March 19, 2019
If the last time you rode a bike was when you were a child, read on to find out how to get back in the saddle and ride like the wind!
Bike Fit: My first tip is to make sure your bike is set up correctly and fits YOU. Visit your local bike shop and ask them to set you up on your bike. They will take your measurements and make the necessary adjustments to your current or newly purchased bike. A great fitting bike can help prevent injury, enhance efficiency and improve performance. Often the benefits of buying locally outweigh the possible cheaper option of buying on-line as you can pop back for minor alterations if need be.
Saddle: A saddle that is comfortable is paramount. A saddle that your friend loves or that has received rave reviews might not be right for you. Discuss the ideal saddle with the bike expert at your bike fit. They should be able to look at your position on the bike and recommend a suitable saddle.
Clothing: Waterproof and windproof outerwear is well worth the investment for comfort and warmth. Specialist cycle gear will fit properly when you lean forward on the handle bars, have appropriate padding in all the right places, stretch and move with you as you ride, wick away the sweat and be more aerodynamic than regular sports clothing.
Drills: Don’t focus your training purely on speed or miles. Cadence, smooth pedalling and equal power distribution between each leg are important too. Single leg drills, where you concentrate on one leg only, can be done on an indoor trainer or outside. Does one leg get more tired than the other? Go through a range of gears to alter cadence. High cadence, 100 rpm or faster, can make pedalling more efficient.
Skills: Bike skills can help improve your confidence, efficiency and make you a better rider. There are a whole load of skills that you can practice when out on a ride: sharp turns, manoeuvring around obstacles, drinking from your bottle, picking objects off the floor, riding close to others, looking over your shoulder, bunny hopping, to name a few! If possible try these out in area where there is not much traffic.
Braking: The front brake can stop you suddenly if pulled too hard, so feather it lightly with the back brake. Pulling on the rear lever too abruptly can cause the back wheel to skid. The front brake however, is where most of your stopping power should come from, approx 70-80%, leaving the remaining 20-30% coming from the rear. Approach corners at the appropriate speed so to minimise braking on the corner. It’s safer to brake whilst you are travelling in a straight line.
The more you ride, the more you’ll be amazed at your rate of improvement. Get out on the bike and enjoy.
Would you like Andrea to be your personal coach and help you achieve your race goals? Click here to find out more about thetrilife.com