Are there any tips or wisdom that can offered to an intermediate cyclist who is looking to improve cycling skill as a bid to reduce risk?
For example, driving a car or a motorbike both offer advanced course as options. I have struggled to find anything similar for cycling. I have spoken with a few cyclists who race at competitive level but they all learnt everything the know through experience doing the task. While I agree, the best way to train for something is for the training to be as specific as possible, it would be nice to get words of wisdom passed down from cycling mentor.
In terms of my skill level, I can drive a car and a motorbike and have 20 years experience on London roads. I have also driven HGVs on private roads. I think my road craft, hazard awareness etc is good and although always open to improvement, I am not specifically seeking that here.
I would like to know if there are any nuggets of advice or practice that can be done to make me a better rider?
For example, I can see the benefit of practicing slow speed control drills like slalom, figure of 8 for filtering through traffic. Do the experienced think that is also beneficial for high speed? If not, are there drills that might be useful for high speed without needing to try something for the first time at 25mph?
On the motorbike test, one task was an emergency stop. Beyond that was hazard avoidance combined with an emergency stop. This was harder because you would swerve the bike first and need to straighten up before braking on the front wheel or else you risk dropping.
I have been riding fixed for the last 12 years on and off and intend to get a geared road bike. The fixed limited me to a max speed of about 28mph. With gears I will be able to go faster and would like to skill up to reduce risk (even if risk is small).
I intend to emulate the motor bike test objectives regarding bike control on grass when i buy the geared bike but welcome for other suggestions - thanks
Just book yourself a cycle training session. I have yet to meet someone who did not learn some useful things, wether a novice or experienced cyclist.
There is a syllabus instructors use as a framework to base your training around(much as learning most things). If you have an experience of training as part of a group the instructors are less likely to fine tune the experience you have around your own skills and weaknesses as they additionally need to teach the entire group so your experience might feel a bit less indepth in places. A large part of what people see as "bikeability" would be these group sessions with lots being done at schools and various other places taking the same format(tried and tested to get good results with groups).
If you have a session alone with an instructor then some instructors are better at reading what trainees need than others, I like to think I get it right when teaching. Try and give as much info as you can to the instructor who will have you during the booking process.
You do get some differences with cycling vs motorcycling, in a handful of places motorcycling advice will put you into a tricky spot with the assumption you can just accelerate away while cycling you don't have that power and so don't ever want to be in that spot. Motorcyclists also with everything geared towards being on the right stuff like interacting with buses would maybe have gaps as it's just not an issue for motorcyclists. Looking back rather than mirrors and the huge wealth of cycling knowledge that creates around eye contact and how riders/drivers interact is another one. It's not to say you would be a bad rider for using what you have learned but the 2 types of training aren't as directly interchangeable as some might think and the risks highlighted more/less change.
If you need help booking let me know.
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