Look at mom, without hands! “. Who of you has not shouted this sentence, the first time you tried to take your hands off the handlebar under the shocked eyes of your parents, who already imagined a daring fall resulting in a dentist’s lust? Well, for those of you who have never tried it, let’s see on what occasions it can be useful to take your hands off the handlebar and learn how to do it in total safety.
Before seeing which exercises can be put into practice to learn to go without hands, let’s try to extricate ourselves from the supporters and the lovers of this technique and the contraries, who consider it (rightly, mind you) dangerous and just a useless show of skill. This was also the case when Minister Graziano Delrio took office, who presented himself at the Palace riding a bike, pedaling without hands.. Some have criticized the danger of the gesture, above all because a minister should set a good example for the youngest on road safety. A non-trivial issue that deserves analysis.
Going by bike without hands can be useful in certain situations (which we will see later) but it remains a thing to do only in conditions of total safety and, of course it is, to be avoided if you are in traffic. I remember that in high school my personal challenge was to be able to walk the 10km away home-school without hands, without braking or putting my foot on the ground.
Thinking about it now was an unconscious action (and who isn’t at 15?), Because most of the journey took place in the city center. I stopped doing that one day, I heard a car behind me slow down and a sacramental guy from inside the cockpit: he was my father. Anecdotes aside,going without hands implies a noticeable expansion of reaction times, especially when braking and therefore it must be done only in cases of emergency or when the surrounding environment is completely managed .
Now, coming to the point, when can it be useful to go without hands on a bicycle?
• Fasten the cape: is the classic example that can be seen in all sports competitions, the cyclist faces the climb with the cape unfastened and then, when the descent begins, he takes his hands off the handlebar and fiddles with the zipper to fasten the wind protection and protect himself from the cold.
Knowing how to go without hands helps a lot in these cases, because during an outing on a bike there may be times when the sun beats hot and you have to loose the shirt or the k-way, or situations where the wind it beats us and it is better to protect yourself by raising the collar up to the chin. Being able to do this without having to stop or exhibit acrobatics worthy of a Togni circus acrobat to keep the cape firm with his mouth and lift the zipper with his hand is really useful;
• Relax the back: when you ride for a long time it is natural that the assumed position is reflected in a back strain . Going without hands allows you to stand up on the saddle and keep your back erect, so as to detach it from the aerodynamic position and make a few meters of quiet pedaling, just to feel the lumbar muscles relax;
• Drinking from the water bottle : sometimes the water bottles are difficult to open, especially those for off-road use, which have a protective cap that prevents the mud from dirtying where we will rest our lips. Going without hands allows you to continue to pedal and at the same time open the cap and drink. Obviously this operation cannot be carried out while we are making a sprint but only in “quiet” situations;