It’s not only a cool skill to be able to ride a bike without using your hands. If you have ever seen a professional cycling race, you have probably seen how beneficial it can be to perform chores on the bike such as eating or zipping up a vest without having to stop. For example, if you have ever watched a professional cycling race, you have probably seen this. You, too, can learn how to ride with no hands with a little bit of practice so that you can shed layers and search through jersey pockets like a pro when you’re out on your bike.
Drills are provided first for practicing how to ride with one hand on the handlebar, followed by drills for moving to riding with no hands on the handlebars at all. Finding a quiet parking lot or road that is level is ideal for practicing on, therefore we recommend doing that.
Start With One Hand
You should first get proficient at riding with one hand under your control before moving on to the two-handed technique. (In addition to that, it is a valuable ability in and of itself.) The following are two fundamental drills that you should perform, as well as approaches for doing different activities while riding a bike.
Drill 1: One On, One Off
Gaining the courage to ride with one hand will let you to use the other hand for things like eating, drinking, and signaling. How to do it: To begin, take a grip on the handlebar with just your right hand, placing it on top of the handlebar and close to the stem (or on the grip on a flat bar). Continue to peddle in a straight line for the next ten to fifty feet. Alter your grip, then continue. It is important to exercise equal amounts of both hands and not just your dominant one.
When you take a hand away, you should concentrate on engaging the muscles in your core to keep your balance and on keeping your shoulders pointing straight ahead to prevent yourself from swerving.
Drill 2: Line Up, Look Back
Acquire the habit of looking over your shoulder with ease. Put yourself in the exact same starting posture as in the exercise described above. Relax your left arm and let it rest loosely by your side. Make a small shift so that your weight is supported more by your right hand. To look back over your left shoulder, keep your core engaged and make sure that your belly button is pointing in the same direction as the front of your body while you rotate at the waist and twist merely your shoulders to the left. Always make sure that your knees, hips, and front wheel are pointing forward. You should be able to reach your tailbone with your left wrist using your right arm if you move it slightly behind you. Repeat the pattern as many times as you can while maintaining a straight line of pedaling. It will be repeated on the right.
Perform these drills several times each week until the motions become second nature, and then utilize them as the foundation for the one-handed riding scenarios that follow.
Get Your Bottle: It’s much simpler (and safer) to always reach for it in the same spot because it’s always been there. If you have two bottles, you should empty the one that is currently in the front cage before putting the backup bottle there. If you feel the need to, put the bike down.
Check to See If There Is Traffic Behind You: Carry through the drill known as “Line Up, Look Back.” It is essential that you relax your elbow in this situation to prevent yanking on your handlebar.
Discover What’s Hiding in the Pockets of Your Jersey: You should do so in a strategic manner. Place your phone and any food that you have in the side pockets. You should put your tools in the middle because you won’t be using them while you’re biking. If you want to prevent fumbling, you should always load pockets in the same method.
Signal a Stop or Turn: When giving directions, it is important to utilize hand signals so that other drivers can understand and anticipate your intentions.
Ride With No Hands
So, you’ve mastered the skill of riding a bicycle using only one hand. It’s time to give riding without your hands a shot now. Repeat the exercises that are listed below.
Drill 1: The Hand Hover
To begin, you should ride in a straight line. You can give it a shot while you’re coasting, but pedaling to keep your forward momentum up will make it much simpler to hold your balance. To begin, you should try to move as much of your body weight as possible over to your center of gravity by sitting as upright as you can. You can weight your saddle and activate your core by rolling your pelvis back onto your sits bones. Then move your hands such that they are hovering over the handlebar. You’ll get a feel for riding without using your hands, and you’ll be able to rapidly regain control of the bike if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.
If you decide to pedal through this exercise, it is imperative that you engage your core in order to maintain stability in your torso while just moving your legs.
As you begin to feel more at ease, you should begin practicing sitting more straight and back, and you should try to refrain from using your hands for as long as you can. If you put in the necessary amount of practice, you should be able to ride with your hands at your sides while maintaining an upright sitting position. To make things more difficult for yourself, try practicing pulling things out of your jersey pockets and putting them back in, or putting on a vest or jacket and then taking it off; this will eventually come in handy on rides.
Drill 2: Hip Steering
It’s possible that finding out you can softly steer your bike without keeping your hands on the handlebar will come as a surprise to you. In point of fact, spinning the front wheel of a bicycle is not nearly as important as shifting your weight and leaning the bike in addition to shifting your hips in order to properly steer a bicycle.
You should try to guide your bike in one direction and then the other while you are riding along without using your hands. You can do this by shifting your weight ever-so-slightly and pointing your hips in the direction you want to go. Practice makes perfect!
Maintain an upward glance and focus on what’s in front of you to make things as simple as possible. This will help you maintain your balance, and you should also check the road ahead of you for any debris or potholes that may have appeared.
Always keep in mind to maintain your composure and relax. Your equilibrium will be disrupted if you make any jarring movements. Also, make sure that your weight is distributed evenly and that it is not on the front wheel. When your front wheel has too much weight on it, it will have a tendency to wander.
Learn more: The 8 Best Commuter Backpacks for Carrying All You Need