Ever ridden a bike with no brakes? The whole idea just scares me. I use my brakes quite a lot, probably too much when mountain biking but I’m sure most people like having brakes, right?  How important do you think this bike skill is?

How much do you know about your brakes and how to use them correctly?

  • which brake lever controls which wheel? Most bikes have the right hand to front brake and left hand to back brake set up. But please check.
  • back brake is for speed control, front brake is to stop. So lets think this through. When going down a hill to control the build up of speed you should gently pull on the back brake to slow you down. If at the bottom of the hill there is a stop sign you will need to gradually add the full front brake until you are brought to a smooth stop.
  • if a car suddenly backs out of a driveway in front of you how should you use your brakes? Apply the full force of your front brake with a little back brake while bracing with your arms – you will come to a sudden or emergency stop.

get better braking position 2 finger brake levers goRideget better braking bike brake levers goRide
Correct braking is a learned technique so don’t expect it to be perfect the first time you jump on your bike. Like all good things it may take a little time and patience on your part.

Now the goRide families are preparing for an adventurous ride. We are going to ride a part of the Tasman Great Taste Trail over 4 days and 3 nights! Yes biking and camping two great outdoor activities mixed together and commonly known as bike touring.

FitnessTo follow is the story of how we “got better” by learning a bike skill – braking – for our trip.

Isaac is 6yrs old and has been riding since he was 4yrs old (Isaacs story). He is the youngest child in the group and will be riding unassisted for the whole tour. His responsibility for this trip is to check our braking skills. We decided that learning to brake properly would be a really good bike skill to focus on for our trip because

  • we want to minimise any potential for accidents
  • it will give the kids basic knowledge of a core riding skill
  • make them think about how this skill may apply to an off road environment – dirt, sand, gravel and how this effects braking
  • keep the track in good condition so no skids

Recently we had some real fun at a local school playground with the kids and their bikes. We were playing games that were meant to improve their braking skills. Check out the video to see how successful you think we were! And heres the link to the details of the games we played – enjoy.

Playground braking games. 3 kids racing to line. goRidePlayground Braking Games.  Relay. goRide

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related goRide Resources:

Playground Braking Games – the video

Playground Braking Games – the instructions

goRide is a shared journey, so we would like you to assist in guiding it along. Contact goRide.  Your thoughts, comments or feedback are welcome. Thank you for being a part of the goRide way.