight and you see that 43° wall come at you, I PROMISE you you'll be more than a little freaked. Generally, you wont get to paceline until your 2nd or 3ed class depending on a whole shit load of things.

We also will throw mock racing in at the end of the class. This is just to give you a taste of racing. You won’t win anything, so there's no point in going all out. It's just to learn how to ride in a pack.

After that is all said and done, we open the track to whoever wants to keep riding. Generally, I'll have a few people who want to go faster than what they were going in the class. I like to do what I call a drop off drill. Basically, I have everyone line up behind me in order of fastest to slowest. Then we get on the track and I gently start ramping up the speed. I keep doing this until no one can hang on. That way, everyone gets to go as fast as they want, and they have a draft to do it in.


  • S_L_D_S_L_D_ Riding Level: 453
    THOR4LIFE said:

    4) Etiquette: (Copied and Pasted off of OBRA):
    Before getting on the track:
    A few simple rules that make everyone's day a little safer. The primary rule is to always look where you are going and know where other riders are and how fast they are going. Riders at speed can cover half the track in less than 8 seconds so watch out. Once down to the infield (never cross the track during a race) test out your bike on the apron (during general warm-up) or warm-up circle (during a race) before going on the track. This means making sure your front wheel is on good, rear cog will not come loose, handle bars and seat are in tight, all other parts are attached and your bike feels ok.

    Warming up before a race:
    Once you get ready to get on the track during general warm-up take a few laps on the apron first. Then look across the track to see who might be getting ready to do a fast lap then look over you right shoulder and if it is clear go up track to above or near the blue line. Remember to keep your arms loose, try not to death-grip the bars and look beyond the wheel in front of you when riding on the track (These all help reduce the chance that you will over-react to a situation). You should always enter and leave the track at the start of the straights to give yourself time to get up to speed and slow down. Only if you want to get up to speed or get in a pace line should you venture down near the black line. The red line to the blue line is usually reserved for riders who are passing or pulling off of pacelines so try to keep above or at the blue line when going slower on the track, or just ride on the apron.
    Never go very slow (under 15 mph) while warming up as you could slide down track taking out a paceline or two along the way. Listen for things like "stay", "stick" or "hold", and don't go up track if you here this even if it is your turn to pull up track. While faster riders do get the sprinters lane it is the rider who is passing that needs to pay attention and go around the slower riders who are also in the sprinters lane. Remember the important thing is to be aware, ride a straight line and look first. If there is a crash or mishap, the riders involved will "use" gravity and go down track, so you should always attempt to ride above them and go up track. Riders with a mishap should head towards the apron or infield and never go up track as this may just make it worse (gravity).

    During a Race:
    Attempt to ride as close to the main group as you feel possible. Remember that the sprinters lane (between the black and red at the bottom) is the fastest line, so use it when possible, especially if off-the-back. It is fine to pass around the top or underneath as long as you have room. (Do not pass underneath riders that are already in the sprinter's lane.) Always give yourself room when passing as other riders may choose to pass at the same time and may not notice you from behind. When being passed by faster riders always hold your line. While it is better to be high on the track when the group passes, both to allow the faster riders to race and give you a chance to use gravity to get back up to speed, do not attempt to go up track at the last second and make the faster group go even higher to try and pass. As long as you pay attention to the other riders you should be fine.
    The basic rules always apply. Communication is important; always let people know anytime you are doing something that may catch everyone else by surprise. You must always wear a helmet whenever you are on your bike at the track. Do not try to ride the track when wet, you will fall. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Ride counter-clockwise only. Glass containers are bad. No swearing. Have fun. Play hard. Smile big.

    5) What all the pretty colors mean:

    Starting from the bottom to the top
    -The blue band or "cote d’azur"=The blue band is NOT part of the track. It tells you where the track starts and ends. It is generally not allowed to be ridden on in a race, although we sprinters can.

    Black line= The black line is where the distance of the track is measured. It's also a good guideline of where not to go below. It is possible to ride below it, and in racing you might have to, but in general, stay above it

    Red line= The red line and the black line make up the Sprinters lane. This is the fastest part of the track. Many rules refer to the sprinters lane in racing. More on that later

    Blue line= The blue line at Alpenrose is pretty much useless. On a normal track, it is used for Madison racing. At Alpenrose, we use it as a divider. When you are warming up or just bsing, stay above it. Everything below that line is meant for business.

    White tick marks= They are for official use only. They really mean nothing to the riders. In timed events, that is where we put up foam blocks to keep riders from coming too low and cutting corners.

    6) Racing. There are really 3 kinds of racing. Time trials, mass start, and sprinting.

    Time trials means you are just racing the clock. They can be 200m long (sprint qualifying), 500, or 1-4k long.

    Mass start races are (imo) road racing in circles. There are many different kinds. Scratch races are good ole NASCAR style. 1st person to cross the finish line wins.
    Points racing is like a crit. Every X amount of laps, there is a sprint. The winner of the sprint gets A amount of points, 2ed over the line gets B amount of points, ect. The person with the most points at the end of the race wins.
    Miss and outs. In these races, every X amount of laps (usually 1-2), whoever crosses the finish line last (looking at the rear tire) is pulled from the race. This continues until there is only 1 left standing
    Win and outs. These are the exact opposite as miss and outs. Who ever crosses the line 1st, wins and pulls off the track. Next lap, the 1st person who crosses gets 2ed and pulls off. Ect
    Unknown distance. Just what it sounds like. You roll out not knowing how many laps you are going to do. HINT: We roll 2 dice to decide how many laps. Use your uber dooper math skillz to figure out what the most likely number of laps is.

    There are many more kinds of mass starts, but those are the main ones. If you know another and want me to explain, I will

    SPRINTING: This is my shit. Match Sprints are 3 laps long. 1st person to cross the line after that 3ed lap wins. Sounds bloody simple, but is anything but. Go here for examples:

    In order to race: You HAVE TO TAKE THE TDCs. There is no set amount, but 2-3 is usually enough. If you are unsure, just ask your teacher. After that, you have to race 3 beginner races on Friday nights. After that, you can race whatever you want. Either sprints or the Thursday night mass start races. Or both. Doesn’t matter

    OK. That covers most of the shit. I know I missed a lot, but I've been on a bike almost 16 hours today, and I'm bloody tired.

    PLEASE ask questions. On whatever. It just makes me all fucking giddy knowing people here actually give a fuck about the track

    So, if you wanna talk about turning left, do it here.
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