I'm a commuter; I mostly ride around the city to get to work, go shopping, visit friends, and stop by the pub. I have basic cycling skills down; proper mounting and dismounting, signaling turns, standing on my pedals to sprint up short hills, and so on. But I've seen some more advanced skills and tricks that I don't know how to do, such as bunny hops, track stands, and the like.

What advanced cycling skills are useful for a commuter or city rider, and how can I learn to do them? I'm interesting in things that are useful, not just showy, and interested in city riding, not mountain biking. For instance, learning to bunny hop might be useful for that one point where the curb cut to get back on the bike trail is half a block down from where the trail actually is.

For each trick or skill, describe it and how it's useful in the city, any limitations it might have (can only be done on a fixie or a mountain bike with front shocks, or should only be done when you have plenty of clearance on both sides, etc), and describe how to learn it, either directly in the answer or by referring to a good resource on learning it elsewhere.

  • How To Do a Track Stand
    – dotjoe
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 17:19
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    @dotjoe Feel free to write an answer describing what a track stand is and how and when it's useful, and link to that question for the description of how to learn it. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 17:28
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    A bit of related stuff here: What do you wish someone had told you before your first commute?
    – freiheit
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 18:03
  • How is your city for biking? Do you fear for your life when your wheels hit the street? What are normal car speeds? Is the terrain flat or hilly? Rough or paved?
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 19:42
  • @Jay My city is Boston; it's pretty bad for any form of transportation on the streets. Crazy drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, crazier streets. The only saving grace is that because the drivers and streets are so crazy, everyone is generally alert and paying attention to what's around them, and traffic isn't moving too fast. Not too much in the way of hills. But I'm curious about tips that will apply to any urban riding. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 21:40

14 Answers 14


Some important skills for commuters:

Looking directly behind you without turning.

This is a surprisingly difficult skill to master. When a rider looks directly backwards, it is common to turn in the direction they twisted their head. It takes a lot of practice to make resisting that turning automatic. The importance of looking behind you in traffic should be obvious.

Rapid countersteering

It is not uncommon to come up to an intersection when a vehicle in the crossing direction will come in front of you, and you will not have enough time or space to stop safely. Sometimes what is required is a countersteered* turn into the direction the crossing vehicle is traveling. This requires a quick turn of the handlebars in the opposite direction you want to turn, which will cause your center of gravity to rapidly swing to the side you want to be going. Returning the handlebars to turn in the direction you want to go completes the turn, and by doing so you can turn very rapidly with a very tight radius.

You might not be able to stop, but it can be preferable to make a sudden turn rather than crashing into something.

Stopping suddenly

Not many riders are highly skilled in using their brakes. Practice slamming on your brakes, especially using only the front, and get a feel for how much force it takes to get your back wheel off the ground. Practice to the point that when you are in a panic situation you don't simply clutch the levels with every ounce of strength, practice so modulating your brake power is a purely mechanical, automatic skill. Also practice stopping on sandy, wet, and icy surfaces.

Lesser but still important skills

  • Watching for people in parked cars that might open their door right in front of you while biking alongside them.
  • Recognizing when one of the common collision situations are upon you and how to respond defensively.
  • Riding on slippery surfaces.
  • Never stop at the stop line where 18 wheelers are turning, always stop a good distance behind so the truck has room to turn.
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    Nice answer! Maybe add a bit about lane positioning to avoid the door zone and right hooks?
    – freiheit
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 22:57
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    RE: Countersteering: Motorcyclists often practice this manouver, and call it "swerving". It turns out that without that training, riders often swerve the wrong way, making a near-miss in to a sure-hit. Safety classes teach "push left, go left". The weight of a motorcycle is so much greater than a bicycle, but counter-steering to initiate a quick turn is still useful.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Nov 13, 2010 at 3:57
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    RE: Stopping: On smooth, dry pavement, you can stop faster if you shift your weight back. I enjoy practicing sudden stops for fun.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Nov 13, 2010 at 4:45
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    Good answer! It took me a while to understand the countersteering concept. Are you saying that, when the cyclist is crossing an intersection, if a car crosses the intersection traveling 90 degrees to the direction of travel of the cyclist, the cyclist should make a sharp turn so they're traveling alongside the car? (Not arguing, I just want to make sure I get it.) Sounds like a diagram is in order, would you like one? Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 3:54
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    I had a hard time picturing what countersteering should look like. This helped. youtube.com/watch?v=C848R9xWrjc
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 7:04

How to mount a curb. (kerb?)

