Things you don't have to do
The things some people believe cyclists must do, or if they don't do they should do.
Riding outside the cycle lane - Highway Code rule 63
- Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory, largely due to Cycling UK's campaign in response to a proposed Highway Code revision in 2007. What's more, the common belief that cyclists are advised to use cycle lanes is also slightly overstated. Rule 63 of the Highway Code describes cycle lanes, but does not say that cyclists should use them, merely that use of them "depends on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer".
- Most cyclists will choose to use good quality cycle lanes where they exist, but where they are badly designed, littered with glass or badly maintained, they won't. You are entitled to make you own choice, and the Highway Code rule merely reflects that.
Riding in the middle of the lane - Highway Code rule 169
- This refers to the middle of the lane rather than the primary position, because the latter phrase means nothing to most motorists. Whatever you call it, this means 'taking the lane', so you are cycling effectively in the middle of the lane, with the general flow of traffic rather than to the left of the traffic.
- Riding in this position can in some circumstances be your safest option. If there are parked cars on your left it gives you sufficient space to avoid any car doors unexpectedly opened in front of you. It can discourage or prevent drivers from overtaking where there is insufficient space or it would be unsafe to do so, and it can be where you can most easily see and be seen.
- You don't always have to ride in this position, and depending on the road and traffic conditions, you may choose to move further to the left of the lane into what is known as the secondary position. That does not however mean hugging the kerb, which you are neither obliged or advised to do in any circumstances.
- Some motorists labour under the urban myth, that cyclists have to keep to the left to allow vehicles to pass. Rule 169, which applies to all road users, does advise that you should not "hold up a long queue of traffic", before referring specifically to large or slow moving vehicles with further advice to "if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass".
- Rule 169 does not mean that cyclists should immediately pull over to let traffic past, but it could be interpreted to suggest that a cyclist riding in the middle of the lane (or cyclists riding two abreast), should at some point look to move to the left or single out if there is a significant queue building up behind them, though a key question would still be whether there was an opportunity to do so safely.
Wearing a helmet - Highway Code rule 59
- We will always advise wearing a helmet, it has saved my life or at least saved me from serious injury on more than one occasion. Highway Code rule 59 advice is often sadly used to deflect blame to the cyclist and, in relation to clothing, to attempt to explain why a driver either failed to see or failed to avoid hitting a cyclist. Strangely, it does not seem to apply in reverse, so if you hit a black car you can't blame the owner or manufacturer for their paint colour choice. It's apparently just cyclists in dark clothes who can't be seen.
Need some inspiration to get out on the bike? Have a read.
“Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”
– Eddy Merckx
“When my legs hurt, I say: “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!”
– Jens Voigt
“It never gets easier, you just get faster.”
– Greg LeMond
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”
– John F Kennedy
“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to.”
– Dr K.K. Doty
“A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke.”
– Scott Stoll
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring.”
– Desmond Tutu
“Cycling isn’t a game, it’s a sport. Tough, hard and unpitying, and it requires great sacrifices. One plays football, or tennis, or hockey. One doesn’t play at cycling.”
– Jean de Gribaldy
“It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you’re missing the essence of the sport.”
– Scott Martin
“The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it.”
– Doug Bradbury
“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
– Mark Cavendish
“I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.”
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels.”
– Heinz Stucke
Should cyclists ride two abreast?
The Highway Code states that motorists should give cyclists (and pedestrians and equestrians) as much space as they would give a motor vehicle when overtaking.
One Twitter user was corrected recently by Surrey Police’s Road Policing Unit after Tweeting a complaint about the position of cyclists on the road.
The original message from the Twitter user attempted to advise cyclists that they should ride at the extreme left of the road lane “so people can overtake you without risking their lives”.
“Advice to British cyclists. If you’re turning left, don’t first move one meter or more to the right,” said the Twitter user.
“If you’re turning right, don’t stop/slow down in the middle of the lane. If you’re not making a turn, keep to the left so people can overtake you without risking their lives. Thx!”
Surrey Police RPU then replied “Actually they should do exactly what you are telling people not to do.
“They firstly have every right to use all the lane, secondly the positions you describe allow them to be seen and prevent unsafe overtakes.
“If you have to put your self at risk to overtake DON’T”.
If there’s one (legal) thing that cyclists do that can annoy motorists more than anything else, it’s riding side-by-side, otherwise known as riding two abreast.
For motorists who may not have experience of riding a bike in a group or knowledge of the laws surrounding cycling on the roads, they can view this as dangerous, illegal, or just downright rude and inconvenient.
