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Descending 101- The Very Essence Of Descending On A Bicycle!

Updated on June 29, 2013

This information is not to encourage you to ride faster.

The tips are provided for safety - not speed.

At any speed these often excluded tips are very important.

The information on this page is the most important information on descending steep, fast, and technical descents while riding a "road" bike.

I have read articles of descending. I’ve painfully watched videos of descending by authorities the cycling community trusts.

Lives are at stake, really. I feel that it is imperative that my words be heeded.

And – the true essence of descending has not been written or spoken to my knowledge. Perhaps I’ve not searched far enough. But, I have not seen my words of this “essence” on the internet or in any documentation whatsoever.

There is more information available that is valuable.

Most is secondary to what you will read here.

Please do a search and find as much information possible for safety.

"A" Universal Rule!

Never, ever do anything you don’t feel good about!

This is great advice on and off the bike.

You cannot exceed your speed limit. You cannot “take a chance”. When you begin to enter the realm of “not knowing”, guessing, hoping, and fearing- you’re beginning to fail.

Another "GIVEN" rule of descending and cornering is:

In a curve- ALWAYS have the outside pedal down and the inside pedal up!

Do not put a pedal down to the inside in a curve!

Do not put a pedal down on the side on which you are leaning.

You can see that my short fingers are extended.
You can see that my short fingers are extended.

The “essence” of descending is:

Firstly- assuming your brakes and brake pads are in working order, adjust your brakes so that-

when you are in the “hooks” of the road-racing-riding handle-bar, you should be able to wrap your index finger and the next finger on the brake lever with the top joint on the front of the lever.

For a large hand, this may not have much relevance.

Notice the very thin gap between brake pad and rim.
Notice the very thin gap between brake pad and rim.

For small hands or short fingers, this is life and death, quite literally.

Adjust those brakes so that when your fingers are in that position, the brake pads are very close to the rim but not touching.

Descend with hands on the levers - in the "hooks".
Descend with hands on the levers - in the "hooks".

This is the relaxed and FUNCTIONAL position.

I would suggest that short fingered people "Do not allow your brakes to be adjusted fully tight."

A small hand would have to reach out to pull the lever inward. That would not be control.

Some will instruct riders to use only the rear brake. Well, I’m sorry, but there are some places where you might use not, only the two brakes that your bike is equipped with, but also the bottoms of your shoes.

For safety, "stay in the “hooks”!

Pull both brake levers in so that the crooks of the fingers are as described. Apply both brakes but usually more with the rear.

When you need to slow your bike down- you need to be very fluent in both of the brakes.

Some instructors will say that you should brake before the turn and not during. Nope. You are in the hooks. The top joints of the two long fingers are on the lever and the levers are drawn toward the rim or maybe slightly slowing the rims down. This continued “hold” on your equipment with proper posture will give you the best chance for safe riding.

The front brake is the most powerful.

Your weight actually works more in your favor to stop. This I learned at Ed Salley’s motorcycle shop.

One reason that avoiding the front brake is suggested in some situations is the possibility of doing an “endo” and going over the handle-bars. And- thus, the need for sliding your rear to the rear.

It is very possible to lock that front wheel up and doing so will take your steering.

Another reason to use the front brake very carefully or to avoid the front brake, particularly, is that you lose steering.

As long as the front wheel is turning, you have some steering. If you lock either wheel, you can skid out of control.

Example: Thanksgiving decades ago, a few of us were descending down from Craggy Gardens near Asheville. The Blue Ridge Parkway is often closed for repairs or weather. This happens a lot in the winter. We had gone around a closed barrier as runners and cyclists often do. We climbed to Craggy and were heading home. We weren’t expecting anything on the road. We had the road to ourselves. We were riding three across. I was in the middle. We had an okay speed, maybe around 40. The Parkway isn’t over 9% anywhere. A motorcyclist had done what we did and was turning into the Craggy picnic area which is several miles down from Craggy. The problem is – he stopped on the center line! One rider went to the left. One rider went to the right. I was locking the brakes up heading straight for the motorcycle. I could feel some ribs breaking in my immediate future. Right at the perfect moment – I let that front brake go and went to the left of the motorcycle. A clean pair of shorts and all was good.

