Slipstreaming (drafting) is riding behind another moving object, usually a fellow rider, to save energy. It's a great technique to learn, allows you to keep up with far faster riders, and allows groups who take turns to travel at impressive average speeds. Read more to find out how to do it effectively and safely.
Descending on a bicycle requires a combination of skills that are more commonly used in motorcycling. Learn these skills, and how to not kill yourself by reading this article. Also discussed are descending techniques.
Learn how to climb hills effectively without burning out half way up. I Guarantee that after reading this, you will do much better on the hills, and even shave off time, as well as making your ride more enjoyable.
Few are truly able to check the road behind them without veering towards oncoming traffic. This is an important skill made easier in this article.
Cycling Skills & Safety
Rights of Cyclists
Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to travel on the roads as cars and motorcycles.
In many jurisdictions, bicyclists
are NOT legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
Cyclists have the legal responsibility to obey all traffic laws.
Cyclists have an
ethical responsibility to be goodwill ambassadors for the sport.
To help protect the rights of cyclists consider getting involved
with bicycle advocacy organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists - BikeLeague.org and People For Bikes PeopleForBikes.org.
To avoid road surface hazards such as sticks & potholes you should practice and perfect a simple (and small) bunny hop jump.
To come to a safe and legal stop without unclipping, learn how to do a track- stand. Practice this while waiting for friends to show
up for your next ride.
To avoid collisions with motorists, you should know how to make emergency stops and emergency turns.
make sure that your inside pedal is up (at 12 o'clock) and that your outside pedal is down at (6 o'clock). This will ensure proper
pressure is kept on your tires.
When riding in a group be sure to point out hazards, such as cracks and road debris, to alert the
riders behind you.
Do not ride in a driver's blind spot. Ride where they can see you.
Making eye contact with a driver is an effective way to ensure
Ride in the right most lane of traffic that you are headed.
When riding through intersections, or near driveways, watch
for vehicles coming the other direction as they may turn in front of you.
To avoid getting "doored": ride outside of the door zone
(~3ft/1m), scan parked cars for a driver or passenger exiting, and slow your speed.
Defusing Road Rage
Riding in Traffic
Ride to the right as is safe and comfortable. You are NOT required to ride as close as possible to the curb, parked cars or
shoulder if it is unsafe.
Be aware of your surroundings such as cars, potholes and intersections, and be prepared to make sudden stops.
Avoid making sudden changes in direction. Ride in a straight and predictable line.
Obey all traffic laws such as stop signs and traffic
Use hand/arm signals to alert drivers of stops, turns and changing lanes.
Crossing Railroad Tracks
Check for traffic in front and behind you before approaching the tracks.
Check both ways for train traffic.
Cross the tracks
at an angle as near 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the tracks as possible.
Maintain a steady controlled speed while crossing the
Do not try to jump the bike or raise the front wheel while crossing.
If automobile traffic is too close to safely make your
arch over the tracks, stop the bike and walk over the tracks.
Steel rails are extremely slippery when wet. It is even more important
to cross perpendicular to the rails when wet. If in question, walk over the rails.
Steel grated bridges are also very slippery
when wet and you must use extreme caution when cossing.
Minimize the risk of conflict by following the rules of the road and riding safe and courteously. No running red lights or stop
Do not initiate conflict, and do not engage in conflict if someone attempts to initiate conflict with you.
Stay calm if confronted
and do not let the other person gain control of your emotions.
You have the right to defend yourself, but your self-defense must be
proportional to the threat, and must end when the other person ceases the attack.
Be sure to report any violence, attempted violence,
or threats of violence to law enforcement authorities to ensure authorities see a pattern of behavior.
Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Car Hazards
Top 5 for Bike Handling and Safety Tips
Top 5 Rights and Responsibilities of Cyclists
Top 5 Ways to De-Escalate Road Rage
Top 5 Tips for Riding in Traffic
Crossing Railroad Tracks
How to Ride in a Paceline
How to Ride in a Paceline
Most Important: Be predictable. Close riding demands that everyone be on the same wavelength. A sudden change of speed or abrupt maneuver has a chain reaction for everyone in the paceline. There must be a basic understanding of what is and is not expected behavior. Experience and confident bike handling skills help make it flow better. Smooth rotations, and keeping the distance between the riders in the paceline small will keep the paceline steady.
Donít accelerate when itís your turn at the front. Note your cyclecomputerís mph and maintain the groupís speed when the lead
rider pulls off ahead of you. The rider in the advancing line should NEVER surge. The idea is that you ride to the front and float
to the back in a constant rotation. You change your speed by "soft-pedaling" as you switch to the retreating line and increasing your
pedal pressure as you switch from the retreating line to the advancing line.
After you have made it to the front, clear the lead rider
in the slower line, pull in front of him or her and stay close to the others as you soft pedal and slide back to the rear
of the paceline. This enhances the drafting effect for the whole group. It also keeps everyone as far out of the traffic flow as possible,
making paceline riding possible even on busier roads.
An easy way to regulate your speed when pulling off is to shift to one gear
easier and maintain the same cadence.
As you come abreast of the last rider in the line, pick up speed and then slide over behind
his or her wheel as they come past. When done correctly you wonít need an energy-wasting acceleration in order to latch
back on. Once in the caboose position you can take a drink without disrupting the pacelineís smoothness.
Protect your front wheel.
If your rear wheel is struck a fall is unlikely because it has nothing to do with steering the bike. However, if your front wheel
is contacted it will often be twisted off line faster than you can react. Youíll almost certainly go down. Help prevent this by never
overlapping someoneís rear wheel.