What the law says
The first thing to say is that riding side by side is perfectly legal, with Rule 66 of the Highway Code only stipulating that cyclists should ride in single file “on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.”
Of course, the fact that cycling side by side is legal is not a reason in itself for cyclists to do it.
Cyclists ride side by side is for safety.
1. A group of cyclists riding two abreast will be easier for drivers to see as they will not blend into the road furniture and hedgerows, making it less likely that they will be hit from behind
2. It insures that drivers give them enough room when overtaking.
Although the Highway Code says that motorists should give cyclists “at least as much room as when overtaking a car” (which we would suggest to be 1.5m), not all drivers abide by this.
If a group of cyclists were riding down a road with oncoming traffic in single file, then drivers may be tempted to overtake in the same lane, potentially causing an accident if the cyclists have to move out into the road to avoid a pothole or other obstacle.
If the cyclists are riding side by side, then the motorist will have to wait until there are no vehicles approaching in the opposite direction, meaning that there is enough space to safely overtake.
This may sound frustrating if you’re a driver who doesn’t ride a bike, however cyclists and horse riders have an equal right to use the road without inimidation as a motorised vehicle (the road fund license has no bearing on who has more or less rights to use the roads than another road user). Olympian Chris Boardman starred in an industry-funded video which reminded drivers that “People on bicycles are flesh and blood, they’re mums and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.” He stressed that motorists need to “give them plenty of space when overtaking.”
It is more convenient for motorists.
If you have a group of ten riders riding in single file, then even if every rider is riding very closely to the rider in front, the group could be 20 metres long. More similar to the length of a long articulated lorry
But if the riders are riding two abreast, then the group will be less than 10 metres long (similar to length of a Luton Van). If motorised vehicles are going to pass safely, they will still have to wait for a gap in the on coming traffic, but now that gap can be smaller as the passing length is halved.
How cyclists look out for drivers
It is still important that cyclists are considerate of other road users and adjust their riding appropriately.
When a car is behind that could get past if riders are in single file, but not when riding two abreast, then riders at the back of the group should shout “car up” which will then alert the other riders, who should move into single file when it is safe for the car to pass.
As a final point, it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of cyclists also drive a car, so understand why being stuck behind a group of cyclists might be frustrating.
A group of cyclists is much more likely to quickly move out of the way and signal that it’s clear to pass when a motorist is sitting patiently behind rather than revving the engine and sounding the horn.
Bianchi Specialissima long term review
I’ve been lucky enough to ride a Bianchi specialissima CV regularly over the past couple of years. It has made such an impression that it is hands down the best race bike I have been on. We are able to ride the elite frames produced by such luminaries as Bob Parlee, Ernesto Colnago, Sacha White and Gerard Vroomen as well as the more high volume offerings from the big beasts of our industry. To say the Bianchi Specialissima outperforms these is a strong claim but one supported in a number of areas.
I tend to think of the performance of a racing bike in four main categories: climbing, descending, acceleration/ straight line speed and endurance. I’ll tackle these individually.
When the designers at Bianchi developed the specialissima I’m pretty sure climbing was seen as the most important field, this bike is built for the high mountains. A lightweight frame (780g) is one thing but the reaction to pedal stroke is what makes the difference between a climber and an anchor. My steel bike at 7.5kg outclimbs many much lighter carbon frames due to its planted nature. The specialissima has both, the steady but significant feedback from every individual effort and the light weight to allow the rider to spin at threshold seemingly never-endingly. On the 8km/7% clip to Selvino outside Bormio the bike was in its element even on the steeper double digit pitches near the summit. As the race for lightweight reached conclusion in the late 2000s bike like the Scott Addict SL and Cervelo RCA sacrificed all ride quality at the altar of weight weenieism. Nothing that foolish here.
So you’ve crested the mountain. What now? Now the thoroughbred nature of this frame shows its other side. On a 120km day on the south downs I pushed this bike to the limits, drifting it around gravelly corners on filthy Sussex lanes. Equipped with Vittoria Corsas (no crossover “all road” setup here) the bike tracked wonderfully round fast or tight corners, allowing for mid bend adjustments and recoveries as the stiffness of the front fork (and Racing Zero front wheel) stood up to anything I could throw at it. My ride buddy, an MTBer originally from north wales, riding his now local lanes on a S-Works Venge remarked on how well suited the Bianchi Specialissima was well outside its home territory. Add versatility to the mix. Just don’t ask how long it took to clean the matte fluoro CK 16 Celeste frame after that ride!
