August 2018 SafetyFun With Bikes
- Overlapping Wheels
- Anxiety riding in a group
Never overlap wheels! It is dangerous.
Here’s what happens:
The rider in back is always at fault when wheels overlap, as well as, is usually the only rider that goes down because of it. If you notice that your wheels are overlapping the rider in front of you, soft pedal until you are clearly back behind their wheel.
If while you are overlapping the rider in front of you swerves to avoid a piece of gravel their rear wheel will nick your front wheel, twisting your handlebars and sending you to the pavement. The rider in front does not fall because they are holding and their front wheel is stable.
To avoid crashing when you accidentally touch the wheel in front of you, turn your wheel lightly back into the wheel you just bounced off of. Yes this sounds counter-intuitive, and contradicts your instincts of veering away, but steering back into the wheel actually helps you regain your balance.
As you do this, also shift your body weight in the direction you are steering; toward the front rider’s rear wheel. This will help re-center your balance as to not fall.
Don’t forget to apologize after the incident, and give thanks for not crashing either one of you.
Remember that, in the event of a crash, the rider in back is the responsible party, even if the rider in front causes it.
Why am I not enjoying Club Group Rides?
Group riding shouldn’t be stressful. It can be challenging, but it should be fun.
If you’re stressing during a group ride, you should step back and take a look at what’s going on with your body and mind during your group rides.
Below are some things to consider.
Are you Prepared:
Is your bike in good working order ( brakes, tires, chain)
Does your bike fit you
Do you know how to change a flat
Do you bring enough water to avoid dehydration
Do you brings snacks that will help when you start to feel tired and are "bonking"
Do you have the necessary equipment so you are outfitted to be comfortable and safe (helmet, ID, hard soled biking shoes, gloves, sunglasses, tubes and tools, comfortable cycling shorts and jersey, lights, mirror, snacks and water)
Think about the ride
Do you have any issues with:
The level of the group you choose to ride with
The pace and distance
Is the group too large
The Ride Leader
Do they welcome new riders
Do they give a brief summery of the ride and about safety
Do they wait for riders who get stopped at a red light
Do they drop riders
Do they keep to the advertised ride pace
Other Riders in the group
Is their riding predictable?
Is their riding safe?
Are they communicating?
Do they ride too close to you; overlap wheels
Do They ride two abreast
Do they call out when there is a gap
Do you Compare Yourself To Others
Focus on your own ability, rather than focusing on others.
Ride a pace and distance that is within your current ability.
Monitor your own performance and be content with where you struggle and where you thrive.
Mindset is key to having a fun safe ride. think positively and do what you need to do to ride your best.
Do you Obsess Over Data
Data is a wonderful tool for motivation, but it can get out of hand. Some riders become obsessive about their speed and distance.
You get wrapped up in the numbers and You forget to have fun.
Ditch looking at the data during your ride. Go on a ride and Once you’ve broken your obsession, start using those numbers constructively after the ride.
Do You Fear Injury
Have You been in a bike accident or maybe you’ve seen others crash hard, and that scares you.
When you’re scared, you tighten up, and when you tighten up, your muscles tense which can effect your bike handling.
To reduce this, relax your shoulders by doing some shrugs or shoulder rolls to help you loosen up.
A combination of any of the above may be contributing to your inability to enjoy group riding.
You are one cyclist in a group, and you all can’t read each others’ minds, so being predictable and maintaining clear communication by all riders in your group is critical.
Group Riding etiquette is something that should be discussed before every ride. Discuss what is comfortable spacing, passing rules and things that you think are obvious but that might need saying—like how you indicate turns, road hazards. You should be looking out for each other front and back. Your group is a team.
So What can you do to make changes?
Ask For Help
There are many seasoned riders in all clubs. Take advantage of their knowledge.
Following the advice of seasoned riders should give you a greater sense of control and confidence so you can enjoy the ride.
Educate Yourself on Safe Riding
Learn to be confident on the road. Take a Safe Cycling Class.