By Coach Aaron Kolk:
We all know the Without Limits Cycle Studio is the preferred place to train but the outdoor weekend rides still have their place. :). For me, I loved riding at Wrightsville Beach one way with the wind to see the MPH go up and back into the wind to practice lower cadence work. The loop providing a mix of both. I loved riding WB, until I was hit by a school bus. Afterwards, I did not ride outside for a solid 6 months. Slowly, I started ridding outside again. I became much more aware of my surroundings and what I was doing. Here are a few things I have found which makes cycling safer on the roads of Wrightsville Beach or anywhere you go.
First, It is very important to always wear your helmet. I did not like this at first. I fought it. I am so grateful enough people gave me a hard time because if I had not been wearing my helmet when I was hit by the school bus, I’d be brain dead or worse. Secondly, clean your bike regularly or take it to a local bike shop. Lastly, check your bike to make sure it is working properly.
If you are a beginner, practice clipping in and out of your clips. You should always make sure you are comfortable getting in and out of the clips before you hit the road. Nothing is more embarrassing than falling over at a stoplight because you could not unclip your pedals. Not to mention, it means you don’t fall. When pace-lining on your triathlon bike or with aero-bars, DO NOT go in aero unless you have a minimum of 10 meters or a car length between you and the other bike. If you want to draft off the person ahead, get up on the bull horns or the hoods. There is a reason Ironman doesn’t allow drafting in races, other than it being easy in the slipstream of the rider ahead of you. Know the route you are riding. Be aware of any turns or high traffic spots. Riding in groups can be much more fun and safer if done correctly. Never sacrifice safety for speed. The extra .2mph on your Strava isn’t worth your life. Last but not least, for this blog have a taillight and headlight on your bike if riding at dawn, dusk, or in cloudy conditions. Cars can see you better! Obviously, there are many other things one can do to help stay safer on the roads. However, these are the main ones I see people either not doing or struggle to follow while doing their outside rides.