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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 19:19 
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Seasoned cyclists should alrady be conversant with much of this - but we have to consider novices :wink:

I am sure people can chip in with their take on the subject and I am hoping seasoned cyclsits will join ain the discusssion and add their take to all this.


Good cycling is a skill :wink:

Straight steering is a question of balance and smooth pedalling action.


My tip is to follow a straight line marked on a surface Pedal with the ball of your foot and not the instep and this is easier to achieve if you use toe clips or clipless pedals. Pivot your foot at the ankle so that your toes point slightly upwards.

Nice light grip on the handlebars and ensure you can apply the brake levers – always make sure you can reach the brakes easily as hazards to occur. Find a quiet road or track and practise braking. You need to make sure that you can brake evenly and quickly in emergency without toppling off the bike or going over the handlebars.

For a driver – our reaction time is usually faster. It takes 0.7 second to register and move the foot to the brake. However, cyclists despite the lower speed usually take 1-2.5 seconds to respond and at 20 mph you cover 75 feet in 2.5 seconds. There is a table in Road Craft and the IAM handbook and Franklin also covers this in a similar table on page 20 of his book. He very wisely advises practising to get to know the power and feel of front and rear brakes in isolation in case of a brake cable snap. The front brakes as he points out are by far the more powerful and if you hit this one too hard – you go over the bars. I know – I did this on training once to demonstrate. (I had a soft surface to land on though – in the real world – you have hard tarmac and concrete.

Steering is also a skill Best to do this on a course as drawing chalk lines per Franklin can be a dodgy practice On a quiet road practise riding with one hand by lifting each hand in turn from the bars – one hand compensates for the imbalance by increased grip on the bars. Once you have mastered this – practice hand signals.

1. Arm straight to the right – (I want to turn right)
2. Arm straight to the left – (I want to turn left)
3. Waving arm gently up and down (I am slowing down)
4. Right hand held up and ahead - intention to go straight on


(and this should be shown to my lads when on traffic duty. :lol: :wink: :lol:

The lifesaver glance also requires practice for the novice/less experienced. Practise with both hands on the bars at first and then lower the hand to the side over which you are looking behind. In heavy traffic – keep both hands on bars, but tighten the grip on the “blind” side when you glance back. Practise both right and left glances and it does take some time to perfect.
:wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 20:00 
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In Gear wrote:
Straight steering is a question of balance and smooth pedalling action.


if you want to learn to ride a straight line nothing beats a set of rollers.
They're also good for working on your cadence.


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