Copyright © 2017 Maine Cycling Club
Where to Grasp The Handlebars
Group Riding
Looking Behind
Tips for Braking
Descending and Cornering
Pacing Yourself on Climbs
Climbing Technique
Developing Cadence
There is no more effective way to become a motivated cyclist than finding a good regular group ride. This page is full of tips and techniques to make group riding easier, funner and more efficient.
Slipstreaming (drafting) is riding behind another moving object, usually a fellow rider, to save energy. It's a great technique to learn, allows you to keep up with far faster riders, and allows groups who take turns to travel at impressive average speeds. Read more to find out how to do it effectively and safely.
Dropped road bike handlebars have many hand positions, but when ride on the drops, and how do you pull on the handlebars? There's a lot to consider, so find out and help your road cycling performance.
Braking is as important as learning to steer, unfortunately, most riders do not use proper technique. Braking power can be greatly increased by using the techniques and tips found here.
Descending on a bicycle requires a combination of skills that are more commonly used in motorcycling. Learn these skills, and how to not kill yourself by reading this article. Also discussed are descending techniques.
Novice cyclists often sprint heavily at the beginning of the hill, and blow up halfway.
Learn how to climb hills effectively without burning out half way up. I Guarantee that after reading this, you will do much better on the hills, and even shave off time, as well as making your ride more enjoyable.
Cadence is the speed of your pedalling; a low cadence uses high gears that are spun slowly. Proper cadence turns death marches into easy riding. Read this for improved efficiency and better climbing!
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Passing a bicyclist
Cycling Car Hazards
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Few are truly able to check the road behind them without veering towards oncoming traffic. This is an important skill made easier in this article.
Cycling Skills & Safety
Rights of Cyclists
  1. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to travel on the roads as cars and motorcycles.
  2. In many jurisdictions, bicyclists are NOT legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
  3. Cyclists have the legal responsibility to obey all traffic laws.
  4. Cyclists have an ethical responsibility to be goodwill ambassadors for the sport.
  5. To help protect the rights of cyclists consider getting involved with bicycle advocacy organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists - and People For Bikes
  1. To avoid road surface hazards such as sticks & potholes you should practice and perfect a simple (and small) bunny hop jump.
  2. To come to a safe and legal stop without unclipping, learn how to do a track- stand. Practice this while waiting for friends to show up for your next ride.
  3. To avoid collisions with motorists, you should know how to make emergency stops and emergency turns.
  4. When cornering/turning, make sure that your inside pedal is up (at 12 o'clock) and that your outside pedal is down at (6 o'clock). This will ensure proper pressure is kept on your tires.
  5. When riding in a group be sure to point out hazards, such as cracks and road debris, to alert the riders behind you.
  1. Do not ride in a driver's blind spot. Ride where they can see you.
  2. Making eye contact with a driver is an effective way to ensure your safety.
  3. Ride in the right most lane of traffic that you are headed.
  4. When riding through intersections, or near driveways, watch for vehicles coming the other direction as they may turn in front of you.
  5. To avoid getting "doored": ride outside of the door zone (~3ft/1m), scan parked cars for a driver or passenger exiting, and slow your speed.
Defusing Road Rage
Riding in Traffic
  1. Ride to the right as is safe and comfortable. You are NOT required to ride as close as possible to the curb, parked cars or shoulder if it is unsafe.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings such as cars, potholes and intersections, and be prepared to make sudden stops.
  3. Avoid making sudden changes in direction. Ride in a straight and predictable line.
  4. Obey all traffic laws such as stop signs and traffic lights.
  5. Use hand/arm signals to alert drivers of stops, turns and changing lanes.
Crossing Railroad Tracks
  1. Check for traffic in front and behind you before approaching the tracks.
  2. Check both ways for train traffic.
  3. Cross the tracks at an angle as near 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the tracks as possible.
  4. Maintain a steady controlled speed while crossing the tracks.
  5. Do not try to jump the bike or raise the front wheel while crossing.
  6. If automobile traffic is too close to safely make your arch over the tracks, stop the bike and walk over the tracks.
  7. Steel rails are extremely slippery when wet. It is even more important to cross perpendicular to the rails when wet. If in question, walk over the rails.
  8. Steel grated bridges are also very slippery when wet and you must use extreme caution when cossing.
  1. Minimize the risk of conflict by following the rules of the road and riding safe and courteously. No running red lights or stop signs.
  2. Do not initiate conflict, and do not engage in conflict if someone attempts to initiate conflict with you.
  3. Stay calm if confronted and do not let the other person gain control of your emotions.
  4. You have the right to defend yourself, but your self-defense must be proportional to the threat, and must end when the other person ceases the attack.
  5. Be sure to report any violence, attempted violence, or threats of violence to law enforcement authorities to ensure authorities see a pattern of behavior.
Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Car Hazards
Top 5 for Bike Handling and Safety Tips
Top 5 Rights and Responsibilities of Cyclists
Top 5 Ways to De-Escalate Road Rage
Top 5 Tips for Riding in Traffic
Crossing Railroad Tracks
How to Ride in a Paceline
How to Ride in a Paceline
Most Important: Be predictable. Close riding demands that everyone be on the same wavelength. A sudden change of speed or abrupt maneuver has a chain reaction for everyone in the paceline. There must be a basic understanding of what is and is not expected behavior. Experience and confident bike handling skills help make it flow better. Smooth rotations, and keeping the distance between the riders in the paceline small will keep the paceline steady.
  1. Donít accelerate when itís your turn at the front. Note your cyclecomputerís mph and maintain the groupís speed when the lead rider pulls off ahead of you. The rider in the advancing line should NEVER surge. The idea is that you ride to the front and float to the back in a constant rotation. You change your speed by "soft-pedaling" as you switch to the retreating line and increasing your pedal pressure as you switch from the retreating line to the advancing line.
  2. After you have made it to the front, clear the lead rider in the slower line, pull in front of him or her and stay close to the others as you soft pedal and slide back to the rear of the paceline. This enhances the drafting effect for the whole group. It also keeps everyone as far out of the traffic flow as possible, making paceline riding possible even on busier roads.
  3. An easy way to regulate your speed when pulling off is to shift to one gear easier and maintain the same cadence.
  4. As you come abreast of the last rider in the line, pick up speed and then slide over behind his or her wheel as they come past. When done correctly you wonít need an energy-wasting acceleration in order to latch back on. Once in the caboose position you can take a drink without disrupting the pacelineís smoothness.
  5. Protect your front wheel. If your rear wheel is struck a fall is unlikely because it has nothing to do with steering the bike. However, if your front wheel is contacted it will often be twisted off line faster than you can react. Youíll almost certainly go down. Help prevent this by never overlapping someoneís rear wheel.
Example of MCC Rotating Paceline