Grace Under Fire

After seeing enough folks struggle (okay, really it’s mostly been me who felt like a scared little idiot sheep every time I had to hoist a bike to one of these nifty racks) so I had Queen Master Lindsay give a quick tutorial. The cliff notes: 1) stand on the right side of the bike 2) reach over and grab 3) lift and drop in handle bar spots. Bada bing bada boom. (Look for a special guest appearance at the end…)

It’s all in the hips.


I’ve been taking things too slow. Cornering, to be specific. Talk to someone who’s good at cornering and then do the opposite of what they tell you and that’s how I approach bends in the trail. I brake as I enter. I put my weight back. I go slow. Painfully slow. A snowboarding friend once told me to just “whip” the corners – I thought that sounded like so much fun and I imagined myself zipping in and using the centrifugal force to whip me out. Another friend said she’s been told boobs to bar (balls to bar for you gentlemen). But I’m not there yet. I’ve had the bike slide out from under me more than once and I’m a little gun-shy.

But I’ve been asking for advice – from friends, other riders, strangers (you?). How can I get better at high(er)-speed cornering? I wanna make it fun! My latest hope lies in 2 videos. I know, I know, but bear with me, I too, never imagined I’d watch videos about biking technique. But a guy in my office claimed that one of them CHANGED.HIS.LIFE (okay, maybe he just said “changed his riding”…but whatever) I was all ears.

So we’re working away in the office when the topic of biking comes up. Soon we’re talking about cornering, and the next thing I know, this guy is out of his chair, riding an imaginary bike! Okay, not like pretending to pedal it (though, that would have been awesome), but showing us how he’d learned to move his hips when hitting a turn. I loved it. This was the inspiration I’d been looking for! Unfortunately, I didn’t follow a lot of what he said, because I got caught up in trying the hip-shift myself and then it turned into a dance move… But boy did I made sure he sent me the video so I could focus on it at a later time.

Well, after many rides down Spaghetti Factory, cursing myself each time for taking the corners so damn slow, I finally watched the life-changing video.

Spoiler – my life hasn’t changed – yet. But I did learn a thing or two (hey, that’s what this is all about, right?) There’s something to this idea of the bike shifting and us shifting our hips to counterweight. I haven’t tried it much yet, but I’m hopeful.

And, in the process of watching the first video I also came across this one, which is nice because it shows guys actually on bikes, putting the move into action (plus there’s music and some British accents, which we can all agree makes things more interesting). Maybe one of these videos will change your life, or at least your riding. Let me know if they do, I’ll take all the help I can get.

Now, the only problem is my hips. I need to do some stretching.