But- the bottom line, real deal here was –

              I needed my front and my rear brake

                                                                             and I needed to let them go.

No! Not for dangerous descents. No!
No! Not for dangerous descents. No!

For the safest body position for descending technical curves– put your hands in those “hooks”, not on top of the levers and lever hoods.

Many riders can do many things so well with their hands on top of the levers and lever hoods. Many people ride in groups and race criteriums (races usually “downtown” around city blocks) with their hands on top instead of in the “hooks”. I surely cannot teach this as the safest position for the hands.

Come to terms with "feathering your brakes".

You'd like to be smooth.

Sporadic riding can always be negative, for you or the rider behind you.

You would rather "brake steadily".

When your original plan falls apart, you might better try braking and making an exit.

Yes! For steep, treacherous descents. Yes!
Yes! For steep, treacherous descents. Yes!

For the dangerous technical descents, stay in those “hooks”like the picture above. Levers are drawn in.

This position will allow you to-

Push your butt back off the saddle when necessary.

This is not “if” necessary. This is necessary.

If you ride downhill descents with curves, this is extremely necessary.

Now – to avoid going over the handlebars, to avoid that “endo”, push your butt back toward the rear of the saddle and it is not out of the question to push your butt off the back of that seat. Indeed. A good mountain-bike rider knows, right off, that terrain can be so steep that it’s easy to “endo”. I’ve certainly done more “endos” mountain-biking. But,the terrain changes very fast and often with mountain-biking.

Putting your butt to the rear can help lower your center of gravity.

But also, if you were to hit something in the road, you most likely will fair better with your butt back and a firm grip in the “hooks”.

There are places that seem like great places to relax. We need to gravitate toward a relaxed mindset, but while descending be ready to change your mind. Be ready to slide back and brace.

Holes in roads can be obscured and take your hands off the bars. The Blue Ridge Parkway will surprise you quite a bit.

Sean Kelly descending del Poggio.
Sean Kelly descending del Poggio.

Sean Kelly, the Irishman and one of the most feared sprinters ever, wins Milan-San Remo with THE WAY TO DESCEND.

You can see the saddle protruding at the rear.
You can see the saddle protruding at the rear.

Sean Kelly in 1992 was the oldest cyclist racing professionally on "the" circuit.

You can see this brave Irishman's feat in the video below.

Kelly really begins his push and descent around the 4 minute mark.

At exactly 4 minutes and 28 seconds you will see Kelly push backward on his saddle.

1992 Milan-San Remo

Watch the video!

Notice the position of the hands.

Notice the position of Sean Kelly's body.

Notice the position of Sean Kelly's butt.

Notice the saddle protrude to the rear.

Sean has slid back and his butt obscures the saddle.
Sean has slid back and his butt obscures the saddle.

You will see, in the video, Sean Kelly slide his butt rearward.

The picture above now shows Kelly's seat is hidden.

Yes, Sean slid his body and butt back.

The right pedal is up for a turn, and lean, to Kelly's right.
The right pedal is up for a turn, and lean, to Kelly's right.

No mistake about the hands in the "hooks".

No mistake about the "disappearing saddle".

Sean Kelly did a lot of things to put himself in the position to win.

But do not deny that-

                   Sean Kelly won this race because he knows how to descend!

Notice Moreno Argentine.

Moreno is sitting upright.

His hands may be in their proper place, but his profile is too erect.

Moreno Argentine is one of the great all-time bicycle racers!


Morino Argentine is sitting higher.

He has a higher center of gravity.

Moreno Argentine is a very accomplished racer.

He's won the world championship and so many races.

Morino plays this one wrong.

Milano-San Remo 2010
Milano-San Remo 2010

Here is another Milan-San Remo but recent.

Notice the posture.

He may have been doing several things wrong at once.

Sitting upright is certainly one of the wrong things he did.

And this neglect can attribute to the other wrong things.

If this rider had not used his brakes IN THIS TURN, he would have hit the wall.

And some instructions say, "Brake before the curve, not in the curve."

I'm sorry. The advice of not braking in a curve is nonsense.

I see no need for this rider to go into and over that wall.

Milano-San Remo 2010
Milano-San Remo 2010

The rider is too tall in the saddle.

The higher you are,

                               the higher the center of gravity -

                                                                                    the easier it is to CRASH!

