PROBLEM: Uh oh, you misjudged a turn on your bicycle and realize you’re going too fast!
SOLUTION: This could be bad. If it’s a right turn, your speed could carry you into the opposite traffic lane. If it’s a left turn, you could sail off the road or into a curb or guardrail.
The first instinct, of course, is to grab the brakes. Usually, this only makes things worse. Braking will straighten the bike’s line and may send you directly into those things you’d prefer not to see up close and personal. Or, it could skid your wheels and cause them to slide out from under you.
Instead, stay off the brakes and carve a tighter turn. The key is to stand real hard on your outside pedal (which is at the bottom of the pedal circle) and push the handlebar down with your inside arm. As the bike angles over, keep your body low and fairly vertical.
Using this technique, you’re likely to make it. But if you don’t, your crash will be a sliding one. That’s no fun — but it’s better than sailing across the road and hitting something head-on.
Now go practice in a large empty parking lot. Turn left and right, using lines and other markings as make-believe corners. You don’t need to ride fast to work on this technique. You could also practice on a smooth grassy field (soccer is good for something) — more forgiving if you should slip down.
READ MORE: Learn to Countersteer on Your Bike
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