Avoid Bike Crashes and Cycling Injuries
Crash Course for Cyclists
Make the Save
Keeping Your Head Down
How it Happens:
If you're tight, every movement is magnified, says Young. You can't react quickly, and when you do the reaction is exaggerated, which can send you into riders or obstacles around you.
Proper bike fit? That's step one. Now, go ride at a velodrome. With the fixed-gear, brake-free bike and pack of others, you'll develop spatial awareness and field vision, and learn to scrub speed smoothly, stay locked on a wheel without fixating on it, and trade pulls. Most velodromes offer a basic track class with rentals. "Probably 85 percent of the people who ride here don't race track at all," says Young. "They just want to be better cyclists." No track nearby? Get a fixed-gear errand bike and try to use the drivetrain more than the hand brake. Bike polo also improves handling.
Shake out your arms and roll your neck and shoulders. If you're riding on the brake hoods, hook your index and middle fingers over the front of the brakes; it's hard to put on a death grip with your pinkie. Change your hand position periodically.
VIDEO: Learn to master all your on-bike skills with these quick-hitting clips from Coach Chris Carmichael.