I know you’ve been cycling for ages now but believe it or not irrespective of your experience there’s always room for improvement and no these improvements aren’t long term fixes that take months or years to show results.
In fact most of them can be implemented on your next ride itself. Here are 5 minor changes that helped me get better on the bike that I suggest every newbie or even some pros to make.
I improved my climb
Every time you close in on a climb the first and foremost thing you need to do is change your stance on the saddle but doing so wrongly can result in imbalance and also loss of speed so here’s how you should be doing it.
Firstly you’ll need to stand. Once that’s done apply more force into your pedaling and maintain balance. This helps as there’s no pause. Here’s more in detail in the video below.
I hydrate at regular intervals
One of the most common causes of exhaustion or tiredness while riding is dehydration. It impairs your muscle coordination, vision etc. thus negatively affecting your performance. Next time carry a stopwatch or set an alarm that beeps every 10-15 minutes.
Gulp down some water or even a few sips of your favorite sports drink irrespective of whether you’re thirsty or not. Once you’re into the habit you won’t need the beeps anymore.
I corrected my elbow position
The usual stance is to keep the elbow straight while riding but trust me it’s wrong as it overburdens the arms and ultimately spoils your posture on the bike which in turn can also lead to neck and shoulder aches.
Always keep your elbows slightly bent. This way you’re able to react faster on bumps and climbs and maintain balance and posture better. Apart from that it’s aerodynamically correct and thus you’ll ride faster by putting in the same effort.
I learnt to descend
I know the urge to simply let go and slide down while descending especially after a rough and tough climb but pedaling while on a high gear makes it easier as it improves stability and allows you to pick up speed if and when needed.
This is especially useful in the cold as it prevents your legs from stiffening as lactic acid continues to be pumped out of the muscles. Here’s few tips to help you do it right.
I learnt repair work
Well it is your bike and irrespective of whether you like it or not maintenance and repair work for it is your headache. A flat tire, chain coming off etc. are cycling troubles you’ll face often so be prepared rather than sorry.
Learn how to replace tires. Keep the chain well-greased and run a maintenance check before every long ride. Having the gear is good but intelligence lies is learning to use it right.