How not to endo your bike

To “endo” is slang for flipping over your handlebars, very rarely is this intended or fun. I taught a brief safety & handling course at Tesseract School in Phoenix today. It’s a private high school that’s put aside regular classes this week and tasked all teachers with starting a club. A teacher that just moved here from Portland decided to start a bike club and asked local organizations to come in and talk about bike related topics. Karmaracer visited this morning to do hands on bike tuneups, and I visited on behalf of TBAG in the afternoon for a safety/handling course. By the end of the week the kids will have gone on a 40 mile ride and should be well equipped to become safe and skilled bicyclists.

After presenting the League of American Bicyclists “Need To Know” materials in the classroom, we moved out to the parking lot for some handling drills. Things went great overall, but we did have one hiccup while practicing the Quick Stop drill. The Quick Stop maneuver is not an ordinary stop, it involves bracing ones feet against slightly kicked back pedals, shifting your weight (read “ass”) over the rear tire, and making heavier use of the front brake than during a normal stop. All these steps combined allow one to stop a bicycle much faster than a normal stop would permit. One student unfortunately combined too much front brake with not enough rearward weight shift resulting in an endo. Fortunately he was not hurt, but it was a perfect “teachable moment” to get across to the students that, you MUST practice these maneuvers and make them second nature/instinct for them to be successful. If you have to think about what to do to avoid an accident, it’s already too late, you’ve t-boned (or endo’d onto the hood of) the car that just pulled into your path or whatever the situation may be.

Want to learn how to perform a Quick Stop? Attend TS101 on Feb 20th, 2010.