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An 'ode' to counter-steering(4 posts)

An 'ode' to counter-steeringPaulCL
Jun 1, 2002 11:04 AM
I was flying down an unfamiliar hill yesterday. At the bottom of the hill, I hit a sharp turn to the left. I guess I should have seen it coming since there was a sign at the top of the hill that stated: "SLOW DOWN - or become an ACCIDENT STATISTIC". Also, the 20mph sign and those yellow caution arrow signs at the bottom should have been a clue.

Oh well...I hit the turn at 40mph (according to my computer read AFTER the turn). On instinct, I tucked my left knee onto my top tube and pushed hard with my right leg then leaned into the turn. I made it out alive. Pretty cool.

I spent a week last summer in Colorado at the Carpenter-Phinney Bikecamp ( and learned counter-steering. The technique saved my butt on a 50mph decent out of the mountains, and saved it yesterday. If you ever get a chance to get a copy of Davis and Connie's book, then read the section on countersteering. It allows a rider to take a turn or a series of turns much faster. Or in my case, leaves all of my skin ON my body. Paul
re: An 'ode' to counter-steeringDougSloan
Jun 1, 2002 11:57 AM
I was preaching that about a year ago and a few people just could not get it. Can't deny reality, though. Most people probably do it without even knowing it.

re: An 'ode' to counter-steeringAkirasho
Jun 1, 2002 1:31 PM
... according to several aerodynamic models and simulations... a common honey bee cannot fly... counter steer is a subtle yet definitive constant of physics with respect to two wheeled, human powered tooling... go figure.
re: An 'ode' to counter-steeringrwbadley
Jun 1, 2002 9:16 PM
As a long time motorcyclist, I can vouch for countersteering and could not imagine being able to corner without it.

The practice takes effect above a certain speed.
Steer left to go right would seem counterintuitive, but the pressure on the bar forces the bike into a lean, that is how we get around the corners.
This is usually best done by pushing the bar on one side of the stem, and pulling on the other.
A loaded MC with passenger will 'just not corner' without it, and same with the bicycle.