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Stopping at red light(19 posts)

Stopping at red lightWil
Aug 28, 2001 8:17 AM
I'm a newbie, first of all. Anyway, I stopped at a red light, uncliipped one look cleat and placed one foot on the ground to wait for the light to change. Then this dude also on a road bike pulls up and just waits at the light without putting his foot down (making me look like a slack-ass). He just balanced there, like magically. Must have been like a minute. Is this something that every roadie picks up or do I have to practice keeping my balance while not in motion to mimic this?
Trackstandmike mcmahon
Aug 28, 2001 8:31 AM
It's called a trackstand because it's frequently used in competition by track (velodrome) racers. You may have seen trackies keep their bikes stationary for seconds or even minutes before starting a sprint. This technique is used at stops by some roadies. However, since the development of clipless pedals not as many riders seem to master trackstands, probably because getting in an out of toe-clips and straps was more of a pain. If you want to learn to trackstand, you should experiment on your driveway or some other out of the way place rather than trying it out on your rides. Falling over in traffic at an intersection is not only embarrassing, it can be dangerous. Good luck.
Aug 28, 2001 8:59 AM
I also have first hand knowledge that if you start to fall at a stoplight it is a good idea to fall away from the BMW that pulled up next to you... I didnt hurt his car just caught myself by putting my hand on his window, but you'd have thought I took his first born... i think he got over it...
At least the window was rolled up (nm)mike mcmahon
Aug 28, 2001 9:14 AM
Trackstand- Just use your KICKSTAND ! NMfiltersweep
Aug 28, 2001 4:39 PM
two words :: Training WheelsHamSammy
Aug 28, 2001 8:34 AM
Practice makes perfectMel Erickson
Aug 28, 2001 8:37 AM
I recommend you start on grass. First make sure you can unclip easily as you'll need to do this when first learning a track stand. Clip in and ride onto the grass and come to a stop. Turn your wheel (right or left, makes no difference, I turn right) as it makes balancing easier. I think looking straight ahead and focusing on something 25-30 feet ahead makes balancing easier. My most embarassing moment involved a track stand waiting for a stop light. Three lanes, left turn, straight and right turn lanes. I was in the right side of the straight lane and behind several cars with several behind me, waiting for the light. My skills failed me and I went over, still clipped in. Of course, the lights changed at that moment. Mad scramble ensued so I didn't get run over.
start on grass?!?doobie
Aug 28, 2001 9:06 AM
it makes the falling over easy and more fun! Plus if you can do a track stand on grass then it should be easy sober...uh..I mean sans grass.
You betMel Erickson
Aug 28, 2001 9:52 AM
Either you don't care if you fall or you fall on something softer, take your pick.
re: Stopping at red lightbadabill
Aug 28, 2001 9:10 AM
Trackstands are fun to master. After a while the thrill wears out. I might use them early in a ride but as the day wears down I just unclip and rest. They are great to impress the ladies though, Once in a group of 10 or so we surrounded 2 blonds in a convertable and all did stands waiting for the light to change. After all boys will be boys :-)
Another good trickMB1
Aug 28, 2001 8:51 AM
is for 2 riders to hold each other up at a stop without putting their feet down. Then just pedal away.

I've done this with maybe 15 riders or so. It makes a mess if you blow it. Riders falling everywhere.
Does it help to know the other...doobie
Aug 28, 2001 9:08 AM
rider? I try that sometimes and the guys (and usually always the girls) don't like it when I grope for them at the stop.
Try holding onto just the handlebars! nmMB1
Aug 28, 2001 9:56 AM
hey, was that you???? nmRusty McNasty
Aug 28, 2001 10:23 AM
more tips for trackstandDoothaBartman
Aug 28, 2001 10:08 AM
I too wanted to learn how to do this almost mysical feat after only hearing about it from a friend who saw a biker do it in New York. It took me about four hours spread over a few days to get the utmost basics of it down, and within two weeks I could keep one going for a minute or more.

I found the most important thing to realize is it's not a static pose. You're not a statue on the bike when you do a trackstand. You'll find it much easier to accomplish if you rely on pushing the bike forward a bit with one pedal or the other, then allowing the bike to drift back a bit by putting just enough pressure on the same pedal to control the drift. This is why people say to start learning on a slight incline. Once you get your balance down, it's simply a matter of pushing forward and drifting back an inch or two at a time.

In the begining, it's easy to feel as if holding the brakes in an iron grip will keep you in the same spot, but then it's way difficult to keep every ounce of your body poised perfectly. The most I could balance using my brakes was 5 or 6 seconds. Once I decided to try doing it without the brakes it became so much more fluid and enjoyable. With practice, you can get so used to it that you can just hang out on the corner in your neighborhood, in a constant trackstand, drawing quizical looks from all the people in cars as they realize you have both of your feet on the pedals and you've been like that the whole time they've been looking at you.

It's not too easy on a truly flat surface. Most roads will have an almost negligable crest in the middle where the painted lines are, and that's enough to turn your wheel in that direction and start the drift, but trying it on a patio or in your kitchen is way more difficult. I've never been able to do it facing downhill.

If you've got a mountain bike, try starting out with that and working on the basics. It's just easier with so much more contact area on the tires than trying to balance on something as precise as a road bike.

Hope this helps, trackstands are fun.
why bike messengers make it look easyRusty McNasty
Aug 28, 2001 10:25 AM
they are riding FIXED GEAR bikes! They pedal back and forth, and the bike does the same.
one more tip: use front brake only -NMTig
Aug 28, 2001 10:53 AM
Thanks, I will be practicing!!!Wil
Aug 28, 2001 10:35 AM
Trackstand on tandemVlad the Impaler
Aug 28, 2001 7:02 PM
I saw a couple do a trackstand on a tandem for about 30 seconds at a traffic light. It blew me away. The woman on the backseat stayed seated and didn't appear to move at all. The guy on the front was up standing but balancing with very little movement. Both had clipless pedals and were clipped in. Impressive.