Thursday, May 15, 2014

Notes for New Cyclists

Arturo will be joining me this year on the Tour of the Alps. Since he wasn't a serious cyclist prior to this Saturday, I had an opportunity to see first hand what techniques that experienced cyclists know that new cyclists don't necessarily find intuitive.
  1. Easing up on a shift is something that most experienced cyclists do. It's hard to explain, but I found that "go slightly faster than usual and then ease up as you shift" came across much better than "ease up as you shift." Speeding up a bit is useful because on a climb, you don't want to lose so much momentum that you have to put a foot down, and you tend to need to shift just as you hit a grade change.
  2. Quick releases on brake levers are not obvious.
  3. When the chain drops, the best way to put the chain back is not with the finger, but with a stick. If a stick is not around, use leaves or grass so your fingers don't get dirty.
  4. Don't have a death grip on the handlebars. Lean on the bars when you climb, don't necessarily grip them.
  5. It's possible to shoot photos on the bike while moving. But don't do it until you're very comfortable with riding and with the bike. And don't try it with a phone that relies on a touch screen!
  6. Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads. Enough said.
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