Start with your bike. With enough skill, you can go up a tall curb without damaging the bike. But as a novice, make it easier on yourself.

  • Remove extra weight: Backpack, panniers, etc.

  • Remove loose items. Water bottles come to mind.

  • Flat bars are easier.

  • Fat tires protect your wheels when you make a mistake.


It helps if you can ride slowly. If you don't feel confident at below-walking-speeds, then you'll have a harder time learning to mount curbs.

How to do it

The most important thing is to get your body weight off the wheel that is going up the curb. You weigh 5-10x as much as your bike!

Make your approach 90° from the curb. Low speed is good, but make sure you feel stable on the bike. Stand on pedals at 3- and 9-o'clock. Keep your knees slightly bent.

Just before the front wheel hits, throw your weight back and yank up on the handlebars. You may lift the front wheel off the ground slightly, but it's not necessary.

Just before the back wheel hits, throw your weight forward, and hop on the pedals. You may lift the back wheel off the ground, but that's harder than the front wheel. I can't do it!

If you do it perfectly, it should be a smooth motion. The bike doesn't get jolted around. You don't lose any speed.

Where to practice

Try a flat, empty, paved parking lot. You want the biking to be as easy and safe as possible, without distractions.

Before going up a curb, practice with going over a twig or a pebble. See how smoothly you can do it. Graduate to larger items & higher speeds when ready. The concrete bars they put at the end of each parking space can be good practice, too.

Going down a curb

The same principles apply. Before your front wheel drops, shift your weight way back, and ease the wheel down. Before the rear wheel drops, get your weight on the front.

Advanced techniques

If you can bunny hop (I can't), then you can approach a curb or other obstacle at high speed and clear it easily. Good for you.

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    Been commuting on the bike for the last 5 years, never had an occasion where I needed to jump a curb. When would you need to do this? I guess I'm assuming you're not recommending people ride on sidewalks :)
    – zigdon
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 20:01
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    I've used it to evade a bus that was moving right into my lane on top of me. Jumped sideways onto the curb so I wasn't flat. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 20:25
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    @zigdon: I was going to write "I think bikes belong on sidewalks." Then I realized that I really believe bikes belong on the roads, and cars be rare. Anyway, it depends on where you are whether riding on the sidewalk is condoned or not.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 20:30
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    At least in the US, bikes belong on the road, as far as most laws are concerned. Unfortunately, too many drivers are not familiar with the relevant laws. Using a hop to avoid an accident is a useful tool to have, I just don't want more cyclists to think the road isn't for them.
    – zigdon
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 20:54
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    @zigdon - There's a parking lot I regularly enter that has a very badly built curb cut -- it's essentially half the height of a curb. I use the pull-on-the-handlebars trick to get the front of the bike up there, at very low speed. You can also use similar techniques to avoid potholes. It even works with a loaded touring bike, although not as well. Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 3:58

Try driving around bicyclists

Now that you are experienced with biking around cars, you know what drivers often do that you hate.

Periodically do some driving around bikes, to stay in touch with what drivers are going through. That will help you anticipate driver's behavior when you're on your bike.

  • Very good solution indeed! After a couple of years only biking to uni, driving a car through the city again really opened my eyes.
    – arne
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 9:16
  • Not everyone has a driver's license, is old enough to obtain one, or has access to a car. But if you do this might be worth while. I would still suggest not driving is the better option, and driving purely to watch cyclists is almost the perfect antithesis of the reasons why I don't drive.
    – Móż
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 5:34

Learn to use your ears.

I found that my ears were one of my most valuable assests when riding in traffic. Being able to tell what is going on around you without having to constantly turn your head to look just means you are more aware and therefore safer.

  • One thing I am worried about is electric cars that won't have any engine sound. think about it! Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 6:19
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    A big part of he car noise actually are the tires on the road. And there are ideas in different legislations to require some "sound machine" for electric cars.
    – johannes
    Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 0:58

Both basic and advanced things any cyclist should know are covered in Cyclecraft. The best book on road cycling in the world (though remember non-Brits we cycle on the other side of the road!)


