Friday, January 19, 2007

Notes from the Development Ride

Couple of things I noticed on the development ride today...

1) Remember to protect your front wheel. Make sure that you don't overlap the rider's wheel that is in front of you. If he or she makes a sudden sideways movement you are bound to touch the pavement... and you usually don't just touch it with your hands and feet. We'd prefer you to leave your skin on your hips and elbows.

2) Make smooth transitions when changing your line. Quick jerky motions in a group cause the riders around you to panic. They don't know where you are going to go or what you are going to do. And, if somebody happens to be overlapping your wheel, you won't feel very good about yourself when you are helping them scrape their skin off the pavement. Once skin is on the pavement, it is very hard to get it back on the hip or elbow where it is supposed to be. Be smooth and predictable.

3) Make sure everybody knows what you are planning on doing. If you are going to make a right hand turn onto, say, the airport road, make sure everybody in the group knows. If you suddenly turn right (or left for that matter) without telling the people around you, you may end up trying to put your teammate's skin back on his or her hip. Even if you are successful in putting the once-removed skin back on, your teammate probably won't be very happy with you.

4) Ride a steady pace. Drastic changes in speed may cause somebody behind you to overlap wheels and/or grab huge hunks of brake. This may, in turn, cause somebody to attempt to replace skin onto a hip or elbow that has had it freshly removed. In either case, your teammates probably won't be very happy with you.

Your first priority when riding in a group is to protect yourself... your second is to protect those around you. Concentrate on being smooth and predicatable. Remember to communicate.

The ride leaders are out there to help you. If you have a question, ask. If they give you a pointer, listen. Pretty soon we won't have to worry about finding ways to get that skin back onto hips and elbows!

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