Ride Like A Pro #2 – Braking and Riding in a Group

Proper braking technique is crucial for safety and control while cycling. By mastering efficient braking, you can confidently navigate descents, corners, and potential hazards on the road.

When braking, apply even pressure to both brake levers to ensure balanced braking. Avoid grabbing the brakes suddenly, as this can cause the wheels to lock up and lead to a loss of control.

In descending, use a combination of both brakes to modulate your speed and maintain control. Feather the brakes gently rather than applying them abruptly.

Practice emergency stops in a safe environment to familiarise yourself with the braking power and response of your bike. Gradually increase your speed and practice braking from higher velocities to develop your ability to stop quickly and safely.

Group riding is a common practice in cycling, whether it’s a friendly ride with friends or participation in organised events. Riding in a group can provide numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, friendship, and a shared sense of accomplishment.

However, it also requires a certain level of skill and awareness to ensure safety and smooth interaction with other riders.

When riding in a group, it’s important to maintain a steady pace and maintain a consistent line. Avoid sudden changes in speed or direction, as this can disrupt the flow of the group and increase the risk of accidents.

Maintain good communication with other riders through verbal cues and hand signals. This can include warnings about upcoming obstacles, changes in pace, or shifting positions within the group.

Practice riding in a group in a controlled environment, such as a closed circuit or a designated group ride, to develop your skills and become familiar with the dynamics of riding in close proximity to others.

Pace lines are a common technique used in group riding to increase efficiency and maintain a high average speed. In a pace line, riders take turns at the front, breaking the wind for the others, and then rotating back to the rear of the line to recover.

To effectively participate in a pace line, it’s crucial to maintain a steady pace and avoid sudden surges or slowdowns. When it’s your turn to pull at the front, maintain the speed of the group and smoothly transition to the back of the line when your turn is over.

Communication is key in a pace line. Use hand signals or verbal cues to indicate your intention to pull off or to notify others of any changes in speed or direction.

Practice pace line riding with a group of experienced riders or consider joining a local cycling club or team that offers group training rides. This will provide valuable opportunities to develop your skills and learn from more experienced riders.

Cycling in crosswinds can be challenging, especially when riding in a group. Crosswinds can create turbulence and affect the stability of the riders, requiring specific skills and techniques to maintain control and stay safe.

When riding in crosswinds, it’s important to create an echelon formation with other riders. An echelon is a diagonal line formation that allows riders to take advantage of the drafting effect and reduce wind resistance.

In an echelon, the leading rider is positioned on the side facing the wind, with subsequent riders aligned diagonally behind. This formation maximizes the drafting effect and provides protection from the wind.

Practice riding in crosswinds in a controlled environment, such as a wide road with minimal traffic. Gradually increase your confidence and skill in maintaining your position within the echelon and navigating through the wind.
Continued #1 – Bike Handling Skills
Continued #3 – Cornering, Climbing and Descending

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