View Full Version : Here's one I just discovered...

09-05-2001, 03:53 PM
Most of my road routes are not all that busy (a car or truck passes every minute or so). I've discovered a new route with some nice smooth asphalt, convenient to my office and therefore a quick getaway break, but it's unfortunately a heavily traveled 2-lane highway.

I have some jitters when riding this stretch, because it has been the site of nasty accidents, given its usage and size. When riding it today, I found myself tensing up every time I was passed by a "double" (semi truck pulling two trailers) and nearly fighting for control because of tensing up.

I finally realized that I was looking at the vehicles as they were passing. Guess where the bike heads when you're looking at something? Yeah. At the something. I wasn't being "pulled" into the roadway because of the draft from these monsters, I was riding into them!

Here's the tip (and this may be old news to you clever gals out there!): I had much better control over the bike and was easily able to hold my line when I would look up the road and concentrate my gaze off to the edge of the pavement about 30 feet ahead. I'd do this when I heard the big truck rumble (and you all know what that sounds like!) coming up behind me. I don't have a problem with passenger cars, so didn't worry about them. I probably also don't tense up when the passenger cars pass!

This helped me. Maybe it will help someone else out there.


09-05-2001, 08:06 PM
Lin, I've been riding seriously for 5 or 6 years. But it wasn't until last spring that I learned about the phenomenon you're describing. I was taking a bicycle riding clinic, and during the section on curves, the teacher talked about looking up the road when you take a curve. The way he put it was, "you ride where you're looking". I've used that thought many times on a narrow road! Sue

Mary T.
09-06-2001, 03:41 AM
It is true mountain biking also. I knew better but...3 years ago I broke my wrist because I looked down into the ravine I was riding. Where you look your bike will follow.

09-06-2001, 05:14 AM
yes definitely want to NOT look at what you want to avoid when you are mtb. If you are worried you will endo over that rock, funny enough, your psychic powers will be true and it WILL happen. Pick your line and follow it. Never mind the "other" stuff around.
my two major rules for mtb:
1) keep your weight back
2) don't think. just go. gravity and your tires will know what to do.

05-26-2002, 02:14 PM
The phenomenon about which you are talking is related to an inborn reflex/movement pattern that we have as infants. It is called the ATNR or asymmetrical tonic neck reflex. It is elicited by turning an infant's head to the side and the elbow on the side that the face is toward will extend and the elbow on the side to the back of the head will flex. It sort of puts you into an "archer" position. We have to learn to overcome this reflex (if we didn't we wouldn't be able to feed ourselves!). But sometimes this reflex sneaks up on us in a mild fashion when we are concetrating on other things and turn our heads. A perfect example is when riding and worrying about cars, ravines, passing cyclists, etc. or when driving a car and looking to the back seat, notice how your car drifts? You can easily imagine how the "archer" position of the arms would tend to cause our bikes to veer to the side.

08-25-2002, 09:49 AM
I need(ed) all of these suggestions. You have no idea how much this inf. will smooth out my line. Thanks and thanks!:)

08-25-2002, 09:59 AM
:eek: As I closed my post about 30 seconds ago, it dawned on me that my bike is like my horse. When my head, shoulders, etc follow my eyes, Kett knows quickly what to do. The slightest movement of my upper body transfers the tension/signal to my hips which is what I want when on my HORSE, but NOT what I want when on my BIKE! DUH :rolleyes: Now I get it. One more DUH :rolleyes: for my taking so long to make this connection: bike is NOT a horse.
Thanks again.