Track cycling is not for the timid. The bikes travel fast, there are no brakes and the track is a vertiginous wooden slope. If you fall, you tumble from a great height. Add to that a bunch of other riders trying to cut you off. At the Avantidrome, the latest big-budget sports arena for fledgling supersports stars, you can sit and watch the experts do it or you can fork out 15 bucks for a bike, a helmet and an instructor and try it for yourself.
While the six-storey velodrome is strictly in neighbouring Waipa County, Hamiltonians have claimed it as their own and thousands of city folk go there regularly to zip around the track or work out at the gym. For little cyclists, there is an outdoor bike-skills park where they can spin their wheels on a miniature cross-country course. 15 Hanlin Road, Cambridge, 0800 835 637, avantidrome.co.nz