In two of my three races this year, I started in great position, but went into the corners too aggressively and hit the deck. It happened three or four times Saturday, causing me to finish in 32nd place. I plan to ride more conservatively -- and with lower tire pressure -- this weekend, but does anyone have any advice on how to better handle the turns? I manage to stay upright most of the time during weekday practices. Thanks.
My personal advice on cornering would be the new Flow-tonic video by Simon Lawton of Fluidride http://fluidride.com/learning-tools/. We had a couple of personal coaching sessions with him to improve my wife's cornering and the little changes have turning the widing sections of a course into a strength. We have both his videos and the second is almost all cornering focused.
Which one is the second? The flowtonic?
What tires are you running?
Do you practice a few sprints from the start line to the first couple of corners before you race? That's a great way to warm up and find out how those first few corners handle at speed.
Tubular Challenge Grifo 32s.
I've been pre-riding the course at about 1/2- or 3/4 speed. I'll definitely try that.
here are some good tips I've picked up, which have really helped me improve and carry speed through turns/chicanes:
1. pre-ride a course as much as possible so you can anticipate turns during the race, and try to do at least 1 hot lap and take turns at speed - soft pedaling during a course preview is fine as you warm-up and check things out, but your race-pace lines going into corners are going to be different. so pre-ride at speed if you have the chance. you probably know every turn at your weekday practices - anticipation is key and will help keep you upright.
2. a good "carving" turn starts with a good and well-timed countersteer, so practice and focus on countersteering if you don't already.
3. relax and try to avoid the "oh-shit-i-need-to-correct-my-line-mid-turn" feeling when letting it rip through a corner. a lot of the crashes i see happen when riders panic and grab a handful of brake in the turn, or just bail and let it run way wide instead of letting the bike carve a line. scrub speed before the turn, trust your tires (and know their limits), stay balanced, stay off the brakes and let the bike run it's line - if you set the turn up properly and you have traction, the bike will go where you want it to. corner with confidence.
Also, sound so simple, but look where you WANT to go -- you really have to discipline yourself on this one.
Don't just look 5 feet in front of you -- look where you want to go and you're bike will magically follow.
Same technique used in giant-slalom skiing, car racing, dirt bikes, you-name-it.
I need work in this area, too. What has been helping - look up, through the corner. I know, I tell my kids that all the time when driving. On the bike I need to keep looking up. Also I'm finding that slowing before the corner will allow you to roll through the corner better and get back at it sooner. I have a tendancy to overcook the corners. Picking the line, too, is big. Maybe you can't sweep the outside of the off-camber but jumping off and tossing your bike around the inside of the corner may be faster. Watched a guy do that last race and went "Oh, why didn't I think of that?"