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Coexisting With Sprinters

Nothing sucks more than driving all the way to the Burnaby Track, go inside, and see … ew ... Sprinters. 

What are these goons up to, and is it safe to ride while these people are on the track? Let’s dive in and breakdown the things Sprinters do, and what you might do to live in harmony with these simpletons. 



Pre-ride communication

Before going on the track, touch base with both the Sprinters and Enduros. Simply ask, “What are you doing today?”. This will provoke further conversation on how to avoid interfering with each other. 

Just riding around

If you plan to ride laps on the blue line, it’s helpful to ride in groups as opposed to being equally spread all around the track. This will allow Sprinters & Enduros to more easily time their efforts, without needing to 'thread the needle' between other riders. 

Enter & exit the track

Take extra time to study what everybody is doing on the track. Carefully look ahead, behind, and across the track. Anybody making an effort? Any Sprinters riding slowly riding the rail? Anyone in the lane, going fast? Anyone lining up for a standing start? TAKE YOUR TIME in assessing the situation. If a Sprinter is doing a flying effort, they will be traveling 65-70kph, and if you cut in front of them, things can quickly go bad for both of you. - In short, if it feels sketchy or vague, hold your current position (on or off the track) and reassess.  

Communicate with Sprinters who are on the track

Sprinters rarely go up on the track for a casual ride. If you’re about to enter the track and see a Sprinter up there, it’s likely they're about to do something. It’s not a bad idea to yell to them as they pass “You doing an effort?”. If they say “yes”, it might be a good idea to either enter the track with them 20-30m ahead of you (so you can alway see them), or simply hold off until they do their (short) effort.  



Up track activations

After their roller warmup, Sprinters will do a few initial sprints from the cote, to the rail. They’ll be careful to time their activations so they don’t interfere with other riders who are already on the track.

Sitting in chairs & checking phones

For Sprinters, every effort is a maximum effort. So, between sets, they'll sit around waiting for a full recovery ... sometimes as long a 20 minutes.  

Get up all at once

Rest/recovery is over, and the Sprinters are ready to do their next effort. They will often do their efforts either together as a group, or one-after-another, to reduce the inconvenience to other riders. Although not required, it’s common for some riders to exit the track to allow the Sprinters to bang out their efforts. 

Slow riding at the rail - Flying 200 Part 1 

As part of a build up for a flying effort, Sprinters will ride up at the rail: One lap, as sloooow as possible. One lap, accelerating. One lap, dive down into the lane and sprint for 50-200m+.  So, when you see a sprinter at the rail, it’s wise for you to not enter/exit the track. Cont’d in Part 2 …

Entry & sprint - Flying 200 Part 2

Please note, when making a flying entry, the Sprinter will dive down the entire width of the track, across the blue, and into the sprint lane. They will try to time their entry to avoid other riders on the track.

Rule of Thumb: If you are on the blue, and catching up to a Sprinter at the rail, please slow down, and keep them in front of you to allow them to make their entry.

Scenario: You pass a Sprinter (who's at the rail) and end up 20-40m in front of them as they make their entry. A fully committed Sprinter will be forced to either pass closely behind you, or closely in front. This isn't fun for you, or that Sprinter. 

Do not enter/exit the track when a Sprinter is making and entry/sprint. Just don't.

Standing starts in the sprint lane

Practicing standing starts is common for both Sprinters and Enduros, and is typically done when there are fewer riders on the track. It’s critical that everybody knows when someone wants to do a start. The rider should roll along the apron and yell their intensions to riders on the track, “I’m doing a start”, and look for their acknowledgment.

Worst Case Scenario: Someone does a standing start at the same time a Sprinter does a flying effort. The differential is speed is a formula for disaster.


Everybody likes to see Sprinters puke ... not surprising, considering they live on a diet of Cola, Twinkies, and Dairy Queen. If you see a Sprinter bent over a garbage can, you can go home knowing they achieved their training goals for the day. 


Sprinters will often wrap up their training sessions with some drills to improve their bike handling skills. This includes: track stands, bump drills, riding while looking over their shoulder or between their legs, chopping up/down the track, and generally messing around. While it seems they’re just goofing off, the games they are playing are very important, and they will use their performance track time to do it.

Scenario 1: You see Sprinters playing around. Looks like fun. - Please ask before joining in.

Scenario 2: Your training session starts in 30 minutes. You see Sprinters wrapping up their performance training session with some drills. You want to hop on the track early to do some riding before your booking starts. - Please don't. They are in a performance training session, not open track.


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