One thing I notice taking late apex lines is that when descending with a group of racers I lose a few feet on the corner entry and gain them back, plus a bit, on the exit. I am going faster on the exit so I gain a bit more on the next straight. I think that this is because I am off the brakes before the turn, while the early apex rider has to brake deep into the turn. On most descents you will accellerate slightly throught the turn when you are off the brakes, because the road is still descending. If you early apex then the increasing speed will make you nervous since you have to turn tighter, while when you are late apexing the increasing speed is fine because you are opening up your turn anyhow.
Also, learn to rely on your front brake more than the rear. Lots of bike crashes occur because of ill-advised use of the rear brake in the turn, which can cause you to slide out. And has been mentioned, keep your head up and look at where you WANT to go, as opposed to where you are pointed. You will end up going where you are looking, so look up, at where you want to be at the exit of the turn. This takes practice!
+1 on the late apex, but if you are in a group, it's important to follow the line of the rider in front of you, or bad things tend to happen.
Finally. anytime you are really tired, be more conservative. Crashes also occur because bike handling deteriorates as you tire. Been there; done that; have the (uber cool, loved by the chicks, so it's said) scars.
Last edited by AzTallRider; 10-28-11 at 02:58 PM.
"If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."
Just remember, if you wreck, it'll be you sitting around in a cast for 6 weeks and not the people telling you to go faster.
People tend to have a natural fear of heights. If they work up high or take up rock climbing or skydiving or whatever, they get used to it, and it doesn't bother them anymore. But, that doesn't make it any safer either, and so periodically, you'll read about experienced ironworkers or skydivers or climbers that get killed doing it. It's kind of that way with riding fast. Do it enough and you'll get used to it, but that doesn't mean you should. And come to think of it, wasn't there a rider killed in a race earlier in the year in Europe in a high-speed wreck?
Anyway, ride good, ride at a speed that's comfortable for you, and if that's slower than everyone else, that's okay.
By the way, I use disk brakes, but they're not a perfect solution, either. There's still adjustment issues and all. As applied to your situation, the main thing I notice is that I can be riding around, and I normally hit both brakes together, but it may suddenly dawn on me that the front is doing 90% of the braking. A quick turn of the dial and I'm good again, but if I had just started down a long grade when I noticed that, it could get awkward.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
Watch out for pedal clearance on those turns, too. I caught a pedal once at speed in a turn when I wasn't paying attention... a most uncomfortable experience.