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Bike Handling Drills

Bike Handling Drills Amy Woods Fitness Run Tri Bike Magazine Video

Whether you are just taking your bike off the trainer or you have been riding outside all winter, practicing bike handling drills will help you become a more confident and safer rider. Tri bikes are designed to help you become streamlined by positioning your torso level with the ground. Manufacturers do this by giving tri bikes a steeper seat angle, which pushes your hips forward. This body geometry can make riding a tri bike a little more challenging.

Bike Handling Drills

These drills progress from easier to more difficult and should be done in a car-free zone, like a closed parking lot or long driveway. Have fun and be safe out there!

    • In and Out of Aero –

      Practice coming down into the aero bars and back onto the hoods, one arm at a time.

    • Helmet and Back –

      Practice putting your hand on your helmet, and then on your back, so you can learn to ride with one hand so you can more easily take in nutrition on the race course.

    • Looking Behind You –

      You can draw a line with chalk or use parking lines for this one. Ride in a straight line and every few seconds look behind you as if you were looking for a car or another rider. The goal is not to swerve while you do this.

    • Slalom –

      Using cones (or water bottles), space them apart and ride in and out of the cones. To make this more challenging, move the cones closer together.

    • Slow Race –

      This one is fun to do with a friend. Set up two cones about 20 feet apart. The goal is to see who can go the slowest from one cone to the next. Great for practicing balance on the bike.

    • Grab a Bottle –

      This drill is very race specific. Have someone hold out a water bottle as you ride by and grab it, like you would in a race. You can also then practice putting it in one of your cages.

    • Cornering –

      Set up cones in a semi-circle and practice riding around those cones. To keep from sliding out, weight the front wheel by putting your hands in your drop bars. Don’t try to pedal in a corner. You want your inside foot up and outside foot down, and lean toward the direction you are turning. Release the brakes when you start the turn and lean your bike, not your body, into the turn.

    • Track Stand –

      You might want to try this drill without clipping in at first. Stop your pedals at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock and get out of the seat. While standing on the pedals, try to balance on your bike while not pedaling. Shift your weight to counterbalance the bike.

There are many other bike handling drills to try, and no matter which drills you do, they will make you a stronger and safer rider!

Amy Woods Fitness Ironman Physical Therapist

Amy Woods is a triathlete, Level 1 USAT Coach and fitness instructor who lives in Cape Cod, MA, with her husband, two teenage children, a poodle, and an old gray cat. She was a classroom teacher for 22 years and recently left the classroom to focus more on her family and her passion for all things fitness.

Amy teaches indoor cycling and strength classes in-person and virtually. She recently launched her own app (Amy Woods Fitness) and an on-demand video workout library, featuring everything from cycling and strength to yoga and barre. It’s a one-stop shop for fitness and includes other local instructors.

When Amy is not in the studio, you can probably find her swimming, biking, and running.  She is an Ironman All World Athlete, a Boston Marathon qualifier, and part of the I Race Like A Girl team and her local Cape Cod Triathlon team.