Recently, two members of Handcycling Edinburgh, Neil and Ken, ventured out to Castle Semple to meet up Jane Egan, British Paratriathlete, for a spot of road training on out handbikes. We were also joined by David and Lewis of Ride 63 & Castle Semple, Clyde Muirshiel Park.
We started the day with a lively discussion over coffee and biscuits about what it’s like to ride on the road with a handbike and how it differs from riding an upright bike, as well as some of the important points to consider when manoeuvring around cars and working with factors including visibility, signalling, lane position and speed.
After venturing out to the bikes and going through our pre-ride checks, we cruised out to the car park and, amongst the cars in this quiet section, we revisited issues of safety and road position, paying particular attention to the visibility that we have as handcyclists, as well as how visible we are to drivers in cars. Then we planned our route though the lovely village of Lochwinnoch.
Once on the road went through a myriad of road positioning scenarios from proper positioning of the handcycles on approaches to corners and intersections as well as positioning through and leaving those same corners and intersections.
Added in for a dose of good measure was practice of the inevitably forgotten gearing setup to ensure that once we stopped, we could accelerate quickly and efficiently while blending in with the traffic. And what great traffic it was! There was no shortage of cars and truck to mingle amongst and, I must say, the drivers in Lochwinnoch were great to ride around, very friendly and courteous.
A great bonus was that the rain held off bar a few small sprinkles that just made the ride more fun. And the topper was some surprise training on how to handle horses on the roads, and I must say, it’s quite an experience to come across a horse when you’re less than a metre off the ground!
All in all it was a great day of training with some fine folks and I think that Neil and Ken picked up a lot of great tips on how to make riding in traffic not just safe, but fun.
Thanks to David for the photos and Jane for the great coaching. Thanks also to David and Clyde Muirshiel Park for the use of a handbike for the day.
I think Neil and Ken are definitely looking forward to our next training sessions. Check out our events page to see the upcoming training dates.