How To Improve Your Bike Handling – 5 Key Cycling Skills

How To Improve Your Bike Handling – 5 Key Cycling Skills


Practicing your bike handling skills isn’t
just something that 10 year old boys do to show off… Hee hee hee hee! …it can actually make real improvements
to your day to day riding, both speed and safety. Here are five things you can practice
that will make you a better rider. Going no-handed is a useful skill in itself
and really helps your bike handling. Best way to start is to go one-handed, and
if you can do this, it means you can drink and of course eat properly. Although going
no-handed might not let you do too much extra, apart from perhaps a two armed victory salute,
unless of course you’re Dan Lloyd, when it could be just getting out a rain cape. But,
what riding no-handed will help you do is develop good balance and a real good feel
for the bike. A slightly strange sounding one, this one.
Most of us after all can ride in a relatively straight line. But, can you actually ride
in a straight line? It’s certainly a skill worth practicing. Find a white line down the edge of a road
and try to ride along it without veering off. The faster you go, the easier it is, so as
you get better at it, slow down and really really hone your sense of balance. It’s an
incredibly useful skill to have. You’ll find it pays dividends in riding in a group, or
indeed just riding in traffic. You can also take it to another level by looking behind
you while riding in a straight line. This is a really, really crucial skill and it will
help to keep you much safer, both you and the people around you. Car back! Even if you are not riding along a white line,
simply riding very very slowly indeed is a good way to improve your balance and bike
handling ability. Just practice riding at say, 1 or 2 miles per hour, just very… very slowly indeed. If you get good at this it will really improve
your confidence in slow speed situations, particularly in traffic, but also this skill
translates to when you’re going fast, as it gives you a heightened sense of balance. Another skill that’s going to impress kids
around the world, but it’s actually really really important to have as part of your bike
handling repertoire. We’ve got detailed videos showing you how
to do this, but in essence, it’s really important to be able to bunny hop over potholes in the
road in an emergency, over speed bumps or even onto kerbs. Of course that’s illegal,
but it might be something that one day saves your life. Bunny hopping isn’t going to damage your bike,
not if you do it correctly. After all, landing from just a few inches high is probably actually
less stress on your bike than hitting the pothole itself. We wouldn’t suggest that
you go out and practice while riding in a group, but if you’re out on your own and
you see a little pothole, why not just start by popping a little bunny hop over it. It
might one day be a skill that you really rely on. Skidding a road bike is not something you
ever want to be in a position to do, but being able to handle it if necessary is a great
skill to have. Practice on grass so that you don’t trash
your bike, and play around with how it feels to slide the back end by pulling your back
brake on. Next, you can try ending the slide by releasing your back brake and see how the
tyre will try to regain traction. If you rode a lot as a kid, this will probably feel like
second nature, but if you didn’t, you’ll soon see the need to practice
a bit.