5 Basic Skills for Beginner Cyclists: Singapore Cycling Series

A beginners' guide to Road Cycling techniques including looking over the shoulder, slalom, cornering and braking


If you are new to road cycling, or know of someone who is looking to pick up the sport, here are 5 basic skills that will help you become more confident in your ride.

In this first episode of The Better Show, hawker hunk Walter Tay learns the basic techniques for beginner cyclists in order to build greater confidence in road cycling.

Host and triathlete Cheryl Tay talks him through the following cycling techniques, provided by Eugene Lee, principal of the TRI-Factor Academy.

1. Riding in a Straight Line

To master the first skill of riding in a straight line safely and confidently regardless of your environment, you can practise this drill.

Set up cones in a row about 1 metre apart for each pair, and just practise cycling through them.

Remember to:

a. Keep your eyes straight ahead

b. Shoulders and elbows relaxed

c. Keep pedaling

d. Where you look is where you will go

Progressively as you get more confident you can reduce the distance between the cones to 0.5 metres. or even less than that


2. Looking over your shoulder while riding in a straight line

This skill is used to check for oncoming traffic or any potential danger coming your way. To practise for this skill, you can set up your cones about 5 metres apart, and as you cycle:

a. Keep your shoulders and elbows relaxed

b. Keep pedaling

c. Keep both hands on the handlebars

d. Rotate your body slightly when you turn to check

e. Turn head and glance 45 degrees backwards

Progressively, you want to look over both shoulders in alternating fashion, and hold the glance for a longer duration of time while continuing to cycle in a straight line.


3. Slaloms

The objective is to be able to weave in and out to avoid a small obstacle in your path while maintaining your course of action. To practise this skill:

a. Keep your shoulders and elbow relaxed

b. Both hands on the handlebars

c. Eyes look straight ahead

d. Slight lean into the cone

Progressively, to increase the difficulty you can reduce the distance between the cones.

4. Cornering

This is an important skill in cycling in order to turn efficiently and safely. To practise this drill, remember to:

a. Brake before the turn

b. Adjust into the correct speed before turning

c. Lean into the turn

d. Keep the inside pedal up

e. No pedaling when cornering

f. Always keep your eyes on where you want to go

You can start pedaling again once you have completed the turn, with your handle bars aligned. Progressively you want to be able to corner at a higher speed.

Remember that you do not turn your handle bars when executing this move while cornering!


5. Braking

It is important to be able to brake and stop effectively and safely. To practise this skill, start from a distance away and pick up speed on your approach.

As you pass the first set of cones, start applying your brakes gradually in order to stop between the second set and third set of cones.

a. As you are stopping, shift your body weight backwards, or move your bum backwards on the saddle when braking

b. Stop with both feet level and pedals parallel to the ground

c. Apply both brakes firmly and equally to bring the bicycle to a stop

You can then place your foot onto the ground, or simply ride off.

Remember to ride safe, and enjoy your road cycling. Good practise makes perfect!

For each episode of The Better Show, Orange Room is giving away $50 cash to one lucky winner, as their way of supporting your fitness journey. All your names will also go into the grand draw of $1,000 cash at their year end celebration!

The Better Show is a brand new series brought to you by Orange Room and hosted by Cheryl Tay to help enrich your active lifestyle and empower you with the right skills to help you in your cycling, running and swimming endeavours.

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