Milano-San Remo 2010
Milano-San Remo 2010

It is my opinion that all these riders are sitting too high and what has gotten them here is more speed and power than descending skills.

At 64 years of age - I would bet money I could out-descend some of these pros.

This is not a "boast".It's just what is.

I'm short, I'm ugly, I'm broke... I'm a lot of things.

But I have already out-descended pros.

And I can do it again.

Unless -

they take my advice!

Bicycle Descending Roan Mountain North Carolina

The video above is safe. I filmed this descent with a hand-held digital camera which you cannot do and go fast. The video does not contain the first 2.5 miles which are the most dangerous.

I invented the Roan Moan bike ride that is an annual event and the biggest fund raiser for the Bakersville Fire Department.

The descent was dangerous, enough so, that my friend Tony Atkins crashed and injuries including of an inner ear imbalance gave him trouble for well over a year.

I started painting "skull & cross-bones" and painted "warning" in curves all over that area.

I've done the same in places like Charleston, SC where riders have fallen over angled railroad tracks.

There are dangerous tracks, no longer used that should be taken up. Such is the case in Asheville, NC on River Road.

This is dangerous business.

When we can make things safer for others -

let's do it.

The essence of descending in the rain is,

the same as all of the above except, and this is a little tricky:

adjust brakes so that you can do all the above, plus, adjust the brakes so that the quick release is open as if you were removing the rear wheel. I like my brakes exactly like this. Otherwise a rider could stop somewhere and make that adjustment on the brakes with the adjustment barrels. The rider would have to stop in order to maintain safety while adjusting this adjusting barrel. This is assuming a person could stop.

The worst rain for skids may be the light rain. Brakes are still strong but surfaces are too slick.

Trust what I tell you: There are too many places that when there is a hard rain – your brakes can seem to completely fail.

I will give you only two examples. This is not speculation from calculations or hearsay. This is absolutely fact and I proved it and lived through it.

(1) The descents or Roan Mountain in North Carolina and Tennessee are classic examples. Roan is shared by both states.

The descent is not terribly steep but it rains so hard that you can, too easily, RUN OUT OF BRAKES. I have locked down on my brakes with a tighter grip than I would have thought possible. And still- I was gaining on a pick-up truck. I was pretty concerned. My butt cheeks had a firm grip on the seat. What I feel really “saved” me (from a spill or bumper) was that the road would straighten up enough so that the truck could speed up.

(2) Another example is a mountain of private homes near Burnsville, NC. Mountain Air is a private development where some of the temporary residents crash their airplanes occasionally. The highest elevation doesn’t really matter as you can have a steep road without the elevation. Suffice to say, it fogs over quite a bit. But it’s all a moot point because you can no longer take a “non-motorized” vehicle up to the top. I was able to ride up there years ago on my bike. A friend has a place up top. So, it’s a really hard struggle to get up there. But coming down is really tricky.

On a DRY DAY, that road is so steep, that brakes seem to fail completely. Going slowly, with my brakes as tight as I could pull, I could not come to a complete stop and I was over on the opposite side of the road. I could certainly see how a cyclist could go right off an edge and to an ugly demise upon reaching the bottom. On this mountain, a motorcycle would have an advantage because the motor could slow the machine down.

I am very sure that a cyclist, on a dry day or certainly on a wet day, went down and down.

I could tell of a terrible accident down Coxes Creek near Burnsville, NC. I could tell you of an absolute horrible accident off of Paint Paint Gap (Paint Fork Community, there are two in the same area).

For many folks, a response to downhill instruction is: “I don’t want to go downhill fast!”

There is absolutely no way to prepare for all that can happen,

including, but not limited to: deer, cows, dogs, groundhogs, and many other fauna.

I have seen oil - right down the middle of a road. Apparently a truck driver had a barrel to overturn. You cannot see it all.

My reply is, “Don’t!” Cycling is a dangerous sport.

Fast speed and curves are dangerous. Get off the bike and walk or call a cab.

There are other concepts to consider and hold dearly. Apexing is merely swinging wide and straightening out the curve in your terms. Holding your knee out and down in a curve has little to do with anything. It's used by motorcycle racing to hold some curves. It's comfortable. There should be no real focus on holding your knee out like Kenny Roberts (right-who's he?
) If you intend on dragging a knee - go ahead and plan on dragging yoour buut on the pavement too. Some "engineers will give you the angle of the dangle in which yoou might fall down and go boom. Don't find out.

