What’s the best way to get out of bad situation? Recite Shakespeare? No. Pretend like you have a gun in your jacket? Nope. Pray? Maybe. The best answer: avoid the situation in the first place. Let’s face it, cycling is a dangerous sport. Cars, other cyclists, little old ladies with shopping carts, dogs, debris in the road, obstacles on the trail, rain and wind — sometimes it seems like the whole world is coming at us with a vengeance. You can’t be prepared for everything, but even a few seconds of awareness can make the difference between a close call and the last call.
The best way to be prepared for almost anything while on the bike is to assume the ‘attack position.’ The objective of the attack position is to move the rider’s body into a neutral stance on the bike, positioning the rider’s center of gravity over the middle of the bike. In this position, the cyclist achieves excellent stability at both slow and high speeds. As the name implies, the attack position gives the cyclist the ability to respond to threats by execute offensive moves as well as defensive maneuvers.
The important characteristics of the attack position are:
Head up, eyes forward — use your eyes to guide you through tight situations and look where you want to go.
Arms bent, hands on brake hoods — bent arms will help you easily absorb significant front end impact shocks and with your hands on the brake hoods you’ll have quick and easy access to the brake levers.
Out of the saddle with knees bent — from this position you could launch into a sprint, weight the back wheel for some added deceleration, or bunny hop something in the road or on the trail.
Feet parallel to the ground — with your feet at ‘three o’clock’ and ‘nine o’clock’ you’ll keep your feet and crankarms from catching on anything while executing swerves or cornering maneuvers.
Perfect the attack position and you will be ready to respond to almost any situation on the bike.
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