Turning Tricks That Would Save Your Life
A bicycle is a two-wheeled vehicle that is highly maneuverable. Yet, it requires balance in order to stay upright and be steered. This means you need to stay upright and scan the road for possible danger that may cause a bike fall especially on taking road turns.
Helpful Turning Tricks
You need to be aware of the turning tricks that would save your life. These are techniques you can practice and use when on the road. One advantage of riding a bicycle is its small size and quick steering which allow you to prepare yourself for situations that need some quick turns and hazard avoidance.
The Rock-Dodge Maneuver
Take this scenario: You are biking along a two-lane country road, with lanes that are wide enough for cars to pass you by. You are enjoying the scenery and then noticed that there is a rock right in front of you, and a car tailing behind.
It will be difficult and dangerous for you to swerve left into the traffic or swerve right into the dirt and gravel. How do you go about avoiding the rock?
The technique is to perform a rock-dodge maneuver by steering the handlebars quickly to one side and then correcting your balance by turning them back the other way.
This simply lets the wheels weave around the rock while still riding in a straight line. So, it’s either you steer quickly to your left, and then back to the right to bring back your balance, or vice-versa.
With this turning trick, your body doesn’t really weave along with the bike because you are able to regain balance in a snap. So, you just continue biking nearly in a straight line. You can use this technique when you encounter rocks and potholes on the road.
Making Quick Turns
Now, here is another scenario: You are about to approach an intersection as you ride along the street, and a car on your left suddenly makes a right turn. That sudden turn caught you off guard and you are close to hitting the side of the car.
Your next move is to make a quick turn alongside the vehicle to stay out of danger. To do a quick turn, you need to lean your bicycle really fast. So, how can you do that?
The way you balance a yardstick on the palm of your hand is the same way you balance your bicycle. To move the yardstick to the right, you move your hand to the left. When the yardstick starts to lean on the right, you follow the direction with your hand.
In the same way, maneuvering your bike out from behind you to the left for a brief moment lets you do a quick right turn. You have to steer briefly toward the car that you are trying to avoid.
If the car coming towards you makes a left turn, swerve right into the side street with the car. If the car suddenly pulls out from the right of the side street, turn into the direction of the side street.
It’s best to do a quick right turn behind the car, but if it’s too late to do it, just turn left with the car. In case of a crash, the impact is not as damaging if the nearer you are in the direction of the vehicle.
Speedy Downhill Curve
If you are on a bike trail and riding on a winding downhill path, you need to hit the brakes before entering the curves or road turns so that you maintain traction while turning.
Along the course of your bike trail, you may experience going around a downhill curve in a speedy pace. If there’s no more time to slow down, do a variation of the quick turn technique to save you from this kind of road hazard.
The normal, panicky reaction is to continue biking on straight and then brake. If you do this, you will most likely be thrown headfirst on the road before you can even stop.
The trick is to maneuver in the direction of the curve and don’t do a sudden brake. Straighten your handlebars briefly, as if to do a quick turn, to drop into a leaning position.
Usually, you can just make it around the downhill curve because your bike wheels have more traction than you normally use. If ever you skid out, you’ll most likely fall on your side instead of getting pitched over.
Jumping Your Bike
Now, in cases where you missed to notice a pothole or a road surface hazard that’s just straight ahead because you were busy scanning the traffic, it may be too late to do a rock-dodge maneuver. You can’t just jump out your bike and then injure yourself doing that, right?
When you are about to trash your wheels, your very last resort is to jump your bike. Yes, you can let it jump with your maneuver, of course. You just can’t let it fly though like that of the flying bike in the movie ET.
Here’s how to do the jumping bike trick: squat down and pull up on the handlebars while holding the pedals horizontally. Then, jump up and pull your legs up behind you and you’ll be biking past the pothole in seconds without making a quick turn.
This technique has to be practiced until you can perform it with mastery. Of course, this is only a last resort and not really recommended that you use the trick in every road surface hazard situation.
Mastery of these turning tricks and techniques can definitely help you out of lurking danger especially in making turns. You only need to practice in a vacant lot in your neighborhood.
Having these techniques ready in times of potential hazard, you will be more confident riding your bike even amidst a busy traffic and regardless of the kind of road or pavement you are trailing on.