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.
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.
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
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
When you find the right height, adjust the height of your saddle
and secure it.
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.
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.
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.