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October 5, 2008
Ahh…summer is finally here in Australia and the first of the Sunday crits signal the start of it! Crit season also means getting accustomed to some high paced, tight cornering again.
Good cornering technique can save a LOT of energy and put you in the proper winning position in the final straight of a race. Many people have difficulty cornering so here are a few simple tips to help you along the way;
1. Always look where you want to go , not where you want to avoid or down at your front wheel .
2. Anticipate the speed for the corner and brake before the corner if necessary. DON’T brake in the turn!
3. Approach the corner wide, cut to the apex , and finish wide . A common mistake is cutting to the apex of the turn too early.
4. Watch the 2 or 3 riders ahead of you who have already entered the corner. Note if they are pedaling safely through it and judge whether you should do the same. If it happens that your inside pedal hits the pavement , don’t panic and over correct. Over compensation is how most crashes happen.
5. If you need to coast through a corner then once you have passed the apex of the corner begin to pedal again as soon as possible.
You may not realize that you intuitively countersteer every time you enter a corner. However, once you are aware of this concept it’s much easier to control and perfect. Let me explain:
To initiate countersteering, momentarily turn away from the direction you’re turning. This increases the lean of the bicycle into the turn. This method allows for greater steering control and makes it easy to affect a change in direction during the turn.
If you have 5 minutes, the following video does a great job explaining countersteering.