Improving your overall cycling performance

The following pointers will help you improve your cycling speeds as well as your overall cycling ability:

  1. Reduce your aerodynamic drag: A key factor in increasing your speed is minimizing the surface area which catches wind. Crouching towards your handle bars and tucking in your elbows minimizes the area of your body which creates drag, therefore, increasing your speed. Riding as low as possible will lower wind resistance to up to 20 per cent. Don’t work harder, work smarter.
  2. Ride with others: Riding in a group helps push you past your own limits. Riding with others often encourages you to try harder and also helps you increase your speed as you try to keep up with the faster members of your group.
  3. Brake as little as possible: As you brake, you obviously slow down, and in turn you have to work twice as hard to get back up to speed. Try to keep a consistent speed.
  4. Use the wind: Ride upwind, and bike home going downwind. Have you ever gone kayaking before? While you are fresh, you want to ride against the current and the waves, once you are ready to go home you turn around and let the current help you get back. Same goes for cycling. Use your energy at the beginning of your cycle, when you are freshest, to go against the wind. Once you are ready to finish your ride, use the wind to make your cycle home much easier.
  5. Train in intervals: Interval training helps increase your average speed, and also improves your cardiovascular fitness. Try riding as fast as you can in 15-30 second intervals. Eventually you will be able to increase your speed for longer periods of time.

Wear tighter clothing: The tighter the clothing, the less drag it creates. This links back to the first point of reducing your aerodynamic drag.


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