By Sheila Ascroft
If you’re comfortable with the basics of pedalling, let’s talk about cornering. How do you go around a street corner with a bit of speed or handle an unexpected turn in the road without panicking? Always keep the inside pedal up.
Where your pedals are located in a turn matter. If it is a little sharp or if you’re going a little too fast, the bike angle could leave you with a pedal scraping the pavement and knocking you down. If you’re turning left, keep the left pedal up. Of course, it is always best to brake before the turn, but sometimes you’re already into a bend before you realize you’re going too fast, braking then will just cause the tires to skid out. Instead keep your inside pedal up AND push down hard on the outside pedal. Stand on it if necessary. It is much like skiing where you keep the outside leg weighted in a turn.
If you are really going fast, perhaps down a hill and come to an unexpected turn, the third technique is to extend your inside knee out while keeping that pedal up. The knee acts like an outrigger and provides a little extra stability and steering. There are more advanced techniques but prayer is not one of them!
I’m an Ottawa writer/editor who has been road cycling for 20 years. I’m not fast or thin, but I ride 3000 km every year and have completed two 100-mile solo rides. For me, every bike ride is a joy ride.