Whether cycling on the road; mountain biking or participating in races, poor cornering technique can cause all sorts of cycling accidents, from slipping and falling off your bike to veering into other race participants or into oncoming traffic and being hit by a vehicle.
Cycling injuries caused by poor technique when cornering can range from minor grazes, bruises or cuts to broken limbs, ribs and worse, especially in road traffic accidents involving cars or trucks, for instance. Knowing how to corner safely and prevent suffering injuries by cycling accident is therefore, essential.
With a little practice, the following tips should help improve your cornering:
- Terrain – Keep an eye on the ground and avoid slip hazards like cracks, rocks, sand and, of course, wet patches. Manhole covers and painted lines are particularly slippery after rain.
- Pressure – Always brake before turns, because breaking while the bicycle is leaning increases the risk of skidding, especially in wet conditions. To prevent sliding out, apply weight to your front wheel by placing your hands, with elbows bent, into the handlebar drops. Gently exerting pressure with the outside foot and hand, create angulations similar to that of a ski turn. Do not try to pedal while cornering.
- Leaning – Releasing the brakes, start turning by leaning your bike into the turn, rather than your body. Do this by counter steering (lightly pushing with the inside hand). If your speed increases or the turn is tight, lean the cycle in farther.
- Inside aim – Cut a clean arc through the turn’s apex by starting close to the centre line at the corner’s outside, aiming for the inside and exiting as close to the outside as you can without crossing double yellow lines.
- Focus – Looking into the direction you wish to go helps keep a clean line. Avoid looking elsewhere, as this will invariably take you into that direction.
- Exit – Coming out of the turn, gradually straighten your bike until it is fully upright before starting to pedal again.
Other road users
Even perfectly executed cornering techniques cannot always prevent traffic accidents. Other road users may not see you; you may be too fast to prevent accidents on the road, and so on. If someone else was responsible for your cycling injury, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation. You can get free advice on claiming and no win no fee* legal representation from Accident Advice Helpline.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice