Cycling skills are essential for riding in a group.  To sharpen your skills, try some of the following exercises in a flat, unoccupied parking lot.

  • Riding in a straight line.
  • Drinking while riding in a straight line.
  • Checking behind for traffic while riding in a straight line (also consider wearing a helmet mirror)
  • Riding with different hand positions (on top of handlebars, on brake hoods, in the drops) and being able to change hand positions.
  • Riding side by side – practice riding side by side with one other rider.  Communication is essential.  Keep each other informed about any moves you are anticipating, hazards you see, etc.

Safe and efficient cornering technique

  • Lean into the turn
  • Outside foot down
  • Do not start pedaling when you are in the leaned over position (you might hit the pavement with your inside pedal)
  • Hold your line going through the turn; there may be other riders to your right or left who you don’t want to cut off
  • Be more cautious if conditions are wet or there is gravel in the corner

Safe braking techniques

  • Figure out which brake handle controls which brake (usually Right = Rear, but not always)
  • Never use just the front brake
  • In an emergency stop, apply more pressure on the rear brake and shift your weight toward the back of the bike to keep from going over the handlebars