While it’s fun simply coasting along roads for a leisurely bike ride, it can be exhilarating to fly through the air like a professional cyclist. Here are a few tricks that will have you pedaling like the pros in no time!
BMX bikers use this trick to get serious air, but the tamer road biking version also takes some impressive balance. When a pack of bikers is drifting downhill on non-technical terrain (i.e. a road without bumps or potholes), one can fall back from the pack and slide his behind backward until his torso is on the seat and his weight is centered on his chest. Then he will unclip from the pedals, extend his legs out behind him, and soar past the pack like the Man of Steel.
On the Nose
Most people are familiar with the rear-wheel wheelie. This gutsy trick will have the bike balancing on its other end. The biker must speed up, then move her weight back while pressuring the front brake very lightly. As the back wheel lifts and the front wheel keeps rolling, she will shift her weight forward. Instead of tumbling, she should stop just as her body weight reaches the balance point.
One-Man Cleanup Crew
Often rocks, trash, and other small debris litter a bike trail. With some deft maneuvering, a biker can “flick” these objects to the side without dismounting his bike. He should steer close to one side of the object without touching it. Just as his front wheel rolls past it, he will shift the weight off the front end of the bike and twitch the handlebars toward it. If done right, the wheel’s rotation sends the object flying to the side in a clean motion. This trick works best on pinecones and baseball-sized stones.
Jumpstart to the Top
On a tough slope, a biker can use the terrain to her advantage. After coming to a stop at the bottom of the hill, she will shift 1-3 gears harder and align her bike for the best traction. She clips in her dominant foot and balances the other foot on a nearby rock or root. Then she turns the crank to the 2 o’clock position, lowers her chest to the stem of the bike, and pushes off with the free foot, pushing down with the dominant foot and gaining speed before clipping in the other. The momentum propels her past the pack to the top.