Learning to Glide

Home Economics

I’ve ridden bicycles all of my life.  But a set of fortunate circumstances – including available time, beautiful weather, a first-rate bicycle and a good riding partner – have resulted in my spending more time and miles on two wheels lately than ever before.  With a good fifty years of riding behind me, I have learned only lately one technique that can reduce the amount of work required and also multiply the pleasure and thrill of riding.

I ride on rural roads in West Virginia and so my circuits are filled with ups and downs, some of them steep and some of them long.  You learn quickly to try and maximize your speed on the downhills so as to give yourself the best boost possible for the next, immediate uphill climb.  Until just recently, I did that by shifting into a high gear and pedaling like mad on the downhills.  That works, to some degree…

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