Ride better, be happier, and stay safer with our Top 10 Tips for Road Cycling!
- You have to be vigilant on the roads and aware of cars around you so as to avoid nasty accidents and keep yourself safe; especially in these three situations on the roads which lead to the most car-bicycle crashes:
- When an oncoming motorist turns left in front of you while you’re going straight through an intersection.
- When a driver fails to obey a stop sign and pulls out in front of you.
- When a vehicle passes you and immediately turns right, across your path.
Be extra careful in these situations and on the roads in general; so you can continue to enjoy cycling in one piece.
- Traffic lights and junctions can be tricky to navigate on a bike, to stay keep safe by moving into the centre of the lane when you stop at a red light or a junction. This will ensure you are still visible to other vehicles on the road and they won’t try to squeeze past you, trapping you between them and the curb. When the light changes and it’s time to move off accelerate to cruising speed before moving right to allow vehicles to pass.
- If you’re a keen cyclist it’s likely you’ll often ride in a group; whether it be for fun, or practice for a race. Remember when riding in a group to keep your hands in contact with the brakes; either in the drops or on the hoods; so you are always prepared to slow down.
- Another tip for riding in a group; don’t stare at the rear wheel you’re following in a pace-line. Look a couple of riders ahead, while letting your peripheral vision keep tabs, to see what they’re doing. This way you’ll be prepared if something happens to make them veer or change speed. A pace-line can be likened to a slinky; little movements at the front magnify and speed up as they flow to the back of the pack.
- If your muscles often feel sore and you feel fatigued, it may be because you are hunching your shoulders. Avoid doing this and you shouldn’t feel as sore or tired after a ride. Tilt your head every few minutes to prevent tight neck muscles, or; even better; stop to admire the scenery.
- Another way to keep your muscles in top form is to relax your grip on a smooth, traffic-free stretch of road and practice draping your hands over the handlebar. Doing this will help alleviate muscle tension and will also reduce the amount of road vibration transmitted to your body.
- Be extra careful during the first ten minutes of a rainstorm when oil and dust float to the pavement’s surface and have not yet been washed away. However, painted road lines and steel surfaces become slippery straight away and remain treacherous until they completely dry, so be cautious of these at all times on a wet day.
- To make a wet corner less treacherous, make your turn as shallow as possible. Set up wide so you enter from a shallow angle, steer straight through the turn, then exit wide. In effect, this transforms one tight turn into two shallow ones.
- If you’re looking to improve your bike performance out on the road, two easy (and most overlooked) ways to do this are to: Inflate the tires before every ride, and keep the chain lubed. These two simple steps will keep your bike in top shape, and help you get the most out of your ride.
- Also it is useful to remember that every time you put a new tire on your bike, you should take it as a signal to do an otherwise overlooked but important task: Grease the quick-release and mounting-bolt threads on your car rack to prevent corrosion.
Hopefully these top tips will make your road cycling experiences even better and help you stay out on the bike for longer! Remember to stay safe on the roads and most of all enjoy yourself!