How to Improve Your Bike Handling Skills

April 8, 2016  By Colin Batchelor

One of the challenges in all cycling events is ensuring that all of your training, the power you’ve worked so hard to build isn’t wasted come race day. All too often I’ve seen good results lost due to a rider’s poor skill set when riding the bike. I know that rider has worked really hard in their training, they’ve committed to a tough training plan, and yet the results don’t match up to their power profile.

Read more: How to Improve Your Bike Handling Skills

I came across this great article on Lebron James and his love for biking. 

Excerpt.. "I’d wanted to talk to James for a long time about cycling. Readers of this column know I am a massive bike dork, and I’ve known the three-time NBA champion likes to ride—James has been spied commuting to games on his mountain bike, and in summers past, he’s hosted bike-a-thons in Ohio. At one point he even owned a stake in the bicycle maker Cannondale."

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

We encourage all riders to ride SMART.

STAY ALERT
Momentary inattention is the number one cause of incidents. Watch for vehicles, bicyclists pedestrians and hazards. Do not wear earbuds or use phones while riding.

MAINTAIN SPACE
Leave enough room in front of you to avoid other riders, vehicles and hazards. Ride outside the door zone. Move off the road or trail when stopping.

ACT SAFELY AND PREDICTABLY
Wear a properly fitted helmet. Make sure you can see and be seen. Ride a straight line and only pass on the left. Be courteous.

RESPECT THE RULES OF THE ROAD
Obey all traffic laws. Stop for all red lights and stop signs. Signal turns whenever safe, ride no more than 2 abreast (single file is safer). Yield right of way when appropriate.

THINK AHEAD AND TALK
Scan ahead and anticipate what others will do. Communicate actions and hazards, tell others when passing and cross raildroad track at an angle if possible.

Riding confidently and predictably in traffic sends the message that you belong on the road. Basic bike handling skills will also enhance your efficiency, making your ride more enjoyable.
1. START STRONG
Getting off to a good start includes starting with stability. Start in a low gear and gradually build speed.
Engage both brakes.
Position one pedal in the 2 o’clock power position.
Put all your weight on this pedal; then release the brakes.
Stand up on the pedal and simultaneously ease yourself back onto the saddle.
Keep your grip on the handlebars firm but relaxed so you will not wobble.
As you gain speed, shift to higher gears.
Read more: Bicycle Handling Basics

Share the road with other vehicles, bicycles*

  • Provide 3 feet of room when passing a bicycle
  • Do not turn right in front of a bicycle
  • Expect bicycles to move left in the traffic lane to pass and avoid debris in the road
  • When a lane is too narrow to pass a bicyclist safely, wait until the adjoining lane is clear
  • Give bicyclist all the right of way as any other full size slow moving vehicle
  • When parked at a curb do not open the door on the traffic side of the vehicle without making sure that the lane is clear of vehicles including bicycles
  • Remember to be especially careful around bicyclists because any accident with them will probably result in serious injury
  • *Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers. Motorists must treat cyclists the same as drivers of other motor vehicles. Bicyclists have a right to be and should be traveling on the road in the same direction as traffic. They are part of the traffic and share the road with other drivers

 

  • ALWAYS wear a helmet
  • Do not wear headphones
  • Never ride against traffic
  • Avoid riding on the sidewalk wherever possible
  • Stop for stop signs and red lights
  • Follow lane markings
  • Honor others right of way
  • Use hand signals and verbal communications
  • Call out debris in the road
  • Be predictable
  • Ride single file with traffic
  • When riding in a pace line:
  • Do not overlap with the bicycle in front of you
  • Maintain an even pace and do not allow a gap to be created in front of you
  • When rotating off the front, do not stop pedaling until you have moved off the front of the line
  • Do not cut into the line unless the rider behind you has approved your move
  • Be alert to the actions of the riders in front of you
  • Don't unnecessarily block traffic
  • Always use lights front and back at night and it also helps your visibility during the day