Great Cycling Skills
you can make good improvements to your cycling skills by including 30 minutes per week of this exercise.
An experienced cyclist with lots of skill is a great thing to see. They are comfortable cycling in groups, have great balance and good movement skills on the bike. they also usually have a very fluid cycling cadence with a great rhythm to their pedaling. They have usually spent years building up these skills
You can also work towards being an expert. Beginner cyclists often lack the refined skill of the expert. Currently there are lots of people coming to cycling from other sports.
They might be very fit and have lots of skills in the sports that they have already participated in. However they may be struggling with the skills of cycling like cornering, braking, cycling in groups to name a few.
The lack of cycling skills and good balance can reduce the fun from cycling for the cycling beginner and affect their confidence on the bike..It can also compromise safety when challenging situations arise.
Cycling Skill Foundations
The foundations of a lot of the skills are good balance on the bike. When your balance is good confidence increases, it also makes cycling in groups safer and more enjoyable.
Figure 8 Super session for Cycling Control
While this is a super session, its also a simple session that can be fun.All that’s required is a safe off road venue. it could be an empty car park, A basketball court or your own back garden if the grass is short and the ground is firm and dry.
A few small cones or something similar can be used to make the figure eight course. Whatever you use, its important that its safe and not something that might catch in your bike and create a hazard.
It could also be done on grass particularly if using a mountain bike.
After a few weeks of this session you should have
- Better balance
- improved cornering ability
- Understand how to select appropriate gear
- How to brake better using both brakes
Always do a safety check in whatever venue you are doing the session. Look for any hazards that may be a danger to safety.
- Hazards / rubbish on the course, wet leaves
- Potholes or any obstructions to collide with
- Other people using the area
- Have good space between the figure 8 course and possible obstacles like trees, fences and others.
- Have bike well maintained
- Brakes in good working order
- Tyre pressure correct
- Safety Helmet
its a very simple setup. All you need are three cones or similar. Half a tennis ball or something similar is good. or chalk could be used to mark the turning spots. The important thing is that whatever you use will bend if you cycle over it, rather than be solid which could cause problems if you make contact with it with any of your wheels.
As you can see a few minutes of this exercise requires a lot of left and right turns.
Use a gear that is easy to cycle for best control. You will notice that if you use a tough gear that has to be pushed too much the bicycle control will be lessened.
Its possible to make the session easier or more difficult to suit the cyclists skills. For beginners use big gaps between the three cones which can give a wider turning point. As the cyclists improves the cones can be moved closer together to maintain the challenge for the cyclist.
Work within your competency level when starting these sessions. .Its usually better to have the first few sessions too easy rather than too difficult, then gradually make the session slightly more difficult as you inprove..
How much should you do?
Ten minutes of this exercise x 3 times weekly could give very good improvements.
its possible to check for improvements by measuring and recording the distance between the Cones and using the same place and conditions for testing.
Do a test Test after about three weeks of practice to check on progress.
For more great tips and training programmes from zero to to 60kms and for 200kms Buy my Introduction to Cycling Booklet booklet
Have your own coach at your fingertips for less than 5 EUROS.
Written by Paddy Doran, winner of cycling Coach of the year – Coach Tutor of the year. Coach to successful club – national – international and professional cyclists.
Whos it for ?
Ideal for beginner and club cyclists, triathletes and endurance sport athletes
- buying a bike
- How to set your saddle height and bicycle setup
- Essential Cycling Skills
- Safe cycling
- cycling for Cross Training
- How to progress your fitness from 0 to 200 kilometres.
- Progressive Training programmes for all levels