Thanks again, Don, for another bunch of helpful tips. I'm happy to note that I do a few of these things, having to ride over railroad tracks on most of my ride routes. And I've ridden on rough trails through woods on occasion (when I had a mountain bike), so some of that lifting is second nature.
I always learn something new on this forum! Thanks!
Pounds lost: 13.2
Fitness Minutes: (89,233) Posts: 1,834 2/21/13 3:31 P
"Riding lighter has little to do with bodyweight but everything to do with technique.
While some riders plow into every bump and pothole in the road, others float. The bashers ruin wheels and headsets and suffer pinch flats. Riding "heavy" is hard on the crotch, too, because the saddle is driven like a jackhammer into soft tissue. Riding lightly, on the other hand, smoothes the road, saving equipment and the body.
Here are 6 ways to help you ride light, like a cat:
Anticipate. Look about 30-50 feet (10 meters) or more ahead. Scan the road for problems. If you don't see the rough spots in advance, you'll have to make sudden swerves to avoid them. That's dangerous in traffic or a paceline.
Gear up. When riding over rough areas is unavoidable, shift to a larger gear (the next smaller cog or two). Slide back and put more pressure on the pedals in order to reduce weight on the saddle.
Relax. If your upper body and legs are stiff and tight, bumps get transmitted through the bike directly to your body. Not good. Keep your knees and elbows flexed to absorb the shock. Coast calmly. For big bumps like potholes or exposed railroad tracks, stop pedaling just before impact. Support your weight with a light grip on the handlebar and stand slightly on the pedals with the crankarms horizontal. Your hips should be about an inch off the saddle. Let the bike buck under your quiet body.
Ride off-road. Mountain bikers are often better than roadies at riding smoothly over rough surfaces simply because they have to do it almost all the time. After riding trails, you'll be better equipped to handle bad pavement.
Consider wider tires. If your frame can handle 25- or even 28-mm-wide tires inflated to 80-90 psi, you'll be amazed at how the added buoyancy cushions your ride on rough roads. Compliant tires make the above techniques even more effective."
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