Welcome to Cycling Tips.
Bike-To-Work Month is fast approaching. To help prepare for B.T.W.M. I thought I would start a blog filler series to help us celebrate Bike Month. Please feel free to add your comments and ideas for future Cycling Tips. Tips don’t have to be road bike or mountain bike specific, here at Bike Carson we love everything bike. BMX. Cruiser. Single Speed. Track. Tandem. Commuter. Penny Farthing.
Today’s tip is for the novice road cyclist, otherwise known as, MOUNTAIN BIKER.
Cycling Tip #1
When riding with a group of cyclists it is customary, required, demanded, that you point out ( extend right or left arm and point in the direction of the object you want to avoid ) road obstacles that may cause injury and/or bicycle damage to your fellow cyclists. This includes, but isn’t limited to; glass, potholes, roadkill (especially roadkill), pedestrians, parked cars, 2×4’s and 4×4’s, etc.
Several years ago a couple of friends’ of ours, who are married and are avid mountain bikers, decided to give road cycling a try. With encouragement from friends, they did their road bike research and settled on a pair of matching entry level road bikes. Smart decision. They are life-long dirt bike aficionados and didn’t know if they would turn into part-time pavement lovers.
Off they went on their first road ride together. It was everything we told them it was. Riding together was a little easier, mph were a little higher, descending was almost as fun as mountain biking, and drafting was a blast, until..
About two miles from home the Wife, enjoying the pleasure of increased speed and the efficiency of drafting, didn’t want this moment to end. The Husband, riding in front, was focused on the task at hand, setting a comfortable pace so as not to drop his wife. As they were pedaling towards their destination, the Husband spotted an obstacle in the road that they were fast approaching. He decided at this moment to apply his well-honed mountain bike skills to his growing arsenal of road bike skills. He recognized the obstacle they were approaching was a 2×4. He quickly, effortlessly, and with pride, dodged the 2×4. The Wife wasn’t so lucky. She was in the draft, not a care in the world… until she hit the 2×4 that her husband quickly, effortlessly, and with pride, dodged a split second earlier.
Apparently no one told him about Cycling Tip #1.
Luckily she escaped serious injury. Just road rash and an aversion to riding in a draft, that’s all.
Her husband wasn’t so lucky. He rightfully heard an earful from the Wife, “you’re supposed to point that S**T out Dumb-Ass!”
We’ve all been there. One of the many times I’ve been there, was when I took Amy on a Jeff-Ride. This may be Cycling Tip #2; Don’t go on a Jeff-Ride. I took Amy, with only a couple of years of mountain bike experience under her belt, on a ride in the nearby Pinenut Mountains. I showed her the Topo with the double-track that connected Como Rd. to Illinois Canyon. All Jeff-Rides start like this. A long-forgotten double-track on an expired Topo. But she trusted me. She shouldn’t have. Many hike & bike miles and eight hours later we returned to our car. And I experienced the first love-drought of our relationship. The same love-drought the Husband would soon experience.
On a group ride shortly after their accident, the Husband was riding off-the-front by five hundred feet. He didn’t realize he was so far off-the-front. Those of us behind him observed, what appeared to be, the Husband furiously pointing to the ground every few seconds. We were riding on new asphalt and we didn’t notice any unusual road debris that warranted his frantic pointing. It took us about five minutes to realize he was pointing out the flexible reflective markers that NDOT places every fifty feet on newly paved roads, hardly a cycling hazard.
The Husband had learned a hard lesson.
So, if you have any cycling tips you’d like to share, please send them to us.