Everyone has heard the saying, “It’s just like riding a bike.” Well, it’s not as simple as “just” that. There are many different nuances to riding a bike efficiently, confidently, and comfortably that don’t just happen overnight. It can take lots of time and skills work to become an efficient and comfortable rider.
Because of our weather in the lovely PNW, it means we triathletes tend to spend the majority of our early season and even mid-season training indoors on trainers. We get to be “lazy” riders because we become accustomed to the bike always being balanced for us (if we are not doing our trainer rides on rollers). Therefore, core and balance gets weak, as does agility and reflexes.
Much like doing drills to help with form and strength in the pool or on the track, bike drills can be just as important to your riding. No matter if you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, taking time at the beginning of the season to brush up on some bike handling skills can be beneficial. For all riders, the more confident and comfortable you get on your bike, the faster, better, and more efficient a rider you will become. Becoming a more efficient rider means you will use less energy on body tension and anxiety and be able to focus that energy on becoming more relaxed, confident, faster, and most importantly, safer!
Ultimately, especially in the sport of triathlon, it is a great benefit to the athlete to become as comfortable and efficient on the bike as possible as that is where the majority of a triathlete’s time is spent. With better bike form, not only will bike times improve, but so will overall times. Once you learn to use your energy more efficiently on the bike, the more energy you will have leading you onto the run.
For our annual Bike Handling Clinic, we were lucky enough for a beautiful sunny day, and our athletes took advantage of the dry pavement and sunny weather to test their bike handling skills. During the 2 hour session our athletes were put through drills and skills work that encouraged and challenged them to get out of their comfort zone in order to become more confident and solid riders. The drills tested everything from working on bike dexterity, balance, control, bottle hand-offs, to even a little partner trust 😉
Check them out in action:
Ride safe, ride confident, ride relaxed, and ride FAST!