It is just 10 Days until the National Bike Challenge begins. As promised, here is part 1 of multi-part of a series of tips and videos to help you become a better cyclist. The first set of video is general riding tips.
You can check out all the videos by going to the League’s website. Otherwise, I have included the ones for riding tips below. Enjoy!
Most bikes have gears. They help make your pedaling consistent whether you are going uphill or down.
Here is what you need to know about gears.
- When it is getting harder to pedal, shift into an easier, lower gear. Each revolution will propel the bike a short distance, but it will take less effort to push the pedals.
- When it is getting easier to pedal, you will want a harder, higher gear. Each revolution will propel the bike a long distance, but the effort is very high.
- On flat ground, chose the middle range of your gears.
For best results, the chain needs to be in a generally straight line. If the chain is not in a straight line, you should hear it.
Starting and Stopping
Steps to Starting Your Bike
- Stand ahead of the seat
- Place one pedal in an upright position
- Push the pedal down and ease yourself onto the seat
- Place the other foot on the opposite pedal
Steps to Stopping Your Bike
- Stop pedaling
- Shift your weight to the pedal that is in the down position
- Squeeze both brakes equally
- Slide off the seat
- Place one food on the ground
Scanning successfully is a key part of riding anywhere—it is an easy and safe way to communicate your intentions to others and it shows you what is happening behind you.
At first, it will be difficult to scan and maintain a straight line. A tip that may keep you from pulling the bike is to remove the hand, from the direction you are scanning, from the handlebars.
Communicating your intentions not only makes your ride safer, but laws in the United States require it.
Left Turn: Fully extend your left arm out to the side
Right Turn: Fully extend your right arm out to the side or bend your left arm up at a right angle with your hand flat.
Slowing or Stopping: Extend your left arm out at a right angle with your hand open.
You may think it is the handlebars that steer a bike, but your body does the majority of the steering. If you turn by just moving your handlebars, you will make turns that are wide and clumsy. The tighter and smoother the turn, the more you have to lean.
Your job is to use small motions to steer the front wheel as little as possible to keep the bike directly under your center of gravity.
Basic Bike Check
An easy way to make sure your bike is in good working order is to do an ABC Quick Check.
Air: Be sure you have enough air in your tires.
Brakes: Look to see that your brake pads are not worn.
Chain and Cranks: Pull on your cranks to see that they are not loose and look to see that the chain is not rusted and it is free of gunk.
Quick Release: Make sure all quick releases are closed.
Check: Take a slow brief ride to check that your bike is working properly.