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Smart Cycling



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Smart Cycling PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage. It's a skill that takes us from three-wheeler to two-wheeler, from sidewalk to street. It's also one of the easiest of life's lessons to learn, but it does take effort to learn how to ride well.

Body position
Smart cycling starts with proper body positioning. Some people like to ride with their bodies in a low position, but this is not the correct posture. It is best to sit as tightly as possible, and in a narrow posture to reduce wind friction. You and your bike will obtain maximum efficiency when your body is completely lined with the bicycle frame.

Knees
The position of your knees is equally important. The correct riding posture will have you sitting comfortably with your knees bent at right angles. This posture will make your body more aerodynamic and streamlined, and will reduce the strain on your legs.
The best way to arrive at the correct knee position is the traditional method of placing your bike on a trainer and sitting square on the saddle. Place your heels on the pedals and pedal backwards. The right height will have your knees straightening with minimal hip movement. It may take some time to get the position just right, but it is time well spent.
When you find the right height, adjust the height of your saddle and secure it.

Arms
Your arms need to be positioned properly in order to cycle smart. When riding, your hands should be placed over the brake lever hood. This is a neutral position that will allow you to apply the brakes comfortably. Make sure that your hands are not angled in any position while you are holding the brake lever hood. Straight positions are best for smart cycling. When choosing your bike, make sure that the handlebar is not too wide. Adjust it so the distance between the top of the saddle and the handle bar is not more than four knuckles.


Many riders believe that the best way to ride is to have a bike custom-built. They are not necessarily wrong, but the real source of smart cycling is in body adjustment. Even if you have a custom bike, you will have to learn to hold your body in the proper position to get optimal performance from your cycle. Weight should be shifted so that most of it is placed on the back wheel, to increase pedaling rate and maximize bike control.

Chances are, you will change and upgrade bicycles as you age. But if you choose to keep your bike for the long haul, you'll need to adjust your riding position as your body reacts to natural aging processes and loss of flexibility. This will give you a more pleasant riding experience and reduce the strain on your body.

Going from three-wheeler to street cycle is just the beginning. Smart cycling is about how you ride, not necessarily what you ride.
 
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