Here are 7 tips from Cycling-Inform to build your confidence in cornering and descending:
1. Keep relaxed.
Keep breathing, relax your arms and grip on your handlebars, relax your body. It sounds like the start of meditation but it’s critically important. Being relaxed allows you to respond to the environment around you like wind gusts to perform minor corrections and navigate uneven road surfaces, potholes, and debris.
2. Brake before the corners.
Set your speed before you enter the corner if you need to brake hard once in the corner, maintaining a line is very difficult.
3. Look through the corner.
The old saying says “Your bike goes where your eyes are looking”, so look where you want to go, the exit of the corner. Don’t focus on the potholes or the rough surface unless that’s where you want your wheels to go.
4. Plant your weight on your outside foot.
To corner safely, you need your centre of gravity to remain over your tires and your weight distributed appropriately across both wheels. With your body weight planted on the pedal facing the outside of the corner, you’ll corner better.
5. Use your balance.
Lean your bike and not your body. When you ride into a corner, both your body and bike lean to the inside of the turn, but you should lean the bike more than you lean your body. To do this, plant your weight on your outside leg and lean into the arm facing the inside of the corner. As you lean into your inside arm, you’ll notice the bike drops into the corner.
6. Use the road, it’s there to be used.
You aren’t driving a car that takes up most of the lane so use the road. Start from the outside of the corner and as you ride through the apex of the corner move towards the inside of the road; effectively cutting the corner. It’s important to keep the motion smooth. By doing so you won’t need to wash off so much speed. But, don’t ever cross the centreline of the road and always ensure its safe to use the width of the lane and you are not pulling out in front of traffic or another rider.
7. Rotate your legs on longer descents.
If on a long descent, it’s a good idea to keep rotating your legs even if the descent gives you enough speed. Obviously, you will rotate your pedal stroke through the corners, so the inside pedal is up, but also turning over your legs keeps them moving so once you start climbing again or are traveling along the flats, they are still warm and haven’t stiffened up.
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 to the 12-week 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 on the Merchandise page.