Dominate the Downhills with Free Speed
Hello, cycling rockstars!
Hold onto your helmets! Today, we’re going to tackle one of cycling’s most exhilarating – and sometimes nerve-wracking – aspects: descending. Whether you are training for bike races or triathlon the downhills can mean free speed, or be where you lose tons of time.
That’s right, we’re talking about that rush of adrenaline as the world whizzes by and you feel like you’re flying. But hey, if the thought of speeding downhill makes your knees wobble more than a flat tire, don’t fret. We’ve got some handy tips to help you become a downhill dynamo and quash those fears. Ready, set, let’s roll!
- Chill Out and Trust Your Two-Wheeled Friend
First things first – relax! You and your bike are a team. Remember, your bicycle is designed to be stable and responsive, even when you’re hurtling down a hill. So loosen up those white-knuckled grips, shake out your shoulders, and let your bike do its thing. If you are super tense and tight you will have the tendency to overcorrect instead of rolling through which can create its own issues.
- Eyes on the Prize
Here’s a golden rule: Look where you want to go, not where you don’t. Keep those eyes glued to the path ahead, and you’ll naturally steer your bike there. It’s like magic, but with less rabbits and more road! If you are staring at the ditch or the barrier…guess where you will end up. Look through the corner and your body and bicycle will follow.
- Be a Position Pro
When it comes to descending, body position is key. Bend those knees and elbows, lower your center of gravity, and shift your weight back a bit when tackling steep descents. Think of yourself as a nimble cat, ready to pounce (or in this case, swoop downhill)! Take the pressure off the front of your bike and let it do its thing.
- Brakes: They’re Not Just for Stopping
Got the hang of those brakes yet? Great! Now let’s use them smartly. Apply both front and rear brakes evenly and smoothly, rather than in sharp, sudden bursts. Remember, brakes are your buddies on descents, helping you control your speed and take turns like a boss. If you do have a downhill turn coming be sure to apply your brakes and reduce speed BEFORE the corner.
- Fear, What fear?
Finally, let’s face that fear. Is it the speed? The turns? Or perhaps a past tumble? Whatever it is, acknowledging it is the first step. Remember, every cyclist has been there – even the pros had to start somewhere. If you’ve watched any of the pro races you know they fall down more than you do. The best way to overcome fear is practise, the more you do something the more comfortable you will be with it. Other options to consider: taking a cycling clinic or hiring a coach to help boost your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be whooping with joy instead of gripping with fear.
So there you have it – your fun and friendly guide to mastering descents and banishing fear. Remember, like any skill, it takes practice, but with time, you’ll be zipping down those hills like they’re nothing more than anthills. Now, put on that helmet, clip in those shoes, and let’s conquer those descents!