Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-08-13, 03:08 AM   #1
GFish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
GFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you ride a straight line?

How many people ride perfectly straight, without any side to side drifting?

I assume that cyclist riding in a pace line need to ride a straight line, with little or no drifting. So I've been working or focusing on my technique; spinning tight circles, balancing push-pull (or right vs left leg), staying centered, well balanced, keeping upper body quiet. And spending more time riding the single speed. I've also dialed in bike fit and believe it's pretty close, but that's only my opinion.

The problem is, I still feel I move to much and don't hold a line very well. Naturally, this has me wondering what is normal, how do other people ride. Guess I'm just trying to improve my efficiency on the bike without knowing what's realistic.
GFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 05:13 AM   #2
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I reckon I do but I have a problem. Occasionally the road is clear enough of other traffic to practice some technique. Lane markings at the side of the road or that straight bit of road repair and I try to follow that line. Lane markings are 4" wide and I can't stay on the line. Maybe the paint turning me off but try to ride 4" off the line and I still wander. Perhaps because I am concentrating too hard but pick a spot in the distance on a wet road and I do ride a straight line. Look behind at the tyre marks left in the rain and I can see how everyone else has done 20 miles to the 19 I have recorded.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 05:43 AM   #3
cranky old dude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 4,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride very close to a straight line if I try. When riding solo on dry roads, one of my little games is to ride on the white "Fog Line" between the right lane and the shoulder of the road.

Otherwise I'm afraid I do wander a bit from side to side.
cranky old dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 06:01 AM   #4
JimF22003
Senior Member
 
JimF22003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern VA
Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2009 Cervelo R3SL tdf edition, Cervelo R5 with Di2
Posts: 2,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I can keep a pretty straight line. I can ride right down the fogline on the shoulder of a road without much trouble. Sometimes the painted line is smoother than the surface

edit: d'oh, cranky beat me to it
JimF22003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 06:02 AM   #5
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,961
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Everyone does. It's part of how we keep our balance on the bike. Even pros. The difference between them and us is how far they meander from the perfect line.

If you were to make a bike that didn't steer and would maintain a perfectly straight line by itself, you wouldn't be able to keep your balance on it. Nor would a pro, although they may go a longer distance.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 06:10 AM   #6
Bikey Mikey
Senior Member
 
Bikey Mikey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Newport News, VA USA
Bikes: Diamondback Edgewood LX; Giant Defy 1
Posts: 3,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm starting to concentrate on maintaining a straight line. I decided to make a concerted effort for two reasons. First, to be safer on the road and more predictable for vehicles, and second, I'm going to be doing two organized centuries, April 20 and May 11 respectively. With all the people riding at the same time for the Tour de Cure:Hampton Roads and the Capital 2 Capital, Richmond/Willamsburg, VA, it would be safer for me and other riders if I'm riding straight.
Bikey Mikey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 07:52 AM   #7
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy
Posts: 6,153
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
I think there must be a correlation between mind drift and bicycle drift. When riding with a group, it takes on a whole set of dynamics, compared with just riding solo.
Garfield Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 07:59 AM   #8
John_V 
Senior Member
 
John_V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Bikes: 2012 Colnago Ace road bike, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid
Posts: 4,274
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
For the most part, yes! However, I do keep an eye on the road in front of me for objects that my cause a flat and I will swerve to avoid running over those objects. When on the MUP, I ride a straight line unless there is a strong head or cross wind or when I'm looking at the scenery around me. Then I look like I drank my beer before, instead of after, the ride.
__________________
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

2012 Colnago Ace
2010 Giant Cypress
John_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 07:59 AM   #9
rydabent
Senior Member
 
rydabent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
Posts: 5,851
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
I ride a very straight line on my recumbent, even from a stop. I have read that in some rides or races they make recumbents start first or last because they wobble on start up. That seems rather dumb to me and somewhat annoying.
rydabent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 08:03 AM   #10
t4mv
ES&D
 
t4mv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Roadieville, USA
Bikes: 3Rensho, Merlin XL, Melton custom, Michael Johnson tandem, Look 481SL, Pedal Force RS
Posts: 1,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
OP, if it's a straight line you want to ride, get yourself a set of rollers. Kills two birds with one stone, you ride straight and smooth out your form pronto.
t4mv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 08:16 AM   #11
dynodonn 
Senior Member
 
dynodonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 7,342
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Looking at my rear cam videos of my tire tracks on rainy days, I meander side to side ever so slightly, so no perfectly straight line riding being done on my part.
dynodonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 08:26 AM   #12
qcpmsame 
Cycling Saved My Life
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Bikes: '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra, '78 Medici Pro Strada
Posts: 9,797
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
OP, if it's a straight line you want to ride, get yourself a set of rollers. Kills two birds with one stone, you ride straight and smooth out your form pronto.
+1, riding rollers in the late 70's helped me tremendously in my bicycle riding skills. Hole the line and pedal smoothly or else.

Bill
__________________
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. Philippians 4:13

"I did not choose to have Parkinson's Disease, I do choose not to allow it to control my life." Davis Phinney

Semper Fi, USMC, November 10, 1775, Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, PA.

qcpmsame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 08:49 AM   #13
Cougrrcj 
Over forty victim of Fate
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio / Phoenix AZ
Bikes: A few...
Posts: 2,274
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
I also ride on the fog line. The key to riding a straight line is not to focus on the front tire, but rather a point some 20-30' in front of the bike. That is your aiming point - besides which, it is easier to see flat-causing items and you'll still have time to swerve to miss it. Similarly, it you concentrate on that sharp item or other object, you're sure to hit it. I found that to be true also when riding in a draft line or pack.

