Advantages of Riding Your Bike in A Straight Line
The ideal way to bike is to ride is riding in a straight line. A safe and responsible biker rides in a straight line because this is the predictable fashion for bike riding especially when on the road.
Riding smoothly with your bicycle without the swerving and drifting is one of the basic but equally important bike skills any cyclist must learn. It can be easily dismissed especially with the seasoned bikers, but it can help a lot in increasing your visibility on the road, predictability of your movement to other drivers and of course, your safety.
Let us identify 6 advantages of riding your bike in a straight line and how to also ride the bike in a straight line as a helpful tip for beginners.
6 Advantages of Biking Straight
It Increases Predictability of Your Movement
Riding in a straight line lets the drivers and other motorists around you easily predict your move. When you continue to ride in a predictable fashion, they expect that you will continue to do so.
With that, they will know how to maneuver their way around you until you make a hand signal to make a turn or swerve to the other lane.
You Will Not Have to Worry about Getting ‘Doored
You will not have to worry about getting ‘doored.” Those bikers who get hit by opened doors from parked cars are usually fond of swerving. When you ride in a straight line, you are safe from the hazard of getting hit by an opened car door.
It Increases Your Visibility on the Road
Apart from predictability of your movement, biking in a straight line increases the chances of other drivers on the road to notice you. You need to resist the temptation to swerve to the right when there are no parked cars to increase visibility.
Maintain Your Pace, or Increase It
If you are biking along a smooth pavement, you can maintain your speed just as easily when you don’t swerve a lot. If you are biking uphill or downhill, it’s also easy for you to increase your speed and pace especially on downhill curves. When you drift often, you are more prone to danger biking on slopes.
You Exhaust Less Energy and Effort
Riding in a straight line steadily does not drain you too much of your energy and effort in pedaling. Even with potential road surface hazards like rocks and pot holes, you are only advised to make a quick turn and regain balance right away, without almost losing the straight line biking.
Less Crashes and Accidents
Well, this is probably the best advantage of keeping a straight line while biking. Safety should be your primary concern when getting on the road using a bicycle.
Tips on How to Ride in a Straight Line
Balance comes from the arms and shoulders, accompanied by smooth pedaling from the hips. The main enemy here is tension. When you take on the handlebars, do so in a relaxed manner with a firm grip. When you exert too much pressure squeezing the handlebars, tension will start to build in the forearms and can cause muscle stress.
Once your muscles are stressed, even a minor turn of the handlebars will adversely affect the balance, and this is when you turn panicky and anxious which then leads to a possibility of a bike fall.
- Make sure that you relax your upper body: neck, shoulders, arms and hands to achieve a tension-free balance.
- Shrug off tension: You can literally wiggle and drop your shoulders or your entire body to shrug off tension. When you happen to stop at a red light signal, use the time to literally shrug off your shoulders and arms and relax the entire upper body.
Any motion on the upper body is wasted energy and this hampers good “tracking” which is your ability to ride in a straight line. Avoid making excessive upper body movement while biking to keep the energy flow steady.
- Pedal smoothly: Many cyclists overlook the importance of proper and smooth pedaling. Practice carrying out smooth pedal strokes to also keep a steady balance while biking.
Ride your bike in a straight line. Keep your head up and keep your sight straight one and a half to two blocks forward. If you are able to ride in a straight line under different road conditions, you guarantee yourself of riding safely in traffic.
The key to maintaining straight line biking is to practice following a painted line on the road at various speeds. You can minimize wobbles with constant practice.
When you are confident enough in keeping a straight line while riding your bike, you can practice looking behind you or over your shoulders, both to your left and right. This can be challenging to do but very helpful for you nevertheless.
It is important to know how to look back while riding in a straight line to look out for approaching cars or trucks going your way. But when a big vehicle is behind you, keep your composure.
Riding in a straight line is one of the important good biking habits that can save you from unnecessary accidents. If you want to enjoy your biking experience whether as a commuter or just plain biking for exercise, you will be better off applying the safety tips of good biking.
Apart from safety, it is also a great feeling to bike with confidence because you are equipped with the right knowledge as you take on the road along with other vehicles in traffic.