It’s been perfect weather for biking lately; warm enough to shed the layers but cool enough to keep those buckets of sweat at bay (just me with the buckets of sweat?…cool….). Perfect temps and trail conditions, however, are leading to heavy traffic throughout the Park system. It’s not great for trail sustainability in the best of circumstances, but this new normal adds another level of serious hazard to close encounters. So along with our “Hidden Gems” series, we’re highlighting skills that you can practice on your bike to help you stay sharp while staying off the trails for now. These are skills that should help you, whatever your riding level, that you can practice anywhere– in your front yard! In that empty school parking lot down the street from your house! on the quiet stretch of street in front of your house! Can your “trail” riding improve while you practice good stewardship? We think it can!
Today’s skill is brought to you by the good dudes over at Riverside Outfitter’s new cycling division. Riverside Cycling is “all about facilitating two-wheeled adventure & exploration and making a positive contribution to Richmond’s cycling community.” Check out the video RIGHT HERE!
A track stand is a great skill to master. It’s easy to practice it in small space, since your goal is for your bike to stand still. It will help you understand where your balance points are on the bike, which is critical when you’re moving as well as when you’re still; a strong track stand can help any number of other elements in your riding, including cornering (see: balance points) and riding technical features, like rock gardens. It’s also a relatively low-risk skill to practice, so there’s really no reason not to master this one. Plus, when you’re riding on roads, it’s super slick to have a track stand in your skill set for particularly snazzy adherence to traffic signs and signals. Let’s review Max’s 5 points for track stand success.
- Make sure there’s no traffic around!
- Find a slight uphill grade to practice if you can. At the very least, avoid practicing on a downhill.
- Use your brakes to moderate your speed.
- When trying to initiate the track stand itself, put your dominant foot forward.
- Turn your wheel in the opposite direction away from your dominant foot.
Max doesn’t say this in the video, but Zach is doing an awesome job modeling one more point for track stand success: Look FORWARD and up, not down at your feet or wheel. Looking up will always help your balance!
Check out all the great stuff Riverside Cycling is offering at their website HERE!