Descending smoothly

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Corzhens, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I am posting this is for the benefit of the greenhorn in cycling. It was unfortunate that I almost crashed on my first try in climbing. All the while I thought the main problem was the ascent and I was not aware that the descent is dangerous that you may be injured and can be fatal when you crash. Worse, I used the front brake and it was just fortunate that the guy astride with me yelled for me to use the rear brake. For the first timers in a climb, I would suggest that be very careful when going down a hilly road.
     
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  2. treecko142

    treecko142 Active Member

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    Yeah, most people fail to control their speed when descending since we aren't really used to riding in elevated areas, particularly for those living in the city. Most people panic and fully use the brakes which only causes you to crash.
     
  3. cheetahmk7

    cheetahmk7 Well-Known Member

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    Most of your braking should be done with the front brake. It's basic physics.

    A good tip for a beginner is to brake leading up to the corner, cease braking and then start to corner. Basically, a tyre only has a certain amount of grip and if you use some of it up by braking you lose it for cornering. The reason rear wheel braking can work is because the rear brakes can only do a marginal amount of braking and hence won't take away from your cornering grip all that much. Rear wheel braking is really just putting a bandaid on bad technique.

    Also make sure that your inner foot is towards the top of the stroke for clearance reasons.
     
  4. phillman5

    phillman5 New Member

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    I've been riding for over 40 years. I live near moutains, and we have a 14 mile, 3000 ft., climb up to the mountain peak on a twisty curvy mountain road. I'd just like to remind all riders, no matter how many times you have ridden a road to be 100% focused on the road, things do change. Last month coming down at probably 35 mph, I must have lost a little focus on a gentle right turn and hit a big piece of debri, it was pretty bone jarring, my front tire went flat. Luckily a car was not coming up the road as I crossed that lane uncontrollably. It was not pretty, broken collar bone, 8 broken ribs, punctured lung, large hemotoban on thigh, and as expected a lot of road rash. So again, all I can say is when decending, stay 100% focused with your eyes on the road! Its not worth it trying to go as fast as you can, go at a speed you know you can navigate those switch back turns.
     
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  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Gee, that was a close call. You are right that you are lucky there was no oncoming vehicle otherwise the injuries may have been fatal. To think that you are a veteran rider of 40 years and yet that crash happened to you, well, it means accidents do happen when you lose your focus. But still, my take on such accidents is the speed. If you are running slow on your descent then you have more time to avoid mishaps.
     
  6. ballyhara

    ballyhara Member

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    So sorry to know, hope you are ok, and nothing worse happened. This is a very common mistake even if you don't believe it, and it happened to me also when I was a rookie. Usually, when you are descending, you never know how fast your bike can go, and when you're scared or anxious, you can choose the wrong brake. Thank God, you are fine, unfortunately we have to learn from mistakes.
     
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