Riding in a bunch is great fun: time seems to go much faster and there are plenty of other riders to chat to about the pitfalls of the beginner cyclist.
Riding in a bunch however can be a harrowing experience for the beginner cyclist so here are some tips which should make your transition into the peleton (bunch) a smooth one…
- Don’t slam on the brakes! Try and look ahead as much as possible (just like in a car) and predict when you’ll have to slow down and apply the brakes gradually. Also look and listen for cyclists ahead who have stopped pedalling. This is your cue to do the same – often the rolling resistance is enough to slow you down without needing to apply the brakes. There are no brake lights on bikes and we don’t follow the 2 second rule so you have to help each other out.
- Ride directly behind the wheel in front. Try not to overlap the wheel in front or ride too far to one side. If the rider in front has to swerve and your front wheel is over their rear wheel it could be interesting.
- Keep a close following distance. Start by sitting 60 cm (2 feet) behind the wheel in front and gradually lessen that distance. An experienced rider will be able to sit a few cm (an inch or two) behind the rider in front without too many problems.
- Ride consistently. Try and avoid making any sudden movements. When getting out of the seat to climb a hill, try not to throw the rear wheel backwards into the rider behind you.
- Point out the pot holes, sticks, gravel, wombats etc. When you see a pot hole, broken glass, or other hazard, warn the cyclists behind you by moving round it and pointing to it. Using your voice alone is not enough.
Tags: training tips