The track stand is a bicycle maneuver in which the cyclist perches over the bike, trying to hold it almost stationary. The track stand may look, to a non-cyclist as if the rider is about to lunge forward, which may happen if the cyclist loses control of the bike.
To “track stand” is to hold a bicycle more or less stationary by perching over the cycle and rocking back and fourth slightly such that it does not fall down, as it would if it were completely still.
This move is easier to perform on a fixed-gear, or (racing) track bike, hence the name. The direct drive from pedals to drivetrain on a ‘track bike’ allow the cyclist to gently rock back and fourth. Timed track stands competitions now feature at many bike messenger and fixed bike enthusiast meets.
The move is also used widely by mountain bikers. Since the freewheel, which only engages when the cranks are pedaled forward, is common on mountain bikes, the technique usually involves a slight incline so that the cyclist can gently pedal up and allow the bike to rock back. This allows a biker to pause before negotiating a particularly technical bit of terrain such as a deep crevasse, a jump or a stream.
Any cyclist can hold a track stand on any bike for about fifteen seconds, often long enough for a light to change color, or enough of a pause to stop for a stop sign without stepping off of the pedals and leaving the riding position.
Like a lot of US slang, the term can be used as a noun or a verb, or even an adjective for the particularly linguistically obtuse.
The Chinese acrobat busted a track stand and then 30 people made a pyramid on top of her and the bike.
When I hold a track stand at an intersection, drivers think that I am trying to bomb through, not stand still, perhaps due to the perched-over-the bike position.
Dude, time me while I do a track stand on my new fixie – while wearing tight jeans, $2,000 worth of trendy clothing and a bunch of heavy shit stuffed into a messenger bag.