Even older cyclists need to know some basic bike handling skills. Here’s where you begin
Whilst cycling is a lot of fun it also has its skills, and for any older person relatively new to road cycling learning some of the basic skills is very important.
I remember, not long after I started cycling at the age of fifty, riding along in a group with an experienced cyclist next to me. Suddenly, to my surprise, he suddenly sat up, took off his jacket, rolled it up and put it in his back pocket.
I hadn’t even tried riding without hands before so to watch someone sit up and take off a jacket, right in the middle of a group, was very new to me.
However I could see the value of learning a skill like this. Obviously it wasn’t something I was going to try in the group, but I made a mental note that next time I was riding by myself I would at least learn to ride without hands.
So that’s what I did. On my own I spent some time gradually teaching myself to ride without hands and have now been able to do so for some years. Now I too can sit up in a group, take my jacket off, roll it up and put it in my back pocket, and it’s extremely handy when you ride on a day like last Sunday when we started in zero degrees and finished in 14 degrees.
So that was a reasonably basic skill that I’ve taught myself and which has been handy on so many occasions. Last Sunday I even had to sit up, remove my gloves and take off the inner gloves that I’d put on to account for the zero degrees start.
A couple of years after teaching myself to sit up we had a training day at my cycling club which was given by an ex pro cyclist, who was also an Australian Olympic cyclist.
And he also impressed on us the importance of learning some basic bike handling skills. And in fact we practised bunny hopping, something I’d also not learned previously.
And now I can also bunny hop my bike successfully, and have used that a number of times to avoid potholes.
So even as an older cyclist it’s important to have some basic cycling skills, and if you’re relatively new to road cycling in your later years then learning some basic skills is very important.
Here is a great video showing you some of these basic skills. Watch the video, maybe watch a few others to learn some more of the techniques and then get out there and start practising.
Here’s a good place to start researching a little more about bike handling skills, the Youtube channel of Global Cycling Network who published the video below.