By Vic Brown and Cort Cramer
Always wanted to join a group ride
but felt a little intimidated? Follow
these techniques to become a
more confident, safe, and skilled
Your lead actions affect all riders in your group,
so be predictable. Make your intentions known
early using clear and direct verbal and/or hand
signals. The rear rider is responsible for
signaling intentions to following traffic.
MOUNTING AND DISMOUNTING
Practice mounting and dismounting from your
bike without losing balance and then practice in
between cones set three feet apart in a 60-foot
corridor. Also practice bringing the bike to a
complete stop in the final 10 feet.
Start on the indoor trainer, practice taking sips
from your water bottle or looking over your
shoulder while maintaining speed, balance, and
cadence. Next, practice riding through a
staged course with cones eight inches apart.
Finally, practice on a quiet road with a partner
to provide feedback.
Changes of speed occur often, especially on
hills when lead riders slow as back of the pack
is still riding swiftly, creating an accordion affect.
Descending triggers an opposite affect.
Physical contact occurs when riding close
together, but maintaining composure is
important. Become more confident by bumping
and leaning on fellow cyclists, beginning ideally
on a closed grassy course with someone of
Vic Brown, MS, CSCS, ATC is a USAT Level 1
Certified Coach for Boston Performance
Coaching, a triathlon and endurance athlete
coaching service located in Kenmore Square.
Cort Cramer, MS is a USA Cycling Level 2
22 COMPETITOR MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009