But- master these techniques on this page before you master, leaning, the degrees of leaning, apexing, etc.

What I’m saying is,

“However slow, you want to go, this is still your best instruction.”

Let's be careful out there!

Happy trails,

~Micky Dee~

Thanks to Chris for taking the pics on our Wednesday ride to Cup-O-Joes.
Thanks to Chris for taking the pics on our Wednesday ride to Cup-O-Joes.


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    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 

      3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      My man... I was just checking in on you; awesome hub. Great practical advice.

      You know, I know Lance Armstrong is a disgrace in so many ways but I always felt that EPO or whatever doesn't provide the nerve to race down a mountain in France at those speeds. That technical ability and bravado in it's own way is more difficult than an ascent. Sure, the Alpe d'huez is a thigh burner but there is no danger. Coming dow though is white knuckle time and that is for the elite only.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      5 years ago from Great Britain

      I enjoyed reading this. again. It is great to see pics of you too.

      Great hub. Micky

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There's a whole lot of great info in this hub. I'm glad I came across it.

      Before I descend anything fast, I always ride the descend slow so I know where every potential road hazard could be.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hi tritrain. there are too many mountains that are thrills but the speeds aren't that fast. I know you know. Even 30 can be a lot for some spots. Even less. But I have hit 61.5 miles an hour with a good speedometer. I figure if I saw 61.5 I may have actually hit 62. It didn't have a maximum speed function.

      Another rider had hit 60 mph I'm very sure. Art Shuster was a much better rider than I - still is. He's coach now for the Warren Wilson College mountain bike team. The place is Coxes Creek near Burnsville, NC. There is another place that is called Coxes Creek near there not to be confused with. That Coxes Creek is also 226 toward Marion, NC. But the 60 mph hill is the Coxes Creek off of Jacks Creek Road and Cane River Rd. or 19W. It's 13, 17 grades and even tips 21% in a spot I think, just for a second. But it 1.9 miles from the river to the top. 1.7 miles of that is real steep. The problem with that hill is- when you can reach that top speed, whatever it would be, there is a curve there. It isn't crazy bad but it can hide stuff like deer and dogs in the road.

      The worst part of that hill may be at the very bottom. A lady with through the T intersection and really hurt herself. The stop sign was often obscured by a tree at the stop sign. There isn't much warning and even if you have ridden down there before- it is bad dangerous.

      Anyway - as you know, there isn't any money in it.

      Thank you for commenting!

    • tritrain profile image

      And Drewson 

      7 years ago from United States

      Very nice job!

      During the RAGBRAI I topped out above 50 MPH on a long, steep hill. It was exhilarating!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hi Denizee. God bless you dear Denizee. You can see I love this cycling stuff. It is dangerous though.

      Oh Freya. I wish we could ride together. My bike is more to me than a car. I do love cycling so. You be careful dear Freya. I love you dear one.

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      7 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Ouch! I never know biking technique can be so hard! All I did just roll.... and fall! LOl. Poor butt! Hehehe

      I will try to remember next time I can have my bike again because my dad steal it from me! Literary! He sold that old bike and bought new one, then biking every morning and evening. Not allowing me to touch that new one which practically is mine. LOL.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful Hub written with the passion of your sport with others' safety in mind as well as much more valuable information for every cyclist to have at hand by your effort to teach them via your writing. Adrenaline rush appreciated - voted up!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless the BlissfulWriter! And the blissful rider!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent Hub. I've read every word of it. And people who ride bikes should too.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo bro 50 Caliber. I wore myself out of the bike today and all I could manage to do when I got back was to lie down on the floor and try to sleep. I was hoping some of the brain cells I killed today would be replaced after a while but no luck. If my brain was a hotel - I wouldn't even have a lobby. Bathroom would be about it.

      Yes sir 50 brother man, "you push forward on the right grip- it puts you in a right lean- and the bicycle travels right when one would think you would be causing the front wheel to go left".

      We don't think about it. I don't at all. It's just natural.

      Of course you could say pulling up on the left as you push forward with the right- and the other way around.

