>In a message dated 2/2/08 4:57:40 PM, email@example.com writes:
>> Suffice it to say that some people have better riding skills than
>> others and some bikes handle better than others.
>I would add that many people who ride no-hands haven't lost control of their
>bike after hitting a pothole (or speed bump) and incurred serious injuries.
>Once that happens, it changes your perspective on riding no-hands, riding
>without having a finger hooked around a brake hood or the handlebar,
>that you will always wear your helmet. I feel like this thread has
>been a lot
>like a bunch of 10 year olds saying "watch me, watch me". Lou Deeter,
I know more people who have crashed after hitting a pothole while having both hands on the bars than those who crashed while riding no-handed. In fact, a "firm grip" on the handlebars (also called "death grip") is a sign of poor riding skills. A bicycle should require only a light touch to direct, and it can be steered just by shifting one's weight. The fact that riding no-hands is illegal in many places (including WA state, where driving a car no-hands is _legal_) only shows how little lawmakers know about bicycles. (Show me a car you can steer by leaning!)
Far from a dangerous stunt, riding no hands is useful to put on a jacket (don't try doing this with one hand on the bars), to stretch, unwrap an energy bar, etc. Sure, you can pull off the road and stop to do these, too, and if you are not comfortable doing them while riding, I strongly recommend you do indeed pull off and stop.
I once passed a guy who seemed to have a very low riding position. I was pulling a trailer, and just as the trailer drew past, the guy swerved and hit the trailer. Fortunately, he stayed upright, and later caught up with me to explain that he was putting on his gloves while riding, so he was steering with his elbows. I think riding no-hands would have been safer.
A rider who has good bike control is less likely to crash. So while I do not encourage anybody to ride no-hands, race cyclo-cross, or ride on snow, I think all of these practices can enhance your bike control.
But perhaps it is time that this tread goes back to "how techniques have changed over the decades." I liked that one better.
Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com