Riding on the wheel or sitting behind others to get the benefit from drafting in a crucial skill if you want to learn how to ride with other cyclists. So here is how to do it. essential cycling skills you require to know when ride with others
How to sit on a wheel?
Sitting on the wheel, sitting in, sat on, drafting, giving a tow, are just a few of the various names given to this crucial skill. By sitting behind another rider, you will save around 30 to 40% of the energy that you would use when riding on the front. This saving will help you get somewhere faster and easier, or even longer distances. It will help you to ride even further. Learning this skill will also make your ridings far more enjoyable, as it will enable you to ride with bigger groups of riders effectively and with confidence. It can take a little bit of time to get relaxed and comfortable when riding close to the wheel of the rider in front, and the best way to do this is to practice as much as possible. To learn this basic but really important skills, all you need at first is one other rider. You don’t need a big group. Yet, start by riding around half a wheel behind the rider in front of you. This is going to allow you the time and space to adjust for anything like changes in speed or direction. If you have never done this before, you are going to immediately feel the difference in effort and the benefit compared to if you were riding at the same speed on the front of the group. As you gain confidence, you are going to feel more at ease riding closer and closer to the wheel in front.
When riding on the wheel, don’t constantly stare at the wheel directly in front of you. Make sure you are looking up and around, scanning the road for any hazards or changes in direction. Just looking at the wheel in front can be quite dalook up when riding with othersngerous, so don’t let this become a habit. Occasionally it is okay to check the distance between your front wheel and the wheel in front, but the objective here is to develop some sort of cyclist’s sixth sense as to how close you are, and of course, this is an ability that you will hone over time and with practice. Try not to use your brakes suddenly when reacting to speed changes or changes of direction. Instead, try to feather them gently to shave off the speed gradually. As your confidence grows and your skill develops, this way of reacting will become increasingly more natural to you.
Wind directionposition yourself according to the wind direction when riding with others
The direction of the wind should determine where you position yourself behind the rider in front. If you get this right, you will maximize your energy savings whilst riding on the wheel. This is especially important if you are sharing the workload with another rider. So if the wind is coming directly from the front, a headwind, then you need to position yourself directly behind the rider in front of you. If the wind should come from the left, then you need to move over and position yourself from the right to give you a shelter from the wind there, and conversely, if the wind is coming from the right-hand side, you need to move over and shelter yourself from the left. Now, this can take a while to master and to build your confidence, and our advice is not to get too close to the wheel in front where you end up overlapping. That can be a little bit dangerous.
Wet roads & descents
Stopping distances. Yep. There are increased considerably on wet roads and descents, so you need to make sure that you drop back off the wheel in front by a bike length or two, and that will give you space and time to brake safely without crashing into the rider in front. In these situations, make sure that your brakes are covered in readiness, so either on the drops or on the hoods. There are also some important things to be mindful of when it’s your turn to ride on the front and you have someone on your wheel. So, no sudden braking. Insure you point out objects in the road, like potholes, and when transitioning from riding in the saddle to out of the saddle, do this in a gradual, non-jerky way. A common mistake here is that the bike is thrown backward and comes into contact with the wheel behind. Get these skills dialed and you will not look back. Don’t look back too much, because you might hit the wheel in front.