This page is meant to act as a quick reference of training tips covered in the post ride debriefing sessions. Consider this as your own, on line, "Let's Review" opportunity. One thing to keep uppermost in mind, stay hydrated! You should take a gulp of water at least every 15 minutes, especially as the weather heats up. The breeze can often mask your body heating up as you ride.
Posture & Riding Position
Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms slightly bent at the elbows. You may find yourself with your shoulders hunched up and your arms locked. Relax, breath, let your shoulders down, bend your arms slightly and keep checking your posture as you ride.
Your knees should not lock at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
Your seat should be set to a height that allows a slight bend in your knee when your pedal is at the bottom of your stroke.
Your hips should be steady and stable. If you are rocking back and forth, you could be in an inappropriate gear and / or need to have your seat height adjusted.
Keep Your Focus Ahead
When having a conversation, it's normal to look a person in the eye but when riding, keep your eyes front. Conditions can change quickly and if you are not focused on what's ahead, you can lose valuable reaction time.
Riding Skills & Equipment
Keep your hands on the hoods of your brakes if you are on the top portion of the handle bars. If you are down in the lower portion (the "drops") keep your fingers resting on the brake levers. You should always be in position to apply brakes quickly.
Keep a pedal cadence of
80 - 100 RPM.
Experiment with and learn how gear combinations work so you can keep a pedaling cadence of 80 - 100 RPM. This is the most efficient cadence range and can help you keep your pace steady.
Use of CO2 cartridge systems is preferable to portable air pumps. Cartridges work faster, weigh less and take up less space.
Always have at least one spare tire tube and two tire levers. Most saddle bags will fit two tubes, levers and cartridges. "Boot" kits take up very little space and can mean the difference between walking or riding if your tire is damaged.
Use of a handle bar mounted bike computer is a great training aid. Lower cost units will display your speed, distance ridden and pedaling cadence. Medium range units will also display your heart rate and calories burned and the more expensive units will display all the above and navigation information.
COMMUNICATE - call out obstacles, other riders, walkers and runners and especially call out slowing.
BE PREDICTABLE - don't make sudden movements. Apply brakes evenly and keep a high level of awareness of what is going on around you.
Keep your line. This means to stay in and aligned with the column you started in. This is all about being predictable. Don't move from one column to the other.
Keep the gaps to a minimum. Gaps in the group present opportunities for others outside the group to drop in and also can create confusion and difficulty in communicating.
Close gaps smoothly
If a gap develops ahead of you, close the gap smoothly. If you apply too much power and close the gap too quickly, you will have to apply the brakes. This can cause a "slinky" effect that will ripple through all the riders behind you.
Be aware of non-group riders hanging off the back. Ask that they keep a gap so members of the group can rejoin when coming back from the front.
If you are last in the group, let those coming back from the front know. This way they won't have to look back to figure out where they are. relative to the group.
Keep your focus on the road and riders ahead. Don't fixate on the rear wheel in front of you.
When in front and starting after stopping, start slowly. Give the group behind you time to get clipped in.
Don't ride in parking spaces. Open parking spaces along the side of the road can seem like inviting extra space away from traffic. However, hat space goes away when the group comes up on a parked car. The group then has to go back towards traffic.
Nutrition & Other
This is critical. Bring enough water to support taking small drinks every 15 minutes. Two water bottles are recommended.
Keep sunblock off the skin covered by your helmet. Sunblock on covered skin tends to run with sweat right into your eyes causing discomfort and affecting your ability to see and ride safely.
Eat something before longer rides but don't over do it. Cruz bars, Shotblocks and other very portable and nutrient dense snacks are good to have in your jersey pocket.