It’s not easy to define but you know it when you see it. Someone who just looks cool on their bike. They stand out in a bunch of riders as someone who not only looks great, but they seem to be at one with their steed. They are always well dressed, their bike is always running without fault and is meticulously cared for. They ooze confidence, track stand at lights, cruise along with ease and are perhaps even skilled enough to have some tricks up their sleeve. In contrast, there are riders whose bike creaks and squeaks, have the dreaded chain ring tattoo on their calf muscle, and are just a tad awkward on their bike.
Here are my top five ways to look cool on a bike:
How you feel internally and how you carry yourself will be reflected externally. If you feel cool, you are more likely to look cool. Couple this internal attitude with a clean bike, both frame and components, and make sure you don’t ruin the look with an utterly uncool greasy chain ring tattoo.
Your kit choice is important. Matching your kit and your socks automatically earns you extra points. Ensure that your kit is clean and definitely not worn and see through. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine with your kit choice and colours. If you like fluro kit, wear fluro and wear it with pride. This is the perfect example of your internal confidence shining through.
3.Learn some party tricks
Can you take your jacket off while riding, pop a wheelie, track stand, bunny hop or ride with no hands? Not only are these good for your bike handling skills, but you will look pretty awesome on your bike if you can slip in a trick or two in front of your friends. Make sure you choose the right time and place to finesse these skills. Riding no hands and taking out the entire bunch is definitely not cool.
Check out Tiffany Cromwell doing one heck of a party trick in this video:
Offer assistance to that rider that has dropped off the back of the bunch with a flat tyre and then change it in under 3 minutes ( I’m still working on this one with a current record of 3 mins 20 seconds). This not only creates some positive karma because you took the time to stop and help someone in need, but your friends will be impressed by the speed and skill you show when you rip out that punctured tube and have everyone back on the road before they’ve even had the time to upload a photo to Instagram.
5.Refine your technique.
How you hold your position on the bike is a huge contributor to how smooth and effortless your riding looks. A few things to focus on when riding is to control the noodle arms (unless you are Chris Froome), eliminate the head bob and spin, spin, spin those legs. Your riding will look effortless when you hold a solid posture. This will also be transferred into much more efficient cycling. Make a mental note of your position on the bike and each time you are out riding use your awareness to work on these small things that will make a huge difference to your overall smoothness.
Remember, looking cool on the bike is not about wearing the most expensive or latest kit on the market. Follow the above tips and you will be sure to be the envy of your bunch and fit in easily at those bunch rides you were too nervous to rock up to.
About the author
The tagline to Verita Stewart’s personal blog reads: “Not a professional cyclist, yet” and it’s the “yet” that’s most telling. Verita is a Melbourne-based cyclist riding for Specialized Women’s Racing. She has quickly made the jump from commuting to recreational riding to racing.