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Riding Techniques – Part II

How to handle rough terrain (cross-country or downhill):

Many people don’t realize how good our arms and legs are at providing shock absorption. When approaching a rough section on the trail you should perform a mental checklist: grip the bar firmly but not tight, arms slightly bent (and not tensed up) and rearend off the saddle with legs bent. This stance will allow you and your bike to easily and smoothly roll over larger bumps. With smaller, “jittery” bumps, your arms and legs will absorb the shock and not transmit it to the rest of your body.

How to ride sand:

As with mud, you don’t want your front wheel to dig in as you enter sand, so shift your weight back as you first enter. When the entire bike is in the sand you should shift your weight to a more centered position keeping enough weight on the front wheel to provide for directional stability but not too much that it starts sinking into the sand. Avoid making any sharp turns, this will only cause you to slow down and dig in. When you want to make a turn, turn your bars gradually and lean your body into the turn, this will shift your weight and help in turning.

How to ride to the off-road (or how to behave on-road )

Cyclists are not exempt from the rules of the road. Just because you’re out there transporting yourself around under your own power doesn’t mean you have any more right to the road than anyone else.

Stop at stop signs and red lights, signal your turns, ride on the right side of the road. Be courteous and thank pedestrians and motorists with a nod or a wave when they’ve been considerate to you. It’s only common sense – being obnoxious will only anger

others and make them less considerate of other cyclists. Being inconsiderate or rude to a motorist when you’ve been wronged by another will get you nowhere.

Enough said.

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