We do not usually ride our bikes on our own, and when we ride in a group it is important to use hand signals as they are the most common way to pass on the most crucial information.
There are some basic hand signals that every cyclist should be familiar with. It is a language used by all cyclists around the world. We have already addressed them in the article about cycling signals. Here is a short summary.
Turning: we lift up our arm in the direction you are planning to go.
Stopping: we lift up our right hand an appropriate time in advance.
Going round an obstacle: we wave our hand behind us.
Vertical obstacle: we wave behind our back twice.
Getting off the bike: we wave our hand along our side twice.
Taking a water bottle: lean your knee to the side slightly.
We never eat or drink when leading a group. Similarly, we only change our clothes if we are right at the tail of the group.
The best way to get the feel of your bike and learn to keep balance is to practise the track stand. For this, we need a gentle slope and, in a low gear, we ride slowly up the slope until the bike stops and wants to go backwards. This technique is shown in the video above.
In terms of bike riding, a wheelie is one of the top balancing skills. When riding in terrain, this skill can come in useful even in its basic form of lifting the front wheel. When doing a wheelie, it is important to start with a low gear. You will get your front wheel in the air by accelerating while shifting your body weight backwards. The rear brake is used to control your balance.
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