In today's dynamic world of transportation and personal mobility, cycling has gained popularity for both commuting and leisure. Whether you're a co...
10 Necessary Skills That Every Cyclist Should Know
Cycling skills seem difficult when you do not know them. Learn a skill and practice. Give it some time and you will get a good hold on it. If you are a beginner or an adult who hasn’t cycled in a long time or never cycled in their lifetime. There are 10 necessary skills that every cyclist should know. Without them, you can be a cyclist but won’t be entitled to be a professional cyclist.
Besides these skills make your ride more enjoyable and you have more to show off to your other cyclist buddies.
Make sure you practice these skills enough before hitting the road. We don’t want you to get hurt.
This guide will take you over from setting your saddle height, safety checks, and skills that only a true cyclist is aware of.
Keep going to find out more about cycling skills.
You might get clipless pedals where you need to adjust your foot and keep it steady on each pedal. Use your heels, not your toe, to engage and disengage with the pedal while you ride. If you want to clip in and out with your right foot, apply the outward motion with your heel. Use the ball of your foot to get a grip on the leading edge and weigh your heel to make a positive connection with your pedal. You can practice this on grass or soft land where it would not hurt you much if you collapse a cyclist builds a good pedal stroke, 3 o’clock is the best direction in which the foot is pressing the pedal to surround with more power around 360 degrees.
A good drill is to build concentration on the top to bottom of the stroke for a few minutes. The momentum will build soon and then keep pedaling in the best 12 o’clock to 5 o’clock direction.
One-way pedaling is the best way to improve your strokes. Practice one-foot pedaling by putting the bike on trainer mode and putting something on either side so you can rest the non-pedaling foot on it.
- Excel In Cornering
As you are about to turn around the corner, shift into gears. Slow down, and brake before you make the turn, not before or after exiting the turn. If possible, be on the outside of the curve. Keep your inside pedal up and weigh toward the outside pedal. Use your body weight to steer up your bike.
Do not lean too much, and ride in a curve around it. When you apply the brakes your bike tends to go straight, not round. That means it's important to apply brakes before the corner.
Also, cornering can become the fastest way around if there's no traffic. Start near the centerline, for the right-hand turn, ride close to the right edge of the road and finish closest to the centerline. For a left-hand turn, ride closest to the left edge of the road and finish at the centerline again.
You can practice cornering in the grasslands where you safely fall off the bike and get on again.
Climbing is fun unless you don’t get an easy hand on this skill. Enjoy the ride, keep your chin up, and settle at the rear of your saddle. Keep a loose grip on the handlebar tops or the better hoods so your weight does not lie on the front wheel. Stand only if necessary otherwise, it’s not very efficient as pedaling while you are seated.
Set the gear ratio, lower your load, and speed up. Pace yourself and attack the flat. Give yourself an energy boost before you climb. To a new rider, it might take a lot of courage, so here’s a tip. Eat 15 minutes before your ride to climb, this will help your blood sugar levels to peak after the ingestion of fast-absorbing carbs, like gels, drinks, and energy bars.
A dose of caffeine might work best as well to help you get a boost and climb efficiently.
Take a deep breath and make yourself more relaxed. Sit heavily on the saddle and look ahead. Watching your fast-spinning tires or thinking of the slope where you are will head you to a fearful feeling. Instead think ahead of where you will be, not where you are. For maximum control keep your hands in the drops and legs steadily on the pedal.
Descending is challenging at times, you need the courage to do this skill. Practice this in either the cycling club or place a slope board on the ground where you can polish your skill without getting injured.
You need to know when to brake. Sometimes it’s a matter of seconds when you delay the brake and get a hit. Smoothly apply pressure to the levers with your index finger or together with the middle finger. Control the speed with the rear brake while aiding your steering to the front brake.
On a fairly short, gently slide your weight towards the back wheel and pump your brakes.
Also, Check Out: Rainy Day Riding Points of Attention
- Passing Through Crosswinds
To least experience the crosswinds that either cut the cycling speed or wink your eye. Shift into a small, harder gear. Ride with the core to stabilize yourself. If you are riding in a group, form a V shape as when birds are flying in a group. This is efficient in sharing the crosswind experience. Communicate with other group members about how the group is riding.
Other precautions are to wear glasses to keep your eyes open during winds and put on a mask in case you do not breathe dust. Keep yourself hydrated as there are chances that you get thirsty very often.
- No Hands Balancing
Each skill polishes with time and as you keep practicing it. Riding with no hands allows you more flexibility to consume on the bike. You need to keep yourself balanced and to begin with, ride with one hand at a time. Gradually sitting up while keeping back straight, switch your one-handed control with the fingertip on the bars.
Shift your ride into a smaller gear so you spin less, or even try coasting. This is a skill that requires the rider's core strength and body balancing.
- Riding On A Straight Line
Riding on a straight line is fairly effortless because of the gyroscopic effect of your wheels. The smartness and real skill are to still ride in a straight line when the speed is low. Especially in a group, it becomes a challenge because one goes wrong and follows others' loose path as well. If the path is free, you can practice in the white line that is to separate the right-of-way from the shoulder.
- Watch Out Behind You
So often, riders try to look back from the side of the shoulder where they are just taking a turn in the same direction. In simpler words, if you are steering to the left and rotating your head from the left shoulder to watch out, you are also pulling your bars to the left. This might result in extra steering and fall you to the ground. To avoid the situation, keep your focus on applying pressure to the bars and keep the steer a little right when you want to steer left, and rotate your neck to the left shoulder. Practice this on the empty ground or free parking lot.
If in a group, place your left hand on the shoulder of the left-side rider and turn your neck to look back, while keeping your steer straight. Or right hand on the shoulder of the right-hand rider and look back from the same shoulder side.
- Pumping Up Your Tires And Adjusting The Saddle
Before you begin cycling, these should be the initial learnings that every rider should know. Adjusting the saddle height is one thing. But if you are a single user of your bike, then adjusting the height once is enough for a longer period. Ensuring the right saddle height is important to have a safe, comfortable, and easy ride. Most riders feel comfortable with the saddle height being too low and others would enjoy their preference.
This is fine in both cases as long as you are comfortable.
Pumping your tire and acknowledging the right pressure will make your bike as comfortable and efficient as possible. If your tires are too soft, riding will be very difficult and handling might become difficult. But also too hard tires will burst the tires, or damage the inner tube.
The rightly pumped tires will support your ride and bike’s weight without squirming or deforming. Almost every bike tire has a pressure range printed, the maximum and minimum required for a tire. The printed range is the best to keep your ride efficient and enjoyable.
Cycling can be more enjoyable if you have all the skills to ride it perfectly. All the pointers mentioned above will make your commuting session even more fun. Not only you’ll get the maximum fun but also it will mark your safety while riding your bike.
Most importantly, to imply these skills you would need a bike that’s capable enough like an E-bike from Rad Power Bikes. You can get your Bike at an affordable price by using Rad Power Bikes Coupon Codes from Saving Says.
Kasim is a passionate writer and a blogger, currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Media Sciences. He loves to write on health and fitness-related topics. Hanging out with friends on weekend nights is one of his best hobbies. He also likes to travel to mountainous areas to explore nature’s beauty. Right now, he is a regular contributor at Saving Says which is a couponing website where people save their money through discount guides and coupons.