Cycling’s So Much More Fun When You Stay Upright!
We are always in 2 minds whether to cover this through fear of putting people off but then it’s highly unlikely that you weren’t aware of how dangerous road racing can be. So, what can we do make it safer and make you feel more confident? Here are a few tips:
– Spend as much time as possible riding in a group, like your club runs, during training. Just because someone is a strong rider it doesn’t mean that they are a safe rider in a group, if you don’t cause a crash then already that’s a lot of crashes you won’t be in.
– Learn how to corner safely – if there’s the demand for it let us know and one of our Coaches will happily take a group to a closed circuit and work on your cornering.
– Hold your line – if you are going to change lanes, look over your shoulder and indicate to the riders behind that you are planning on moving sideways.
– Talk to riders during the ride/race, warn them if they are drifting or breaking too suddenly.
– Keep your head up and your eyes open.
– Point out hazards (such as potholes) to your clubmates/competitors and hopefully they will do the same for you.
Here are some equally useful tips from ABCC (Association of British Cycling Coaches) Coach Graham Hills, thanks Graham:
Skills to avoid crashes:
1) Spatial awareness
2) Peripheral vision
3) ‘Sensing’ other riders around you, especially to one side but slightly behind
4) Looking ahead whilst also ‘seeing’ close in front and to the sides
To develop these:
1) Teach yourself to juggle (seriously!)
2) When driving on a motorway (for example) look into the distance as far as you can and ‘see’ what’s on the verge and the other carriageway
3) The only way is to ride in groups, but be aware, test yourself as you look ahead – how close are riders around you, etc.
4) The same as 2) really, but need to actively develop this in group riding and races.
Finally it goes without saying; pay attention! Most crashes are caused by lack of attention, and practising the above will help ensure you are not the cause and help you avoid others crashing around you.
There you go roadies, stay safe, avoid making enemies (!) and enjoy your riding!!
It’ll be an Indian summer before you can say “snow plough”.