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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to practice turning around without swerving. I've found that if I'm not cruising very quickly, I swerve if I turn around to check traffic while seated. However, if quit pedaling, stand out of the saddle, and turn my whole abdomen, I won't swerve. But that probably isn't the ideal technique.

So what's the proper technique and how should I go about practicing?

Marc
 

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Practice on a quiet road with wide shoulders for a start.

You can try taking your left hand off the bars. Put the right hand on the bar top near the stem. That way if you put some pressure on it you won't be able to move the bars as easily. Then take the left hand off the bars and turn your upper body to the left while turning your head to the left. The whole time, think about what your right hand is doing. Think about not changing the pressure you're putting on the bars with it.

When you're good with the hand near the center of the bars you can start moving it outward towards the brake lever.

Most of the time when I look back I just turn my head and look out of the corner of my eye. I only turn my upper body if I want a full look, such as if I'm on a descent and want to check to see if there's a car a ways back that may catch up to me, or if I'm in traffic and want to make a left turn.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Practice, practice, practice.
Turn slowly, consentration on keeping the bike straight, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.
 

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Two scoops of inertia.
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funny enough I've found if I lean my bike as much as my arms (both hands on hoods) allow to the opposite direction of where I'm turning around to look my bike stays straight. The act of turning limits how much you can lean the bike. This has worked for me, but I don't do it often and it's usually at lower speeds when I do.
 

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waterproof*
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1. Right hand on the tops, thumb extended along the back of the bar, ending near the stem. Like you're making a thumbs-up gesture pointing at the stem.

2. eyes front. pedaling. place left hand on left hip, open up the torso and start twisting. eyes front, line straight.

3. _slowly_ turn your head and look. keep pedaling, keep your left hand on your left hip, don't move your shoulders. one pedal revolution should provide a good look. Slowly come back to neutral, leading with your eyes then unwinding the rest of your torso.

It's the jerking back and forth that throws you off-line. If you stay in control and move slowly you won't throw your balance off. Practice.
 

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hello
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As mentioned, keeping your hand near the stem will keep the bike stable and you'll be able to hold the line easily.
 

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Failboat Captian
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If I'm going to look over my left shoulder, I lean the bike to the right while keeping it moving straight, before I look back. This seems to help a bit, but I still have a tendency to swerve a bit too. I've noticed that I'm getting better. I've started practicing while riding the MUT and there is no one near me.
 

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It's a bike yoga move, but'll help you be able to turn around fully while steering straight.

- Front hand on the correct side of the bar (Right hand on right side, to look over left shoulder)
- Lift slightly out of saddle and stand, with pedals horizontal
- Back hand on back of saddle
- Fully twist torso, neck and head, looking backwards
- Slightly lift inside foot to stretch and turn around.
- Invert and repeat.
 

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First, it's important to understand how single track vehicles turn. It's the opposite of 4 wheeled vehicles. In your car when you want to turn left, you turn the wheel to the left. On a 2 wheeled vehicle when you want to turn left, you turn the bars to the right. OK, OK, I know you don't believe me, so go to an empty parking lot somewhere and try this:

Ride in a straight line & build up some speed - maybe 13-15 mph. Looking straight ahead, gently push forward on the left bar. What happened? You turned left. When you push on the right bar, you go right. The easiest way to remember this is "push left to go left - push right to go right." In effect what's happening here is that you're turning the handlebars in the opposite direction from your intended turn. This is called counter steering. I can explain exactly why this is so, but this post is already too long.

When you look behind you the powerful eye-hand coordination comes into play. You tend to go where you're looking. When you look to the left, that's where your bike will go. Same thing to the right. You have to counteract that powerful force. Many above have said to take your left hand off the bar prior to looking. Good idea! What that actually does is as you turn your head/torso to the left, your right hand will automatically give a little push forward on the right side of the bar. Sitting in your chair, you can check this out. Put your hands in front of you as if you were grasping the bars., Now rotate your head and torso to youe left and look over your shoulder. Pay attention to what your hands do while doing this. See how your right hand pushes forward a little? When your right hand pushes forward where do you go? Exactly! To your right. This counteracts the tendency to swerve to the left when your head and eyes go to the left.

Next time you're riding practice this a couple of times, both to the left & the right. Be aware of what your hands, eyes and head are doing. Putting the hand that will remain on the bars near the stem will reduce the leverage that it has, thereby lessening the effect. IMO, this is a good idea, especially when you're just starting out.

Lemme know how it works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
which way to turn?

Thanks for all the help. I'll start practicing the methods mentioned. Another question. Which way should I be turning around if I'm riding on the side of the road with traffic. Should I turn toward the center of the road or the outside? Typically I turn toward the center.

Thanks,

Marc
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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Whatever way is most comfortable. I usually turn to the right because if i do swerve, i will swerve off the road and not into traffic. That's good incentive to not screw up, too. In races, it's both directions.

I learned by riding on the white line on the side of the road (by the shoulder) and also on the local bike path on the yellow line. Turn around, turn back, and make sure you didn't swerve.
 

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I would suggest turning toward the center of the road.

Living in the states, I learned to turn to the left (towards the center of the road). It always worked for me, I never questioned it.

However, when I moved abroad to a country that drives on the left side of the road, I still turned to the left. Because cars are generally coming up on my right now, turning left doesn't give me a very good view, I can see more of the side of the road than any cars that are coming. It still works but I don't have nearly as clear of a view. I think turning towards the center of the road allows a much better view.
 

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Another way to do this is keep your right hand near the stem, this eliminates the leverage effect if your hand happens to move while holding the outside of the bar. Small movements are at least tolerated here. Now take your left arm and point it straight behind you. When you turn your head you follow the site line down your arm towards where you want to see.

I know this may seem odd but I read this a very long time ago and used this method myself with great success. For some reason when you point where you want to look you are less likely to veer off in another direction.

But of course use any of the methods listed as long as the work for you.
 
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