Edit: actually there is a North American edition. http://www.cyclecraft.org/

I am not very happy giving excerpts but I guess the thing that I think is most important in the book is talking about road position of the bike and taking a primary riding position and not cowering next to the curb in the broken glass and drain covers. It has a good section on being overtaken by traffic and how to discourage this if it is not safe. Also being aware of the way trucks and lorries can behave and so avoid being crushed by turning trucks (which is what causes most cyclist deaths here in London see the no more lethal lorries campaign http://www.no-more-lethal-lorries.org.uk/)

  • Nice! Looks like a good book. Do you suppose you might be able to list some of the more advanced techniques they describe, or provide an excerpt? Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 21:59

Track Standing

(thanks to @zingdon for what its called)

What I practice repeatedly at all traffic lights is balancing without putting your feet on the ground.

It improves balance which can prevent a crash if you ever get knocked slightly e.g. clipped by a wing mirror or hit an unsuspected pot-hole.

For learning:

  • brake until you come to a standstill
  • turn the handlebars slightly to one side (so that you don't roll straight forward)
  • stand up
  • pedal cranks must be horizontal - i.e. both feet at the same height
  • feather the front brake so that you move a little if you're losing your balance
  • its possible to move the bike backwards slightly by tugging against the handlebars when you feather the brake - so you can rock too and fro.
  • watch others at red lights who are doing it
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    It's called track standing, and while a useful skill, careful when you do it at lights. It makes it a LOT harder for cars to know what you're doing, and I've often seen people inch forward into the actual intersection (or other lanes) without really noticing.
    – zigdon
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 15:15
  • Also, you don't necessarily have to stand up to track stand.
    – alesplin
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 23:41
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    @zigdon You're right - it can be risky, especially letting yourself roll forward. Also there's much potential for making a fool out of yourself. @alesplin, you don't have to but I found it much harder to balance whilst sitting down. My balance is pretty terrible at the best of times so can't hold it for long but it helped a lot.
    – icc97
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 16:32
  • @zigdon, why is it harder to tell what're you're going to do? Does it make a difference if I'm standing there with a foot down or standing on the pedals? I agree about not moving forward, although I think that's part of being able to trackstand.
    – Holloway
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 8:06
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    @Trengot I think zigdon's point is that when you're track standing your wheel might be pointing in either direction and you'll be drifting in different directions, so its less obvious that if you're staying to the right or the left of the road.
    – icc97
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 8:51

Look into car's side-mirrors

Very simple advice, but that it takes time to master. Gazing into parked cars mirrors will give you a warning sign of a possible open door or car that will incorporate into the traffic flow: no person reflected, great! You should be able of doing this quickly and from the reflection decide what to do: it is common that drivers lean forward so they have a broad view of the incoming cars before starting to move.

Learn to asses if a passing car will turn to the right

Did the car that over pass you, crank the motor really hard? (listen!) Was the driver looking directly ahead or turning his head to the right? Mad car drivers have done this to me dozens of times, some with less than a meter of space.

Pedestrians raising their hands

This possibly means that a bus or taxi will stop in front of you, or that they will corner you.

Learn how to do police car sounds

Police cars in my city do a sort of half-cycle-siren sound they use for bringing up attention, not really for chasing. I do it with my mouth, sort of similar to wolfs howl. Specially useful riding on the night, when there are a lot of cars skipping red lights. In general, you should be able to make loud sounds with no devices, be it hiss or whistle or even yelling. But only use them in danger situations.

As an extra: if you have a crappy front light (like I do) you should be able to change the angle it points. Directly to the ground to look at the street, this depends on current light conditions, street condition and luminosity of your lamp. Parallel-ish to the floor so it easier for cars to spot you.

This might sound crazy, but I'm sure that there are a lot of people who commute in cities as crazy as mine.

