Confidence on the road doesn’t mean riding like you just don’t care, in fact it’s quite the opposite. When you know your place on the road, you can ride more predictably and therefor safely.
Here are our tops tips for a more confident ride.
1) Stand up straight.
When you’re at the start line or in the parking lot, stand up tall with your shoulders back. No only does this pose help counteract the hunched-over position of riding, research has also shown a power position can improve your confidence.
2) Keep a safe distance between you and other riders.
If you know the riding style of your riding buddies, it’s okay to hug their rear wheels, but on a supported ride filled with strangers, we recommend keeping one bike’s distance between you and everyone else. If your fellow riders stop suddenly, you want room to react.
3) Know where you’re going.
Study the route map and know what course markings to look for. Having a good sense of the route frees you up to let your eyes wander over the scenery and take in the gorgeous views.
4) Ride predictably.
Signal your turns, use your voice, point out road hazards to other riders and generally ride predictably. This is one of the best ways to improve your safety on the road – amongst other riders and other road users. If you need to stop, slow down, signal your move and pull over.
5) Position yourself.
When riding on country roads – a lot of the riding we do on supported rides – you want to ride pretty far to the right to allow cars to easily pass. But you don’t want to be so far to the right that you’ve got no wiggle room. Unless you’ve got a bike lane or a clear shoulder, ride at the spot in the road where a right car tire would be. This gives a slight buffer between you and the side of the road. It also makes you more visible to drivers.
6) Embrace the left.
If you need to stop on a narrow, winding road with a group of riders, it’s a good idea to move cautiously to the LEFT side of the road. Often riders pull over to the right, but on a narrow stretch that may not leave a lot of room for others to get around you. Carefully cross the road and hang out on the other side of the road – those zooming past you will appreciate the extra space.
Joyride on June 11 is a brand new women’s event from the ride experts at Cycle Oregon. This one-day event features routes from 16-60 miles that start and finish at Soller Vineyards, a gorgeous estate setting in Dundee Hills of Dayton, Oregon.