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  • You don't say whether you have done 'cycle training' (that is, 'Bikeability')--you seem to imply that after doing this you'd like to do an advanced course of it, but it's not explicit and it would be good if you could clarify. I obviously assume that you're well aware of it, and that it's very different from what most people would normally think was meant by the term 'cycle training' (an oft-noted problem). In the following, I'll use the term in the meaning it has as 'Bikeability', 'Cycle Savvy', or whatever other brand of this type of cycle training is out there.

    You seem to be asking about skills for riding as part of traffic but your examples are of control skills. Cycle training obviously includes these, up to a certain point. While important, they are not the best representation of advancement in cycle training. Much more important skills are things like understanding traffic management or certain aspects of street design. If you have to exercise advanced control skills to avoid a hazard, you've probably also already failed to anticipate it, and it is much the inferior method to try to correct a problem by last-moment avoidance. Perhaps it is because you ride too fast in urban traffic--28mph certainly is too fast for most situations in London, in which case the main advanced advice would be to slow down.

    Also, good cycling as part of traffic relies very much on being boring and predictable, where again there is little room for exercising advanced control skills. As the people you've already talked to said, if you want better bike-handling skills, the best way is to practice those, ideally under supervision by a club, where you'll find good coaches. There are, of course, also non-club coaches you can pay.

    Needless to say, good bike-handling is very useful in bike races, whether on- or off-road.

    Not sure if this is helpful, and I may well have misunderstood you, in which case apologies, but the above is what I guessed at.

    All that said, I would find it very interesting if there was a 'Level 4' to Bikeability etc. I suspect it would be a more theoretical course than levels 1-3, but that could be useful, too. Levels 1-3 are very good, of course.

  • I should have clarified - I haven't done 'Bikeability'. From what I can see of the syllabus, it is geared towards riding in traffic. I feel I have enough roadcraft experience and motor bike CBT and full licence training in London gave me another perspective with good coaching on filtering and how to be safe as a more vulnerable road user.

    28mph is my max realistically. Average speed you still might class as too fast but then tends to be about 19-22mph. For my commute I tend to stay with the flow of traffic more often than not which I find more comfortable than being at a pace where I am passed frequently. I try to be predictable and visible.

    I meant to imply that I am not asking about skills riding with traffic. I don't intend to sound boastful but I think my skills are good on riding and being in traffic based on experience on London roads but also driving in countries where standards are more challenging. I took motorbike instruction in 2008 which was a valuable addition despite having a decade of car driving. I am not claiming there is no room for improvement but I would class reading the road, working in traffic and anticipating problems as a strength and not something I need to focus on right now.

    It is the skills part that I feel I need to develop. I know for sure my slow speed control is not as good as it was 10 years ago because I don't practice it but that is something I can address on soft ground.

    In terms of other skills, I am not exactly sure what problem I am trying to solve. I was kind of hoping people would throw ideas at me and some might stick

    So for example the following have happened to me:

    1. Front wheel skid on roundabout exit.
      It was dark, road was wet, front wheel hit something slippery (diesel?)
      Being fixed gear, momentum was still going through the back wheel and the front lifted, threw the bike off balance slightly and I was able to recover and ride on. It was more luck than skill that kept me upright.

    I think that with a freewheel (next bike purchase) there is more potential to lose the back wheel also in a slippery encounter. Hopefully never but if people have some wisdom on what to do, it's welcome.

    If things can't be avoided, maybe even practical advice on how to fall (assume you can't avoid the fall but can decide on some way to influence it).

    1. hazard avoidance at speed. A bit like mod1 of the bike test. This is probably something I can practice on grass building gradually.

    Skills recommendations so far from other sources have been:

    • mountain biking (I would need to hire a bike)
    • grasstrack / cyclocross (I would also need to hire a bike)
    • club introductory session, to learn group riding and other related skills


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