With all the training and preparation leading up to the event, you’ll be looking forward to having a great ride on the day. To help you safely get to the finish line here are two bunch riding tips to ensure you cross the line without incident.
Always protect your front wheel
The number one rule for riding in bunches is to always protect your front wheel. While the chances of keeping it upright when someone contacts your rear wheel are very high, if someone contacts your front wheel, you’ll most definitely lose your balance and fall. That’s why it’s so imperative that you always protect your front wheel
To do this make sure that you:
- Don’t overlap your front wheel with the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. The rider in front of you could be avoiding a pothole in the road, moving across to relocate themselves in the bunch or just pulling out to go around a slower rider. If you overlap their rear wheel and they swing across to the path of your front wheel they will take you out. Most of the bunch accidents are caused for this reason.
- When sitting on a wheel, sit slightly to the right to the left of it rather than directly behind it. That way, if the rider quickly slows up for whatever reason, you have a fraction of a second more to move out of the path of their rear-wheel before colliding with it. Riding slightly left or right of the rear wheel in front of you can be the difference between a close call and falling off. It’s a simple skill to always practice when riding in bunches.
- When on climb anticipate that a rider will slow when standing up. I’ve seen many an accident caused when a rider stands up on a climb and as a result slows down causing the rider behind them to run into the back with their front wheel, loose balance, and fall. When on climbs you’ll be riding slower so the aerodynamic advantage of being in a rider’s slipstream is greatly diminished. As a result, there is no need to closely follow their wheel when on climbs. Leave a little room between you and the rider in front of you to allow for the rider to slow down when they stand.
Hold your line through rough patches in the road.
It always amazes me when I’m riding in a tight bunch and I come across a rider that decides that it’s safer to weave around a rough patch in the road than to hold their line and ride through it. While I’m not saying that you should ride through large potholes that are unsafe, I am saying that if it’s safer to ride straight through a rough section of road then do so. Large potholes should be pointed out by the front riders anyway. But, make sure that you are alert and looking forward through the bunch to pick up on any potholes in advance. That way you don’t have the surprise of coming across them at the last second. When you are out on the road practice the art of riding through the rough sections and get used to knowing what you can ride over and what you can’t.
For more bunch riding tips check out this article: http://bit.ly/2MWCCSL
I hope that helps. Have a safe L’Etape Australia ride.
Cycling-Inform helps you climb better and have you riding faster in less than four weeks so you can be your best at your next bunch ride, recreational event, or race.
You can register for the training plan provided by Cycling-Inform and tailored to the distance you decided to ride when registering to L’Étape Australia for $119, or $149 at L’Étape official website.