  • A helmet mounted mirror seems better than the first one. Also, a decent light isn't too pricey.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 2:46
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    @Batman: I think you misunderstood the mirror part. Iker suggested looking into mirrors of cars on the side of the road to check whether there's someone in there who might slam open the door or pull into traffic, not to check whether there's something behind you.
    – arne
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 9:21
  • Ah, that makes a lot more sense and is useful.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 14:33
  • @Batman I think that turning your head will let drivers behind you know that you spot them and that you are aware of them. Which I believe is a good argument against using mounted mirrors. Even an intense light should be able to point far ahead (getting even further than a crappy one) or directly to the ground if it's too abrupt.
    – Iker
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 17:38
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    Theres really two problems - to see and to be seen. In most cases when commuting, the latter is what you need.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 22:59

Here is the list of skills I would say you should be good with:

  • Fundamental bike handling skills as in you know your bike well enough that you can ride with one hand off a bar. You know how it will turn, how much you can lean it, what it will do in the wet, how it responds to gravel, how it responds to bad pavement, etc. Learning as you go in traffic is not a great idea and sometimes people underestimate where their skills are until they get into a bad situation. Also, unless you are used to riding in traffic some people get flustered just being around more cars, which diminishes their ability to use skills they otherwise possess. The best place to practice this is riding miles on side road and progressing to more busy roads.
  • Be able to anticipate traffic and effectively scan what is ahead and behind you (e.g rearview mirror on drops). You can look at training given to motorcycle riders, but have a proactive system where you are scanning for traffic and always leaving yourself a path of escape can make a difference between mentally locking up if a car pulls in front of you or being able to avoid a wreck.The way to practice it is start on empty side roads and practice scanning several hundred feet in front of you for hazards. When you spot one (e.g. car pulling out of driveway) mentally plan your escape route if for some reason the driver does not stop to yield to your right of way.
  • Be able to emergency brake where you shift your body back and flirt with locking a wheel up or at the very least aggressively be able to stop yourself using both brakes. You can practice this on side roads again where there is room for error.
  • Be able to maintain balance at slow speeds often times by standing and shifting weight back. This is the precursor to being able to do a track stand. This video shows how to do a track stand -
    I certainly can maintain balance until almost a stop, but I never felt the need to learn/do a full track stand in traffic. For me the risks of falling in traffic outweigh the benefits of not having to clip back in. Full disclosure if I was better at a full trackstand, my opinion may be different.
  • My take on bunny hoping is that it is kind of a last resort to jump an object that you did not see when scanning ahead of the road. I primarily ride in traffic on sometimes not so great roads and never really felt I had to bunny hop anything including cracks in the road. I do think being able to proactively stand a bit when hitting especially larger bumps is skill to have and use on the road. Furthermore, while bunny hoping a curb is cool I again feel the risks of falling outweigh the benefits of bunny hoping large obstacles like curbs. Again full disclosure, if I was better at bunny hoping I may say it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, even for me when I cross rail road tracks, I found standing and taking the approach at a reasonable speed works. Here is link to learn to bunny hop and even in the video the presenter echos similar sentiments about the benefits of the bunny hop -
  • Know bike specific traffic laws and when to use them. It is important to understand your rights as a cyclist. In some (if not all) U.S. states bikes are considered vehicles and there are state laws that allow a bike to take a full traffic lane under certain conditions (e.g. the lane is too narrow for a car to pass safely next to a bike, there is debris on the side of the road, no bike lane, etc.). I find knowing the benefits of taking a lane (e.g. better visibility to traffic behind you, less likely for a car to split a lane with you, etc. - https://cyclingsavvy.org/road-cycling/ ) and the legal rights you have to do so gives a rider confidence to do this in traffic and keeps them safer while also gives drivers behind them a heads up about their presence.
  • Speed. While technically riders are afforded the same rights to a certain extent as cars or an amish buggy, I find that practically speaking when you cycle fast people get less frustrated being behind you. It is completely qualitative, but I find that when I am riding 20+MPH or more and take a lane people pass and mind their own business 99% of the time. I could be on that same road on a day with a head wind and only be able to push 15 MPH and now I am the a-hole on the bike. So in a way speed is your friend and it keeps drivers from getting too irrational when they see a cyclist. You can see an example of people passing and minding their own business below along with the benefits of taking a lane in the second video:

Coincidentally enough I bought the bike cam because of my concerns of irrational drivers on this particular stretch of road when there was a gnarly head wind and I could barely push 16 MPH in some portions.

Regarding how to build that skill I find that riding using heart rate zones works for me. A mix of endurance where you ride in zone 2/3 for longer distances (30 - 50 miles) builds a good base and then mix in zone 4/5 training where you are pushing a harder gear to build strength and force physical adaptations. That simple approach took me from barely being able to do 15 MPH to 20 MPH+ while being below anerobic threshold within 1.5 years. Furthermore, I do not have aero wheels/bars and my bike kit usually is a pair of basketball shorts and a cotton T-shirt which is what I have on in those vids. On 50 mile rides, I will usually do riding shorts and do see how aero can make a big difference especially in the 20 MPH+ speeds.

