How to Improve Bike Handling Skills:
- Sign up for a skills clinic with a local cycling or triathlon coach
- Set a goal to do one ride a week outdoors. Start with recovery or endurance rides where you do not have intervals, and choose a route you are comfortable with. A short loop you can repeat to meet your time or distance goal will help build confidence. As you get more comfortable, try larger loops and out-and-backs. Before you know it, you will be doing most of your rides outside with the confidence to navigate new routes and whatever obstacles come down the road.
- Ride with more experienced cyclists. Many bike shops offer free group rides, which can be a great way to meet other people and learn from roadies. (It’s worth noting, however, that it’s best to show up for these rides on a road bike, not a TT bike. If you must be on a triathlon bike, refrain from riding in aero and stay up the whole ride.)
- Find an empty parking lot and do you own mini-skills session:
- Clip into pedals without looking at them
- Practice fast stops
- Ride in tight spirals
- Practice riding smoothly into and out of left and right turns
Sage Maaranen is the owner of Sage Training Multisport, a company assisting athletes of all levels to reach optimal performance or first-timer goals while maintaining a balanced life. An athlete herself, Sage hopes to invite camaraderie on this shared adventure and advocate for populations traditionally excluded from triathlon — namely women, minority youth, and LGBT athletes. Sage is a collegiate cycling coach and individual triathlon coach certified by USA Triathlon, USA Cycling and United States Masters Swimming.