Dear Coach: What are some easy ways to practice my bike-handling skills?
As with swimming and running, triathletes should practice bike skills often. Why? For starters, a more efficient cyclist is a faster time trialist. Gaining confidence translates into better turns and accelerations and will reduce the number of handling errors that often turn into crashes. I recommend the following weekly or bi-weekly skills sessions to help you become a more efficient, confident and safer triathlete on the bike.
Straight line riding drills
Increases balance, confidence and efficiency
What you need
10–20 small stable obstacles (like cones) that you can set up side by side, one foot apart in a long line. *Alternative option: Use the white line on the right side of a safe road.
Ride through a dozen times, circling back around each time, for each of the following.
– Straight through without hitting cones and adjusting your speed
– Ride with one hand on bars and one hand on back hip or jersey pocket; alternate hands
– Ride through looking back as if clearing for a turn
– Ride through no handed
– Bonus: Have a friend “hand” you a water bottle while you’re going through
It seems simple enough, but when you deliberately practice these, you’ll immediately see that you’ll need more practice!