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Road Biking 101: Tips for a Successful Ride


ROAD BIKING 101


Follow the rules of the road

  • Same rights and responsibilities as drivers-ride with traffic flow

  • Obey all traffic laws. If at a stop light and no traffic around (90 seconds) cyclists may ride through light. In a rural setting at a stop sign, if no cars cyclists may ride through if no traffic

  • Ride single file, may ride 2 abreast if not impeding traffic

  • 3-foot rule between cyclists and cars

Be Predictable

  • Do not swerve, ride in a straight line

  • Give signals 3 seconds ahead to turn or stop (left turn-left arm out straight, right turn-left arm bent and hand upward OR right arm out straight, Stop-left arm bent and hand extended down).

  • No sudden stops

Be Conspicuous

  • Wear bright clothing

  • Tail lights and head lamps dusk and dawn and heave traffic

  • Make eye contact with drivers

Think ahead-Be prepared

  • Pay attention to surroundings-car doors, potholes, road conditions, drivers, pedestrians, rocks, road debris, train tracks etc…

  • Have a repair kit, tube, pump, tire levers and Allen wrench with you

  • Have a credit card, ID, band aids, Tylenol

  • Adequate water and food for your planned ride

  • Extra clothing depending on weather conditions

Ride Ready

  • ABC checks: A-air in tires, B-breaks in good working condition, C-chain is lubed

  • Helmet fits properly

  • Wear proper bike clothing- shammy is a must have! Shammy cream is a good idea too. Wear gloves if preferred.

  • Bike is properly adjusted - “bike fit”


Tips for Successful Riding

Body Position

  • Relaxed face, shoulders down away from ears

  • Elbows bent but tucked in (not flapping out like on mountain bikes)

  • Straight and neutral spine

  • Knees tracking over the ball of your foot/pedals

  • Upper body is still-no bobbing of head or shoulders...keep soft and calm

  • Vision: where you look is where you will go, look at surroundings and traffic, pay attention, look through turns to where you’re going.

  • Stable/engaged core

Hand Position

  • Keep hands light, straight wrists

  • Drops are good for downhill -this lowers your center of gravity and adds traction and balance while riding downhill and gives better grip on the brakes

  • Mostly ride with hands on the “hoods” where you can easily brake and maintain a relaxed position

  • Top of the bars only when climbing and without traffic around.

Pedal Stroke

  • Goal is to be efficient with power

  • Pedal in “circles” and not “squares”....power throughout the whole stroke - point and scrape (practice one leg at a time.)

  • Keep it smooth (practice this at a high gear and fast cadence)

Bike Handling

  • Practice in a safe place

  • Braking: don’t grab both brakes or the front brake on it’s own. Feather the front brake alongside using the back break

  • Cornering: slow down to a comfortable speed, look through the turn where you want to go, inside knee up and apply pressure to outside foot to maintain balance

  • When approaching a climb carry momentum up the hill and shift into an easier gear before you need it, stand up to get more power and to give your butt a break :)

The most important thing however is to just get on a bike and get outside and ride. We highly suggest finding a friend to go with....going with friends make it more fun, and chances are you'll go faster and further!








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