Training on rollers for a smooth stroke helps. One thing I can't stand is riding behind someone who wags from side-to-side a foot or more.

BTW, landing a plane is much the same - pick a point on the runway as your aiming point and that's where you'll end up.
Cougrrcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 09:34 AM   #14
David Bierbaum
Senior Member
 
David Bierbaum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: St. Louis Metro East area
Bikes: 1992 Specialized Crossroads (red)
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
It's strange, but the more I TRY to ride in a straight line, the less I am actually able to do so, but I can ride like an arrow if I'm not thinking about it. The problem is, I can't help but try when I need it, such as when I'm riding close to the curb...
David Bierbaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 09:41 AM   #15
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport
Posts: 3,758
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I also ride on the fog line.
Me too. Smoother ride and less resistance. Plus, it gives me something to do.

Not if it's wet, though.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 10:54 AM   #16
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
OP, if it's a straight line you want to ride, get yourself a set of rollers. Kills two birds with one stone, you ride straight and smooth out your form pronto.
So true. But, although some do very well, no one rides an absolute "straight" line.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 11:03 AM   #17
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
BTW, landing a plane is much the same - pick a point on the runway as your aiming point and that's where you'll end up.
This is also motorcycling truth. Go where you look. FWIW handling works much better if you look up the road and not right in front of your bike.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 11:10 AM   #18
Shamrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Garden State exit 135
Bikes:
Posts: 444
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Yes I try to ride a straight line. I do so to be predictable for other cyclists and vehicles.It drives me crazy when a cyclist is all over a bike path or road. Its hard to pass without risk of a bump.A little kid is unpredictable and I accept that.An adult should know to stay to the right.But they get into their own little world.
Shamrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 11:18 AM   #19
Wil Davis
Curmudgeon
 
Wil Davis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nausea, New Hamster
Bikes: (see http://wildavis.smugmug.com/Bikes) Bianchi Veloce (2005), Nishiki Cascade (1992), Schwinn Super Sport (1983)
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
OP, if it's a straight line you want to ride, get yourself a set of rollers. Kills two birds with one stone, you ride straight and smooth out your form pronto.
+1000 Rollers are definitely the way to go if you want to improve your form! (Learn riding rollers, pedaling using only 1 leg, riding "no hands"); take a look at this, there are many others!)

- Wil
Wil Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 02:47 PM   #20
GFish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
GFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
One thing I can't stand is riding behind someone who wags from side-to-side a foot or more.
Yes, I don't want to be "that" guy.

Since almost all my riding is solo, I have no idea what's considered normal. Or how advanced cyclist ride, assuming that these people ride with greater control and efficiency. Pedaling straight, with little or no wobbling seems like a worthy skill to master and something I can work on while pedaling through the countryside.

Rollers....watched a few videos and read a few warnings on using them. Thanks for the advice, but for now, I'll pass. I admit that rollers appear intimidating.

Are there other skills I should work on while riding?
GFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 02:56 PM   #21
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 22,067
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1104 Post(s)
Dropping a wheel in the gap along side the trolley tracks certainly grabs the wheel into a straight Line.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 05:45 PM   #22
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Bikes:
Posts: 3,851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
When there's 1 to 2 inches of snow, and no ice underneath (which is a rare combination here), I like to ride my mountain bike. A very small lean with sideways pressure on the tires starts them slowly sliding out.

So I ride very balanced over the bike. It's interesting how I start to really notice the balancing effort. On a dry road, it's easy to just steer a little, instead of trying to stay balanced. Snow riding must be a little like riding on rollers.

Even so, the tire track does show the different tracks of the front and rear wheels, even riding on a straight line.

~~~~~
Like the other posters above, I also like to ride on the fog line, and it works best when not trying too hard, and when looking down the road.

Now I need to practice a steady effort for pulling a group. I tend to push a little too hard on slight rises in the road. It's really nice to be behind a competent rider holding a steady pace.

For group rides, at least try to see the riders in front of the rider directly in front of you. I don't like being behind riders that roll up too close to the rider in front, then slow down, opening a gap, and then do it all over again. Grrr.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-08-13 at 05:49 PM.
rm -rf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 05:49 PM   #23
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
It's strange, but the more I TRY to ride in a straight line, the less I am actually able to do so, but I can ride like an arrow if I'm not thinking about it. The problem is, I can't help but try when I need it, such as when I'm riding close to the curb
Look further ahead. Impossible to ride straight if you are focussed on something immediately in front of you. And look at where you want to go, not at anything you want to avoid. You'll go where you're looking.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 05:55 PM   #24
timvan_78
Senior Member
 
timvan_78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Bikes: Trek Fuel EX8, Kona Zing, Marin BearValley, Stolen Heater BMX, Norco Evolution Tandem
Posts: 432
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I ride on the fog line too, when it's dry. It's like riding on the wood 'skinnies' on the mountain bike. If you want to see crazy straight-line riding, you should see the mountain bikers on the north shore here. Go to youtube and search for "immonator fromme".

Cougrrcj is right. Focus ahead, not down.
timvan_78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-13, 06:20 PM   #25
VNA
Senior Member
 
VNA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Most of the time!

The trick is to keep the upper body relaxed.

One can improve by riding rollers from time to time and definitely in winter when too much rain or snow ooutside!
VNA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:26 PM.