So you want to try road biking. But you feel you lack the necessary skills and confidence to keep up with your local cycling club. Check out the following bike skills and feel more comfortable when you ride:
The thing that separates new cyclists from seasoned ones are the hills. It requires skills and endurance to be able to ascend a long and steady climb. Take note of the these tip to help you on your next uphill cycling.
1. Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Shift down a couple of gears as you approach a climb.
2. Keep your cadence (the rate at which you’re pedaling) high.
3. Stay seated for as long as possible.
4. Make full circles when you pedal — pulling up on the rear part of the stroke in addition to pushing down on the front side.
5. Place your arms on the top of the handlebars, relax your elbows (not fully straight), and use your core muscles to help power your pedal strokes.
After successfully climbed the hill, it is probably time to sit back and enjoy the ride. This is the common mistake newbies think or make. Descending must be just as methodical and controlled as ascending. Although going down is fun and rewarding, it needs just as much, if not more attention to the road as the ascend.
The following are the basics of cycling downhill safely:
1.As you crest a hill, shift into a higher gear so you will be ready when you need to pedal.
2. Set yourself up for optimum control of your bicycle. Position your hands on the hoods with your finger resting over your brakes. If you are comfortable, you could move your hands into the drops to lessen drag. Move your butt back a bit in your seat and when you are not pedaling, keep your feet parallel to each other.
3. Focus your eyes about 15 feet ahead to watch for turns or road obstacles or obstructions.
Looking Over The Shoulder
Being alert and aware of everything around is extremely important on any bike ride. You do not only have to watch for what is coming ahead, but also what it approaching from behind you. Always check over your shoulders first if you intend to execute even the slightest move from your course. But sometimes, the mere act of looking over your shoulders could make you veer off course.
Take note of the following tips to get safely get around an obstacle:
1. When you spot an obstacle ahead of you, whether it is a parked vehicle or another rider you want to pass, be ready to look over your shoulder.
2. Turn your head 90 degrees and allow your eyes to look at the rest of the way.
3. Keep your chest and shoulders facing forward, and do not let your arms follow your gaze.
4. Check for approaching riders or vehicles coming from behind of your before executing the pass.
The reason why looking over your shoulder can make you swerve is because in cycling, you steel with your eyes. Usually, where you look dictates where you want your bicycle to go.
For safe turns, following these bike skills.
1. Look into the turn.
2. Place your insider pedal at the top of the pedal stroke.
3. Lean into the turn. You do not have to turn your handlebars. If you look and lean, your bicycle will follow.
4. If you need to reduce your speed, apply your brakes before you begin the turn. Do not apply your brake in the middle of the turn.
5. Begin pedaling again as you come out of the corner, to keep your pace.
The more you practice these bike skills, the more comfortable you will be. Spend some quality time working on these bike skills in an empty parking lot or on a quiet residential street, before riding with a big group.
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