Hope that helps.

  • good points here - but do note that OP calls themselves a city rider/commuter. 50 mile/80 km rides would be one heck of a long commute twice a day !
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 7:25
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    @Criggie just to clarify I am referring to doing a long (e.g. 30-50 mile) ride to improve speed on shorter distances because I find drivers are less irritated with cyclist when they go faster vs. slower. Some folks do one of those long rides once a week during the weekend for leisure while also commuting to work during the week for shorter distances. Hope that clears it up. Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 19:57
  • When following close behind a car that is moving too slowly, stand up and watch what is going on ahead of the car, instead of watching the back of the car.

  • If you see a stationery vehicle in your path up ahead that you won't be able to go to the left of, start moving to the right of that car early on, slowly moving sideways along a straight line. That way, you should be predictable for the cars behind you, and you won't have to slow down in order to get around the stationery vehicle. Otherwise, I generally overtake slow cars on the left (in South Africa, where cars drive on the left), like at a traffic light.


Learn to see the Future
aka Situational Awareness

As a road user, you have to share the roadway with other road users. That's the collective group of drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, etc.

One of the greatest advantages you have is to be able to predict what's about to happen and to "pre-react" or place yourself in such a way as to take advantage, or to protect yourself.

Example1: a car is travelling along the road ahead of you, and it is slowly drifting toward the kerb/curb. It is still in the lane, but quite far toward the edge of the lane and getting worse.
Prediction: its going to turn in that direction very soon, so don't be beside the car, or in the rear quarters. Position yourself by dropping back a little behind the car, and prepare to move around the driver's side, after checking behind you of course.

Example2: A vehicle is passing you and its quite rattly.
Prediction: its towing a trailer, which may be wider than the tow vehicle. Glance back to see what's coming and react accordingly before it gets too close.

Example3: You're approaching a school just before 09:00 or around 15:00 (times depend on your area)
Prediction: Someone could pull out in front of you, or dash our from between parked cars. So take the lane and don't travel too close. Give yourself a space and time advantage by dropping the velocity.

Try and be aware of what's happening up the road too. You might see a vehicle on the wrong side of the road coming toward you (ie a passing manoever onto the opposite side of the road, or a loss of control) So pre-react by getting off the road and out of its way.

A car doing 130 km/h plus a cyclist doing 30 km/h is a closing speed of 50 metres/sec. To get 5 seconds warning you need to be looking 250 metres ahead. If you only look as far ahead as your front wheel then that leaves no window to prepare, and then all you can do is react.

  • Anticipating trouble and assessing situations comes with time in the saddle. I've found the most dangerous parts of a city are intersections and parked cars on the roadside. Drivers sometimes don't see cyclists (and motorcyclists) and turn in front of them at intersections or open their car doors of their parked cars as cyclists are going by, which would mean almost certain death at speeds above 25 km/h. Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 15:53

Check with your local cycling advocacy group, they often have bike-handling classes, which tend to teach both techniques and give you some insight to the law in your area. As you mentioned you're from Boston, I recommend checking out MassBike's classes.

  • As I said in the question, I'm looking more for advanced skills. I've got basic bike handling skills down pretty well, which from what I can tell are what MassBike teaches. I'm looking for advanced skills and techniques, in particular bike handling techniques, which can be applicable to city riding. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 22:43

These first two are really more basic skills, but:

Give cars enough space that an opening door won't take you down. I had one pull me to the ground once, fortunately, it only got the edge of my hand grip, and at low speed, but it turned my handlebars and took me straight down. I was thankful not to be injured. I've heard tales of much worse.

Be ready to brake and/or turn if a car turns into you. Sometimes they'll pass you and not realize you're still close to them. A few days ago, a car decided to swerve across the bike lane into a parking spot. Fortunately, I hit the brakes hard. Years ago, a car turned into a side street when we were right alongside each other. To avoid disaster, I made the exact same turn.

At one point, I learned to brake quickly, jump over my handlebars, and land on my feet. The key was to push down hard and fast when the front of the bike started to go down. The usefulness of this maneuver can be debated, but after a panic stop when you hit the brakes a little too hard, it can make for a nicer ending.


