By Luke Seemann | May 22, 2008

We're excited about all the cyclists who are giving racing a shot. We want to make sure their first experiences are fun and safe. This spring our Race Safety Task Force came up with 10 tips to help beginning racers enjoy cycling safely. If you're new, please give this a read. We also invite promoters and race organizers to make this flier available at their registration tables. We also hope new racers consider making our Sherman Park Criterium on June 14.

10 tips to help beginning racers enjoy cycling safely

  1. Don't overlap wheels. If the rider ahead of you makes a sudden move, their wheel may strike you and knock you off balance.
  2. Ride the course before the race. Pay attention to road hazards or difficult turns.
  3. Check your equipment. Make sure brakes are in good order. Have a shop look things over if you're unsure.
  4. Always have an “out” ready. At any given moment, know what you would do if a crash were to happen ahead of you and you had to take evasive action.
  5. Adjust your tire pressure for the conditions. Lower pressure will improve traction in the rain.
  6. Know how to use your water bottle without looking. Drink without taking your eyes off the race.
  7. Don't cut or “bomb” corners. Use the same line through the corners as the rider ahead of you.
  8. Expect contact. It will happen. Don't make sudden movements as a result of getting elbowed or bumped.
  9. Keep your upper body relaxed. Loose arms will help you absorb any jostling or bumps.
  10. Get group-ride experience. Seek out team and club rides to improve your skills in a pack.