How To Improve Your Balance On A Bike | GCN’s Pro Tips

October 1, 2019

– Balance isn’t really something that many of us look to work on, not since we started to
learn how to ride our bikes. But, practicing your balance can really pay dividends
with your confidence, like riding in traffic
or around other people. So, here’s a few hints
and tips to practice. – You alright there, mate? Did that help? – Yeah that’s really really helpful, that. I think I’m getting there, mate. Thanks,
– You are, yeah, I really appreciate it.
– Brilliant effort! Brilliant effort! – Am I looking good? – Aw yeah! – Cheers, mate. (cheery techno music) – Now your first point
is to tear your eyes away from your front wheel, and it’s actually a lot harder to do than you might think. But there are many many different reasons why you need to try, one of them, of course, being balance. – Yeah, and if I’m honest, I don’t really know why. I think it has something
to do with concentration. So let’s face it, if you’re concentrating on trying to keep your balance, you’re probably already on the back foot. So keep your gaze up ahead on a fixed yet moving point to
help orientate yourself. (cheery techno music) Now a seemingly simple task which is remarkably
difficult to do is to ride in a straight line whilst at the same time looking behind you. Now, even the most experienced riders can often get this wrong, veer offline, and get a bit of a wobble. But, unfortunately, it’s vitally important that you learn to do this. – Yeah, particularly for when riding in close proximity to other bike riders, or indeed just other traffic. Now, the secret is to actually just not turn all that far. So it might not give
you a complete picture of what’s going on behind you, but it does allow you to keep your torso pointing straight forward, and keep your steering straight as well. If you do need to see further around, then you need to take
one hand off the bars, making sure there’s enough
space in front of you to do it, and that’s gonna allow
you to open up your body and turn whilst still going
in the right direction. (cheery techno music) This one will really help to improve your balance on the bike. It’s a little bit like
the cycling equivalent of walking a tight rope. Because riding really slowly means that when you do need
to turn the handlebars in order to keep your balance, the corrections that you make have much less of an effect, which leads to those really
exaggerated movements and that characteristic wobble. – Stay to your own side,
you nearly had me off. – Sorry, mate. – Now, practicing riding slowly will get your body used to balancing without resorting too much to steering. Now at first, you may find it pretty hard, as it is a bit difficult, but if you’ve got a few spare minutes it’s really worth the
investment to practice. (cheery techno music) – As well as practicing on the bike, a simple way of improving
your balance could be to actually look at the
way your bike is set up, and in particular, your position on it. Because you’ll find that if you have to stretch too far to the controls, so the brakes and the gears, then actually you may well find that those fine movements
needed for control are actually much harder to carry out. In fact, if you try and
do anything at arms reach it becomes an awful lot harder to do so, and the same is definitely
true of riding a bike. – Yeah, so a shorter,
more upright position will definitely help if you’re looking to improve your balance, even if there may be
trade-offs in other areas. – It’s a miracle you stay
upright on that thing, mate. – Yeah, come to think of it, I might get a shorter stem. (cheery techno music) – Away from the bike entirely, there are actually a number of skills that you can practice that will help you improve
your balance, generally, that would then pay dividends
on the bike as well. Because it might be that you actually need to improve your core strength, in which case doing some light gym work or a regular Pilates
class would do the job. – Or, you could just stand on one leg in the comfort of your own home, and even try it with your eyes shut. – Okay, hang on. (both laughing) As Matt said at the start, balance might not be
something that you’ve actually ever given all that much thought to, but it is definitely worth
practicing some of these skills, because you will feel the benefit. Now, do make sure as well
as practicing your balance, that you have subscribed to GCN, that’s a great way to improve
your confidence on the bike. To do that just click on the globe. – Now, for looking in particular at how to improve your
confidence on the bike we’ve got a video on that, and you can find that by
clicking just down here. – Yeah, or for five
essential cycling skills, that one’s just down there. Actually, there’s quite a bit of homework. – Yeah! There is! Lot’s to learn! Better get a like and share!

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