Triathlon Cycling Safety

These guidelines, derived from years of learning from my own mistakes, will make your bike training – and racing – much more successful.

 

Make use of your gears wisely

Do not force a gear which is way too hard and wears down your legs (bear in mind, you’ve still got a run to do). Continue to keep your cadence up around 90 RPM. So you don’t grind up a hill, anticipate what gear you have got to be in for any hills, and shift early.

Train using new equipment

When you join a race with new bike equipment, be sure that you have tested and mastered it first. This applies to aerobars, clipless pedals, saddles, wheels – anything on your bicycle that could have a bad effect on your riding. This suggestion is particularly significant for clipless pedals; ensure you could stop and dismount safely prior to using them in a race.

Work on U-turns

Why? Many races with out-and-back bicycle courses have a U-turn turnaround wherein you need to navigate around an orange cone. Even seasoned triathletes found themselves kissing the road because of these turnarounds. To prepare for the race, look for a place where you can practice sharp corners and U-turns. Like in a race, always take them slowly.

Stay hydrated on the bike

Many newbies wait until the run to start drinking liquids. That is a big mistake. Don’t forget to drink on the bike, so you are already on a full tank of gas as you start the run.

Put on a helmet

Helmets are required during races, but do not forget to wear one throughout your training. There are circumstances when even veteran cyclists can crash through no fault of their own. Never assume that you will be safe even without a helmet.  If this is what happens to a helmet in a crash, imagine what your skull would look like.  Seriously, wear your helmet.

 

Broken Cycle Helmet

 

Keep your bicycle in good condition

Not keeping the bike chain lubricated and not keeping tires at the proper pressure are two of the most frequent mistakes novices make.

These mistakes could cause mechanical breakdown – either a broken chain or a flat tire. Buy lubricating oil, and consult your bike shop owner about its proper usage. While you’re there, purchase a floor pump with a built-in pressure gauge.

Good luck on the bike!

Terry

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