      Of course when we're traveling really slow in a parking lot, almost "trials slow", or track-stand slow, we turn the bars. Almost immediately in gaining any speed, we're leaning.

      I used my technique today. Of course we could call my technique Sean Kelly's technique, or Steve Baur's technique. Steve Bauer nails that same technique and firmly believes in not putting hands in the center of handle-bars on a technical descent. Of course tri-athlete bars should be left out of mountains if possible.

      But today,my "nused" GPS that I purchased on credit from Jose's back seat bicycle company. Jose got a new one so I bought his old. So we had hills today. For 60 miles we had 2200 feet of elevation gain- according to the GPS.

      But I was playing around out front on Corbetts Ridge and the guys behind me made a left turn. I was way off the back now. So I see them climbing a hill as I'm coming down one. A big dog came out behind them. Then he saw me. Well- I just slid my butt back behind the seat and went straight toward him. Of course the dog was as confused as a wife's boy friend being introduced to the husband.

      I went straight toward him and he knew I was too crazy to fool with. I would have bit him if I had to!

      Yo Dusty brother man - I love you brother Vet!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Mic' I meant to ask, when cornering on a decent do you turn the front wheel , say right to follow the right turn or do you push steer? Meaning on a motorcycle, if you push forward on the right grip it puts you in a right lean and the scooter travels right when one would think you would be causing the front wheel to go left?

      I use the push method taught to me by a fellow flat track racer, when I make a high speed decent on a crooked mountain road, It seems to keep tension on the steer and eliminate the chance of a knee slapping wobble in the front wheel that often ends badly.

      I also see that since brakes have come so far in strength that cafe bikes are learning to apply the front hard enough to raise the rear wheel off the ground, in a back wards wheel stand. It is fun to watch, but I'll not go there. An acquaintance was doing this with his wife on the back and flipped it over driving her head and helmet into the pavement so hard it split her helmet and broke her neck, she died of her brain swelling in her scull before surgeons could remove a portion of the skull to give relief. It was a sad day. The new brakes supply 70% of the bikes stopping power. Doing riding stunts with a passenger is unfair to the passenger as they have no control. He was rightly charged with reckless endangerment and pleaded guilty. A ten year prison sentence, suspended, his Motorcycle license suspended for 10 years federally and he was a Deputy Sheriff and lost his job due to a felony conviction. Her family was outraged that he was given time served and released. I don't know what was right in that case, I do know he'll live with the memory for the rest of his life., Peace, dust

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo Amy. I surely don't take "enhancing drugs" or anything. The worst I do is drink the energy drinks - on the rides only. I'm mostly veggie. Some fish occasionally. I've kept good practices and I finesse my rides more than muscle them. I want my body to serve a benevolent God. Thank you dear Amy.

      Yo bro 50 Caliber! I used my front brake a lot with my motorsickle. It can be tricky in some sand, water, oil as you know. Motorcycles are a little different. Of course some cafe racers "lean" toward my approach with their body placement. It's easier to compare a cafe racer with a "chopper". Choppers are long drawn out and don't handle well. Of course the riders are leaning back. Yes sir bud. And I wouldn't want to race you downhill with anything. God bless!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Mic' good stuff, I ride almost exclusively with my front brakes only, (Motorcycle) but descending is much the same, don't bet your life on fronts only. My 49 has no front. It's a good slow and correct then faster and practice. voted up!

      Love that cup and saucer, with pinkey out, too cool, Peace and Love Bro', 50

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Really vital information for the avid bicyclists, Micky. I love the photos! I know this is great exercise and cyclists appear to be in great physical health. My concern is with those on the bike a profound amount of time; as in Lance Armstrong. I don't think his illness is an oddity. Be careful, Micky Dee!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Yo funride! Let's do it all right brother man!

      Hang in there with me Rebecca. God bless you dear!

      acaetnna it's all an illusion dear one. God bless.

      Genna East- we'd better keep our helmets on. I've wrecked way too much. God bless you dear.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      People may chuckle about checking brakes, but it is very important. One time, I had neglected to do so, and I went flying over a boulder at the bottom of a hill and ended up on my back staring at the sky after the wind was knocked out of me. (I was lucky.) Great hub Micky!!

