9 basic cycling skills that all riders need to master
9 basic cycling skills that all riders need to master
Group riding and cycling events are hot again, which means it’s time to abandon those rusty group riding skills and re-adapt to speed lines or backpack riding. This is a good time to talk about how to improve your cycling skills. Even if you have been riding for more than 20 years, I guarantee that you are an expert in some skills and there is still room for improvement in others.
Why bicycle handling is important
Obviously, good bicycle handling skills are the most important for keeping the rubber side down. But staying upright is only one of the benefits. Excellent handling skills are essential to maintain your position in the backpack and move forward. You can make smooth corners and save a little energy every time you turn. At the end of a road race, Grand Prix or standard race, this energy accumulates and adds a lot of energy.
Improve your performance with a structured bike training plan, apps that analyze your progress, and professional coaches who answer your training questions.
This is a list of the skills you need and how to obtain them. Each of the following sections can be the entire article itself. For the purpose of this article, I will briefly describe each skill and provide links to more detailed articles on this site where possible, focusing on specific skills.
Every time you lose power in a corner, you have to expend energy to make it stand up again. This is one of the main reasons why the rider is separated from the backpack. Over time, even the strong rider will be exhausted from all the short accelerations and return to the steering wheel. To improve your turn, read this in-depth article and keep the following points in mind:
Look where you want to go from the corner. Your bike is whatever you want, so don’t look down at the front wheels or potholes you want to miss.
Focus your weight or pressure on the outer foot (which should be facing down) and the inner arm. The pressure on the outer foot is your traction, and the pressure on the inner arm is the trajectory of the turn. If you need to reduce the turning radius (the turn is sharper), apply more pressure to the inner arm to tilt the bike to the inside.
In a bag, let a small gap open when you enter a corner instead of letting the gap open at the exit. In other words, if you drift into the corner and maintain more power than the driver in front of you, you will pull closer and get out of the steering wheel when you pass the turn, hoping that you don’t need that much high-power acceleration.
If the corner is wet, bumpy, or you are on an unstable road, keep the bike upright. The more you lean, the further away your center of gravity will be from the contact surface of the tire. When traction is low, you want the center of gravity to be close to the centerline.
Having good cornering skills covers most of what you need for good downhill skills; the speed is just higher. This is a detailed article about descending order. Turning by turning is a more suitable turning technique for descent. The important thing to remember is that before starting to turn to the apex of the corner, start wide and apply most of the braking. Another trick to help cyclists gain confidence is to keep their eyes away from the road. At a speed of 40 miles per hour, you cover the distance of a football field (100 yards) every 5.1 seconds. Corners, rocks, potholes, etc. come so fast, you must choose the route as soon as possible.
Move up in a group
When it comes to moving up in a group, it is difficult to adapt between two riders riding side by side. Likewise, moving out of the group and accelerating in the wind requires a lot of energy. Moving diagonally is the most effective way to advance. To move diagonally between riders, you must place the handlebar in front of the rider next to you. Your bar is in front of them, and you can decide where you two go.
If space is tight, use a slightly abducted elbow to protect your handlebars or leave a little space for your shoulders. This is different from checking the rider next to him with the elbow or shoulder. Don’t do that. Likewise, you never have to remove your hands from the handlebars to pass through large forces. It is dangerous to move people with your hands, which will expose your lack of riding skills. The only time you should put your hands on the rider’s shoulder or hip is to prevent a crash.
Riding on the pace line
A good pace line embodies the concept of teamwork and the team is superior to the sum of its parts. This is an entire article dedicated to the introduction of tracing techniques. The important things to remember are:
When it’s your turn to pull, keep the speed of the group. If you increase or decrease the speed sharply, the effect will increase as it returns to the entire group.
You don’t have to pull at the same time as the previous rider. Pull shorter at the speed of the group, rather than slow down to stretch longer. Likewise, if you are strong, pull longer, not faster.
Pull into the wind. If the wind blows from the left, the pace line rotates to the left (counterclockwise). If the wind is blowing from the right, pull it to the right. In the double pace line (2×2), each rider pulls to his/her side, and then a group rides between them.
Save something to start over. You will have to accelerate from the recovery line to the traction line, so don’t pull too hard, you have nothing to start over.
Out of the saddle
To avoid crossing the wheels with the rider behind you, it is important to avoid throwing the bicycle backwards when you leave the saddle. If you shift up one or two gears (the harder gear) when you stand up so that the first pedal stroke is strong enough to keep you motivated, everyone behind you will be happier. When you sit down, don’t forget to switch back to a simpler gear.
In a professional bicycle race on a narrow road, when riders compete for position on a narrow road and enter a narrower section, there will be many collisions between shoulders and elbows. Even if you are not competing for position in a race, comfortable contact is important when you are riding in a group. Here are some things to remember:
relax! Keep your elbows and shoulders relaxed. Hold the handlebar firmly, but don’t cling to the white knuckles. By keeping your upper body relaxed, you can absorb the collision of the rider next to you and stay in a straight line. If you are nervous, the same bumps will make you deviate from the course.
To protect your space and handlebars, consider moving your upper body toward the rider who hit you, but not necessarily leaning against them. If their weight is resting on you, then you must lean back so that you can stay upright. But if it’s just bumps, you want to keep your balance on the bike and use your body to maintain some personal space.
A good practice is to ride side by side with one or two friends on the grass, hitting each other deliberately, rubbing shoulders and elbows.
Looking behind you
Many times, when the rider tries to look back from his or her shoulder, they will turn to the same side of their head. In other words, if you turn your head to look at your left shoulder, you tend to turn to the left. When you twist your torso and shoulders to look back, you are also pulling your barbell to the left. To solve this problem, focus on maintaining the forward pressure of the barbell, and even push the barbell to the right a little bit. Practice in a parking lot with no traffic.
Another way to stay safe when looking back at a group or pace line is to place your left hand on the shoulder of the left rider, then turn around and look to the left shoulder (or the right hand on the shoulder of the right rider) and look at the right shoulder ).
Eat and drink
Some riders will feel nervous about taking out a water bottle or some food from the jersey pocket because the handle has been removed from the handlebar long enough. If you are going to ride in a backpack for a period of time, it is essential to be able to eat and drink.
Remember, your water bottle has been in the same place since you first bought the bike. You don’t have to look down for it, and you don’t have to put it back in the bottle cage. If you have difficulty opening food wrappers while riding, please open the wrappers for lollipops and chews before putting them in your pockets. The best time to go back and get food is at the top of the climb (so that you can eat while descending) or obviously on a non-technical section of the road.
To open the gel with your teeth without sticking to your whole body, pinch the top of the package, and then use your teeth to tear the top off your fingers. After squeezing as much sucking out of the package as possible, you can fold the top of the package down to minimize the leakage of residue into the pocket. Some people hide empty wrapping paper in different pockets or tuck them under the leg straps of their shorts so that their food pockets do not become sticky.
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