Some might consider this a bit on the extreme end, but I find myself needing to traverse stairsets all the time in the city. Granted, this is most relevant in a hilly place (I live in Bergen, Norway), but even in a flat city it can often come in handy for a short-cut. Most people will resort to pushing their bikes in that situation (when they can't avoid it), but this doesn't work very well. Better:

Efficiently carrying your bike

The best technique for carrying a bicycle over longer distances or up steep obstacles is to lift it over your head, grabbing the left pedal in down-position with the right hand and one of the fork's legs with the left hand. (Most people grab the left leg, but I prefer to turn the handlebars to the right so I can grab the right leg.) Then rest the down tube on your shoulders and neck, so the hands don't need to support the weight (but keep them on the fork and pedal, for stability).

A quicker technique is to simply put your right arm through the triangle and grab the down tube (or left handlebar; this only really works with drop handlebars). This is very fast and leaves the left hand free. It's the standard technique in cyclo-cross, but with a heavier bike it quickly becomes uncomfortable.

Riding down stairsets

First the disclaimers: don't do this in a place where there's any chance of crashing into pedestrians. And be prepared to damage the axles and wheels if you try this on a low-quality bike or road bike. Any decent MTB or good touring bike should be ok with it, though. Suspension is not necessary.

To safely get down stairs (or any steep downhill, really), it's important to shift your weight as far to the back as possible. This is easiest done when the saddle is low – a dropper post makes it feasible to put it all the way down at the press of a button, but simply having it in a relatively low but still-pedallable position is also ok. Then, slowly roll over the top stair while keeping the pedals in 9:00 and 3:00 position to avoid a pedal strike. Brake with both brakes, so neither your front locks and throws you over the bars, nor the rear wheel skids and stars bumping over the edges.
Obviously it's a good idea to practise on small stairsets first, before going to big and steep ones.

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    Small interesting side note - with the correct tyres, you can ride UP staircases!
    – Andy P
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 15:40
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    You can, but that's difficult even for a pro rider on an E-MTB. On a stairset with relatively low stairs it's doable with a normal MTB, but I find it drives my heartrate much higher than carrying at the same speed – not really something you want in a commute situation. Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 15:44

Very important for your safety is to learn to take your lane.

This is mostly in the area of body communication. You need to get the message across to the motorists: "I am a vehicle, and I own this lane. And I'm not going to back off a single centimeter. If you want to pass me, go to the next lane. Do not even think about overtaking while there are cars coming from the opposite direction!" You must communicate this all the while you are actually ready flee an actual crash.

Key to taking your lane is, that you keep a very straight line slightly left of the center of your lane (assuming you are driving on the right side of the road in your country). This position makes it impossible for motorists to pass you without colliding with oncomming traffic or leaving the road alltogether. If they honk at you, do not budge a single centimeter. If you do, they will think they've honked you into submission and try dangerous stuff. Only staying exactly where you are communicates that you are not going to yield in any way, and that they will have to follow you until there is a chance for overtaking you in a safe, and thus legal way.

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    100% agree on defining and protecting your space and within reason to hold your ground. There are times I will try to be considerate and wave on a car to pass just to also let them know I am not trying to be a road block. Usually that is on single lane roads. Also, make sure to check that local law is on your side too when it comes to taking a lane as a bike. Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 16:45
  • @TudeProductions Good points. For taking a lane, it should be sufficient that the safety distance laws are sane: You simply cannot pack two cars (4m), one bike (0.5m) and the required four safety distances (3*1m + 1.5m = 4.5m) on most roads (total required width is 9m, typical city roads around here are about 6.5m). With such regulations, overtaking a bike on typical city roads is simply illegal unless the overtaking car uses the lane of the oncoming traffic, and totally prohibited when there is oncoming traffic. Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 22:27
  • Yep just for reference here is the state law for Texas - txdot.gov/inside-txdot/modes-of-travel/bicycle/know/laws.html. Usually I mentally justify to myself taking a lane before I do it when "surface hazards that prevents the person from safely riding next to the curb or edge of the roadway." The law is purposely vague in this regard as surface hazards could be debris, a drop of between pavement and the grass, etc. Similarly as you point out width of lane also is cited too. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 0:10

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