How to descend on a road bike

Riding down a hill on a bike is an exhilarating experience.  It's one that can easily go wrong.  Riding on just millimeters of rubber and with only a bit of lycra to protect you we advise you to not only wear a helmet but to take the following tips on board.

1.  Body position.  Ideally you want to ride on the drops not the hoods.  This way you will get more leverage on the brake levers and be more aerodynamic. Make sure you don't grip on to the bars too tight.  Keep your arms slightly flexed to allow you to absorb any bumps.

2. Braking. Don't be tempted to brake drag (keeping your brakes on slightly) on long descents brakes can overheat and become less effective. You can use your upper body to help slow you down if needed by sitting slightly more upright. A more upright position will create a constant, slower speed.

3. Pedals.  You want to ride with your cranks in the horizontal position, so at 3 and 9 o'clock.  Be aware on the corners to drop the outside pedal to the 6'o'clock position to avoid catching the pedal on a sharp corner and catching the front wheel.  Bike geometry varies between manufacturers.  Some are less forgiving and can cause you to catch your foot with the front wheel.

4.Focus ahead. You need to spot potential hazards early.  Looking well ahead will help you to anticipate any potential obstacles. Look out for changes in the road surface, painted lines, drains, fallen leaves and any obstructions.

Be aware of other road users, cyclists are quiet and faster than people anticipate.  Be ready to react quickly.

Aim to leave at least three or four bike lengths between you and the other rider(s).  Call out any potential hazards in good time either verbally or by pointing them out.

Always wear a helmet #noexcuses and enjoy the ride!