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Rookie Mistakes the Pros Still Make

By Sarah Bonner

Ryder-HesjedalNo matter how much experience you have on two wheels, from time to time you’ll still make rookie errors. Even professionals make mistakes. When that happens, don’t feel bad but make sure you recover from it like a pro.

Crashing: Everyone crashes. Everyone. No matter how many kilometres you’ve ridden, you’re bound to hit the deck from time to time, whether it’s a 60km/hr bunch stack or a flop over at a traffic light. Either way, make sure you get rolling again like a pro.

Rookie error: Getting back on your bike without checking it first.

Pro fix: After a quick body check to make sure you’re physically able to ride, check your bike over: straighten your shifters and saddle if necessary, check your tires, spin your wheels to make sure they aren’t rubbing against the brakes, and glance over the rest of your bike to make sure everything looks normal. If you’re in a race, the rest can be done on the go once you are back up to speed. Otherwise, continue by adjusting the gears if necessary, spraying clean bottle water on any open wounds, and keeping an eye out for any cracks in the frame. Double-check everything when you get home.

Clipping in: When you’re starting out, clipping in is stressful but in no time it becomes second nature. However, every once in a while your cleat doesn’t catch and your foot slides right off in rookie fashion.

Rookie error: When you miss your cleat you tend to stop, put your foot on the ground and try again from the beginning, all while keeping your eyes glued to your feet, not looking where you are going.

Pro fix: When you miss your cleat, pedal with the one leg that is already clipped in to keep momentum and try again while on the move, making sure to keep your head up to look where you’re going.

Bonking: Whether you took a wrong turn and your two-hour ride turned into an epic adventure or you just didn’t pack enough food, running out of energy can sneak up on anyone, no matter how experienced.

Rookie error: Only taking what you think you’ll need or nothing at all.

Pro fix: Take extra and then some. Always have something in your pocket for short rides or if you’re riding longer than two hours, take one piece of fuel for every hour you’re in the saddle. Remember, the aim is to have extra just in case you bonk, but only eat what you need. Also, always have a little bit of money in your puncture repair kit for an emergency Coke.

 

Sarah Bonner

 
Sarah Bonner the author of a new e-article, The Clean Girl’s Guide to Cycling: How to Clean Everything from Bar Tape to Sports Bras, has lived and cycled in Canada, Africa, and Europe. Currently, she splits her time between the Netherlands and South Africa where she trains and competes at an amateur level. With a Masters in English and a Diploma in Sports Management, Sarah combines her love of writing and passion for cycling to share honest advice and inspiring stories. Follow her at sarahkimbonner.wordpress.com

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