My third observed ride today, and another 8:30am start at the Steading. On the ride up to Hillend on the bypass, there were strong gusty crosswinds, and I was having trouble staying safely up to speed. I was a little frustrated with the weather, as I wanted to really focus on making good progress on this ride with Alan.
This run was a long one, nothing particularly challenging on it, but lots of opportunity to ride at speed, and get some feedback on how I’m using the system while making a good pace.
I like this diagram to explain the system:
The System (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration) describes the approach to dealing with a hazard: gather information early (and continue doing so throughout), make use of the information to form a plan, and communicate to other road users; be in the right place on the road, at the right speed, in the right gear to keep the bike responsive, and finally accelerate back to a good place after you’re clear from the hazard.
I rode faster today, despite the crosswinds at times on the A68, and felt like I was more relaxed, that observing further ahead was more natural. But it’s still not flowing naturally at speed – I had to brake slightly a couple of times, when a little more planning would have had me at the right speed earlier.
We stopped in Musselburgh for coffee and a chat at the end. Some great feedback from Alan again – mostly just good reminders of things I know I need to practice, practice and practice again – but also a couple of things I didn’t know: tips on handling roundabouts when there is no traffic about, for example.
After the ride, I caught up with Veronica in Leith, to help out with the swan ringing. This is one of the cygnets we’re been observing on the shore since they were eggs. Nice to see someone I’ve been observing graduate :).