RIDING IN THE BUNCH
Riding in the pack or the “bunch” can be fun and sociable, and it certainly conserves energy. However, there are some points to follow that will make your riding experience safer and more enjoyable for you and the other cyclists around you.
First, pay attention to your surroundings. While it is important to stay on the wheel in front of you, it is more important to stay aware of what is happening two or even three bikes in front of you. Being able to anticipate the changes in the speed of the bunch will ultimately help keep everyone safe, including you.
Therefore, while being aware of the wheel in front of you, focus just ahead and use your peripheral vision to watch what is happening two to three bikes in from of you. In addition, anticipate changes in speed due to hills, narrow roads, and corners. Finally, don’t make any sudden moves! These are sure to cause chaos behind you.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GEAR
Choosing the right gear on the road bike could be quite simple if you know what you are doing. On the Flats and Downhills , a more heavier/harder gear would be beneficial as you are giving your lungs time to recover while your legs are getting pumped. On a short hill, a bit more challenging gear will allow you to attack and get on top of the hill quicker as you are not spinning out. On a long climb, an easy gear is advisable as you can relax your legs and put the strain on your lungs while you are spinning your legs on an easy gear.
Once you ride in a pair of cycling shorts you won’t want to ride with anything else ever again. tight Fitting cycling shorts reduces friction between you and the saddle. The Chamois/Gel padding offers comfort on the saddle as well as a sweat absorber. A comfortable tight pair of cycling shorts will definitely benefit you on your longer rides.
With 3 well-sized pockets, a cycling shirt helps to carry some of your necessary extra’s on a ride. Very easily breathable as well as lightweight.
Cleated shoes are the most popular choice as they don’t slip off the pedals and makes cycling up a hill easier. Starting up on them could be a terrifying task, but when you get the hang of them (and fallen once or twice), you will see the benefits of them.
Spares You Need
- Spare inner tube (the correct size).
- A pair of Tyre Levers.
- A Bomb along with a bomb adaptor.
- Either a tubeless repair kit or a puncture repair kit.
- A Multitool (advisably with a chain breaker tool).
- A spare ChainLink (correct size is crucial).
- A couple Rands for when there is no hope on fixing your problem.
Two words for when you attack a technical terrain , JUST RELAX. The moment you tense up and begin to overthink the obstacle you are about tackle, that is when you set yourself up for failure which could be quite sore (trust me, I know). The more tense you are, the more stiff your body will be which in turn won’t allow the bike to move freely over the technical stuff which will the cause the rider to lose balance and possibly fall. When you are relaxed and your body is loose, your bike moves a lot more freely over technical terrain.
CLIMBING A STEEP, LOOSE HILL
When things get really steep and loose, it’s tempting to get out of the saddle to keep the pedals turning. But you’ll soon come unstuck due to the uneven weight distribution across your wheels, with too much on the front and too little on the back. Instead, try to stay seated, dip your chest towards your handlebars and shift slightly forward on the saddle. It’s a balancing act, but once you do it will help you put weight on the front wheel while keeping some weight on the back wheel to maintain grip.
CLIMBING A NEVER-ENDING HILL
Looking at a hill as a whole when approaching it could be quite discouraging. Instead of looking at a hill as a whole, split it up into sections. Find a Rock or a Bush in the distance and keep that in mind and make it your goal to reach that Rock or Bush and once you have reached it, then find another one in the distance and make that new one your goal and soon the hill will be over because you split it up into sections. Also, never burn yourself in the first couple metres of the hill, pace yourself and keep the same cadence up the hill. Always try finishing faster than what you started.
REAR SHOCK SET-UP
Pressure in the rear shock should be as followed – Riders weight X 2.2 less 20 = pressure in PSi
ie : 85kg X 2.2 – 20 = 167 psi.
- A Bicycle MUST get washed after every muddy ride, and when dry, apply Lube to the chain and spray your Cleats with Q20. Although we are lazy after a ride (I, myself am guilty of this), our bikes need that TLC from us and there is nothing better than a bit of bonding time between you and your bike over a good bike wash.
- To get the optimal usage out of your DriveTrain, we advise to change the chain every ,,, and the entire groupset after ,,,, unless you are a weekend warrior, then we advise to change it when you can feel your chain slipping on your teeth.
- Brakes need to be checked and serviced every ,,, . At times they might cost a bit, but you don’t want to be caught going down a gnarly downhill or single track and find yourself with an air bubble in your hose and in turn your brakes not making proper contact.
- Tyres should get replaced every ,,, or when you can see your tread is running a bit low. Thankfully you don’t get a fine if your tread on your bicycle is smooth, but it could cause a slip-out while taking a corner a bit too fast and thus resulting in a fall and injuries. Tyre pressure should get checked before every ride to reduce the chances of pinching the inner tube or burping the tyre.
- Your shocks must be regularly checked and serviced when needs be.