    • acaetnna profile image


      7 years ago from Guildford

      Micky - even though I do not cycle I am always intrigued to read your hubs. You give so much amazing information accompanied by awesome pictures. Gosh you must be so very fit. Awesome as always!

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      well, you've got me hooked on a bike-- which is a good thing, but I am learning curves at teh moment, but this hub gives me hope!

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      7 years ago from Portugal

      Great advices as usual! Cycling is indeed a good source of fun, but only if done safely.

      Keep feeling good about it! ;)

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Ah Ruby. The bicycle is so wonderful isn't it?! Thank you dear. Let's ride.

      God bless crystolite!

      Yoyoyo! Pmccray! Good eye! Thank you dear one! You are such a delight!

    • pmccray profile image


      7 years ago from Utah

      I was scared just looking at the photos. You know you gotta love a guy that drinks a cup of Joe with pinky finger extended :)

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice hub,thanks

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      My bike is in the shed but soon i'll take it out and ride every day. I don't do long riding like you, but i sure enjoy the feel of a bike. The best part is the exercise. Great how to article Micky. Thank you.


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hi Bobbi! Yes ma'am, please be safe- and I certainly want people to go as slowly as makes them safe. People on bikes go faster and faster because it feels good. But good instruction helps. If you're keeping that low center pf gravity - you have the least chance of going over those bars.

      I love that old bike you're describing too. I've overhauled hundreds of those hubs )hubs?) and I've ridden those to the store many times.

      I guess there are some sidewalks and obstacles riding instructions could help. God bless you dear Bobbi!

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      I'm the kind of person who is not good at hand braking on a bike. Yeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaa! I'm used to the old fashioned foot pedal brakes so I'm the one who NEEDS a helmet because I go high flying over the handle bars. Good advice but I try to avoid big hills at all costs. Great hub.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless Eiddwen. I'm coming over to Eiddwen's World right now. God bless you dear heart!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      The only bike I have a connection with these days is our Honda SuperBlackbird !!!

      Even so I still enjoyed this one.

      A great read and compined with perfect pictures was a work of art !!!!

      Thanks for sharing Micky,

      Take care


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hey Dim. Don't you hurt yourself dear one.

      Let's "stay within our limits and skills". God bless you brother man.

      Let's get down zzron.

      Yo Paraglider, I've been disappointed with my "handful" of brakes a6t times too. Let's be careful out there.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Fantastic advice, Micky, all from real experience - the best kind. I learned a hard lesson once: I'd got into the habit of changing only the inners of my brake cables but never the outers (trying to save pennies!) Then one day on a steep long downhill suddenly I couldn't slow the bike down however hard I squeezed, because after a certain force all I was doing was compressing the old outers. Quite a frightening feeling!

    • zzron profile image


      7 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Cool post brother. That's what I call gettin down with your bad self! LOL.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hey Brother Micky D. I am grateful for the personal instruction you gave me on descending several years ago. This is an excellent hub. 4 years ago I crashed descending Schull's Mill road from the parkway. I have since been using your techniques with no more crashes. For me the lower center of gravity by being in the hooks was the key (along with staying within myself and skills). God bless bro!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      This was brilliant and so kind, Micky. If people take to heart all your helpful intructions, I´m sure they´ll be much safer. Personally it would be a disaster waiting to happen if I tried to ride a bicycle now, but this is a great hub for many people.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you dear Pamela. There's a lot of info here. This hub could be another 3 pages or so though. This is what I do until God calls me home or to do something else.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Mickey, Thank you given some great instructions for safety while riding. Unfortunately I don't do any long distance riding but it really does look exciting and I enjoyed your hub particularly the video that you found yourself.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You'll do find Fay. Just slow her down dear. The emphasis here is brake set up for small hands, the best body geometry, etc. for safety. If we're slow enough, we can be pretty safe.

      Viet Vet- I bet your legs would like some of this.

      Yo Mentalist acer. We have to keep that outside leg down and the inside up.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      I've learned outside leg down in the curve without dissention.;)

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      7 years ago from New York State

      Very informative hub Micky, too bad these old legs can't do that anymore.

      God Bless Brother Man

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      After reading this comprehensive hub on cycling, and watching the videos, I'm feeling like I need to put my training wheels back on my bike or get a tricycle. Excellent hub, Micky.



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