Being better balanced on the bike starts with switching on your stomach muscles – your core but how ? Try lying down on the floor & lifting your legs straight up. Then by using your core muscles try lifting your bum off the ground just a little repeat 4 times in a controlled fashion – no swinging. This will make you aware what it feels like to switch those muscles on.
Now when you’re on the bike, try & ride with one hand on the brake hood like you would if you were taking a drink. But before you remove your hand, switch on your core so you’re holding your upper torso with your stomach & not so much with the hand on the brake hood. If you do this correctly you will now be taking the weight off the hand that’s on the bars which will make the bike hold a straight line much more easily.
Once you’ve tried this when you’re riding normally, you can then engage your core to drive the pedals harder. Also by relaxing both hands on the bars, you can start steering the bike with your core, hips & feet. This will also remove any neck pain you get when you ride so practice & think about using your core !
Recently I have a lot of riders asking how they can improve their descending so below are a few important key things to remember.
Racing downhill takes a combination of skill, confidence, and courage, and even if you may not get the chance to bomb down a long, twisting descent that’s closed to traffic, the same techniques that keep the pros on the road will help you go downhill faster and safer.
Bunch Riding by Chris White (ex Randwick Botany member)
As the Club evolves, attracting less racing and more recreationally oriented riders who may lack the necessary skills to ride with utmost safety in a bunch situation, it is vitally important to learn this art whilst out training on the busy and sometimes dangerous urban streets.
Racing on a closed circuit such as Heffron Park is great for your bike handling skills, but will not equip you with those skills necessary for bunch training and recreational rides. (more…)
Brake lever play is important When a road bike’s brakes are ideally adjusted, you’ll be able to pull the brake levers ¼ of the way to the handlebar before the pads touch the rims. This play in the lever travel is useful for three reasons : First, it helps you find just the right braking power. If the pads touch the rims as soon as the levers are pulled, it’s hard to feather them for smoothly graduated braking. Of course, for obvious reasons you don’t want the levers to reach the bar before you attain full braking power.
New riders join the sport for many reasons – fitness, the social aspect or to achieve specific goals. Sometimes it is much easier to achieve specific goals by riding to a program. There are many new riders that get benefit from following a program and it does help with fitness & heading towards a goal.
However, most programs specific to an individual rider are best done alone. The rider has to ride in exact heart rate zones and so end up doing the repetitions and training exercises alone. This can be very beneficial but it also has some drawbacks.
You may start riding in a group and enjoy the camaraderie and you can miss this when doing a solitary training program. And not only that but you may not practice your riding skills while focusing on heart rate. So fitness improves but techniques and bunch riding skills don’t. There are also benefits to training in a group as you will be pushed by the faster riders and improve sprinting/attacks and group skills such as pacelines and team time trialling.
There has to be a balance between both programs and specific group skills. All this improves your riding craft which will make you more confident and a safe & better overall rider. Don’t get me wrong a program can improve you but you still need to incorporate specific group training to keep you motivated and to do those things you may not be good at.