Smart racing is safe racing! A few tips for our newer racers:
- Try to hold your line. This means avoiding sudden movements, jerking to the side or harsh braking. Remember that everything you do affects the people directly behind and on either side of you. One bad move can have a domino effect and have consequences for many riders. Concentrate on what is happening around you so that you have time to react. Riding in an appropriate gear will also help you to keep your pedalling smooth.
- Cornering is probably the trickiest part of racing. Keep a nice smooth line going into the corner, braking gently on the straight if you need to reduce speed. Try not to swing out dramatically unless the rider in front of you has taken a wide line too. Do not undercut or ‘divebomb’ on the inside when cornering, as riders will cut back in and you will most likely collide or have to take avoiding action. Try and corner on the drops to have more control and stability. Your bike will also be in a similar position to the others around it.
- Be vocal. Call out hazards and directions if needed. Let people know where you are by saying “I’m on your right” or “on your left” for example. Call out dangerous riding if needed but try not to swear! Put your hand in the air, shout out and pull in to the left if you have a puncture so that others can pass you safely.
- Sometimes, you might get dropped but keep riding! Most likely, you will not be the only person who gets dropped from the front group. Keep pushing on, try and join forces with other riders and form your own race within a race. Use it as a training session if nothing else. Try and keep close to the left hand side so that if you get lapped, the bunch can pass safely. Don’t give up, it takes a few races to get into the swing of things.
Most importantly, remember this is for fun. Yes, it’s a competition but speak to other racers – we don’t bite! 🙂