Where to practice?

Talking to some folks and we’d like to get together as a little group and improve our skills. Specifically cornering and eventually descending. But cornering first.
Where would you go in Melbourne, north if possible, to practice?

Roadie? Dirt? Fixed?


In my experience your skills improve most when racing. That might not be of interest but I’d seriously encourage you to give it some thought. It’s not as intimidating as one thinks and can be really fun. Other than that just ride the hills and practise cornering and stuff.

But maybe this is not what you had in mind.

IT’s what I have in mind. I suppose what I’m looking for is where you may go (geographically) to practice in a safe environment? Looking at Thomastown Crit circuit or similar - low/no weekend traffic, good visibility, good surface, corners or varying radii.

do you know the theory behind it all?

also, Lake Mountain would be a good spot if you had a car to get there? dunno how quiet it is on the weekend, but it’s always been quiet when I’ve been out there.

I’d be headed to the hawthorn crit circuit and be giving that a go too. Good practise for cornering

Further from HMC’s comments, and Rolly’s on theory - racing is great for skills/confidence and I’ll add that these are best learned in a group with someone who’s a good teacher. Joining a club can help with all that, especially if the club puts on regular bunch rides and skills classes.

Not convenient but there is an “off road” road training circuit in Geelong. It’s a closed circuit designed to practice cornering.

Another vote for joining a club. Em (the better half) joined a tri-training group to learn the tips and tricks of road cycling. She is much more confident on the road now.

I’ve been putting a fair bit of effort into my MTB skills lately. To help, I asked a bunch of people I know that are good riders for advice and some theory. It really helped me. I was making some fundamental mistakes and they became very obvious very quickly.

So I read stuff and listened to advice and it helped a lot. I also ride with a group every week and – now that I can keep up better – I’m learning even more. For road riding, I reckon racing would be a great way to do it. The bunch part of it makes it so much easier to learn by example.

IMHO This video was one of the best for conveying the basic principles of cornering (on dirt). Obviously the corners are tighter and speeds lower but the same basic principles apply to road too – Braking before the corner,head up, looking through the corner, steering with your hips, outside foot down and angling the bike (to put weight through the tyre).

And I think their suggestion of practicing on a wide piece of flat off-road tarmac (eg a school ground) for practicing technique is spot on too.

But at the end of the day you should only ride within your limits. The dudes I know who have come off at high speed when descending on the road have had serious injuries as a result (inc head injuries). Sometimes its not worth the risk.