Last night was the Monday night group and individual handling session ride. Even though there were some threatening clouds most of the time the rain held off giving us time to work. Unfortunately, the low, dark clouds did cut the time short a little due to low light.
The sessions are supposed to start at 6 PM but there were a few folks running late and we mainly road warm up for about 45 minutes until everybody was ready. My warm up was about 10 miles. I thought I might as well keep on riding while everyone else was warming up since I need the miles like the Astana riders need a paycheck. Eventually we all got together and talked about quick stops.
The quick stop is exactly what it sounds like. A quick stop to get yourself stopped in as short a distance as possible. The group leader demonstrated the technique a couple of times which included weight evenly distributed on the pedals (basically one foot forward and one back) and a steady pull on both brakes while simultaneously pushing the bike forward and moving your weight back. We didn’t specifically talk about it but I believe the throwing of the weight back helps offset the power of the front brake and keep you from flipping over. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.
We also talked about the importance of not skidding, if at all possible, because if the pavement is wet you could easily end up with some nice road rash. If you do find yourself skidding ease up on the front brake since it’s causing your back tire to lift off the pavement slightly.
If executed correctly you can come to a stop rather quickly enabling you to avoid whatever caused you to slow or come to a complete stop if you need to.
It’s a pretty simple technique but you need to practice it in order for it to be effective. Practice at slower speeds until you get the hang of it and then try increasing your speed. Be mindful that if you do come to a complete stop, and you’re wearing clipless pedals, that you’ll need to be ready to start pedaling again or quickly unclip lest you suffer the humiliation of the zero mph crash. Those are always classic and are a great way to impress your cycling buddies. Or all the folks at a busy street corner.
Do you have some quick stop stories or more tips related to quick stops? If so, please leave a comment below. And if you have some of those perfectly executed zero mph crashes I’m sure we’d all like a good laugh.