With today being the last session of our spring Bike Handling Skills course, I thought it was a good time to post this vlog about bike handling skills and to advertise that our summer course will be starting up in a couple of weeks. To learn more click here to link to the TOETT – BIKE webpage or click on Bike in the menu bar.
There is loads and loads of information about training to develop more power, more wattage, how to sustain higher power for longer periods but there is next to no information about skill and the role of skill in efficient cycling technique, nor about acquiring and developing bike handling skills. There is little if any information about how bike handling skills are necessary in order to be able to translate power into riding and sustaining higher speeds on the roads or off-road on trails. The consequence to this lack of information, is that novice and sport level cyclists and triathletes assume that there are no skills required to riding a bike, or that the value of having bike handling skills is negligible.
The consequence to the misconception that you have bike handling skills because you can ride a bike becomes evident when watching participants in our skills course: remove inertia and the true level of skill of the athlete becomes apparent. During the skills course athletes come to realize that being able to ride on flat paved surfaces is a poor indicator and a poor predictor of riding ability, and come to appreciate that their inability to improve as cyclists may have more to do with a lack of skill and less to do with the amount of power they can put out.
By misunderstanding that you can become dependent on the bike to balance for you – as opposed to you intentionally controlling the bike to retain balance – is the problem holding most athletes back from achieving their true potential as a cyclist, or as a triathlete.