The Bianchi Specialissima is clearly not an aero bike, so how does it compare to the more modern looking bikes out there sporting huge oversized down tubes and Kammtails? I’ve not raced the Specialissima but it’s been in some pretty fast chaingangs and it will happily hold 40kmph at cruising effort. That planted nature mentioned earlier means seated efforts whip the bike up into high speeds and keep it there. If aero concerns you then drop a pair of deep section rims into it but never forget that those massive oversized tubes have a couple of very significant compromises of their own, a drop off in both ride quality and comfort and more subjectively in looks.
So, does all this high performance beat you up all day? Far from it; the Specialissima is one of the most comfortable all day rides out there. More aggressive than the softer endurance frames (Domanes, Roubaix etc) the position is inherently steeper (one for your bike fitter https://www.bicyclerichmond.co.uk/bicycle-fitting/new-bike-fit-consultation ) but the CounterVeil license Bianchi paid the big bucks for comes into its own on this frame. The CV allows for a hitherto impossible level of vibration cancelling as all owners of Infinito CVs will testify to. I’d happily take on Lands End - John O’Groats on this frame and I’d be smiling (most of) all the way. This balance of performance and comfort is superior even to the 2012-2016 iteration of the Cervelo R5, my previous benchmark for a “comfy” thoroughbred.
There are three stock colourways, Bianchi Celeste in both Matt and gloss and a black option, plus almost infinite semi custom paint through the Tavalozza scheme. We offer a full custom bike build service with bikes going out this year on Sram’s wireless eTap groupset, Shimano’s Dura ace 9150 di2 and of course (and personally recommended) Campagnolo’s Super Record gruppo. Wheel options have ranged from Mavic’s climbing R-SYS SLR, fulcrum racing zero for a stiffer option and deep section offerings from both Zipp and Utah’s carbon specialists ENVE composites. We’re always here to help you make these crucial decisions!
We have access to a number of Specialissima demo bikes provided by the awesome Geoff and Lucia and the team at Bianchi UK so if you fancy a ride on one then just get in touch, we’d be delighted to arrange your next super bike.
Most people believe that they have had the same shoe size since their teenage years. While it’s true that the foot does grow rapidly until teenage years, it’s a misconception that the feet remain unchanged from there onwards. In fact, the foot size, shape and structure can change over time due to wear-and-tear, overuse, hormonal changes, injury, shoe choice, and genetics.
In our experience of making custom orthotics for podiatry issues, we see many clients that regard themselves as having wide feet. In some cases this is true, but with the industry commonly making shoes wider as shoe size has gone up because people of today are, on average, two shoe sizes larger than the people of the 1970s. According to a study released by the College of Podiatry' in the UK. Sizes 12 and 13 (US) are the most common shoe sizes sold at Long Tall Sally, with size 15 now making up 10% of business. Thirty years ago, Stuart Weitzman used to sell most shoes in size 7, with sizes going as high as 10; today, they sell an 8 on average, and offer sizes up to 12. “We’ve all gotten taller and we need big feet to hold us up,” consulting podiatrist Emma Supple explained to the Wall Street Journal.
But not all shoe sales people are correct in this field; as a person in a sports shop somewhere would have said “oh you have wide feet, you need this type of shoe” that would have stuck with the client for years and would have never questioned it. It is always good to have your podiatry checked as the feet will change over time.
A common podiatry issue we see is over pronation which can cause a low or collapsed arch also resulting in a wide foot shape. This is where an orthotic fitted into a normal shoe, rather than a wider stance or bigger sized shoe. In a natural foot position the foot will be rotated so the foot becomes narrower, this will help the dynamics of your posture and any imbalances in the posture will start to correct themselves.
In conclusion, before you set off to buy your new set of shoes, pop in for a foot consultation and see what is going to be best for you, whether it is for your cycling running or work shoes.
We have received our drop of Fizik Versus Evo test saddles completing our demo offering. The Versus Evo is the most technically advanced saddle range that Fizik have ever made, with a progressive cushioning pad allowing for a shallower pad and a flexible hull that is reminiscent of the much loved and missed Kurve range. The progressive pad has allowed for a significant weight drop from the previous Versus range, the Versus Evo Aliante only causing a 14 gram weight penalty from the standard Aliante R3.
We offer a test service for the full Versus Evo range along with all the traditional flat top Fizik road saddles. The demo program requires a deposit of £120. For this we will fit your test saddle and replace with up to three other models if required. The full £120 is refunded against the eventual saddle purchase, if no saddle is purchased then only £100 is refunded. This is by far the best way to choose a saddle and with 12 different options it is very rare for customers to not find a saddle that works for them.
There are a couple of different options for setting an appropriate amount of fluid intake for your body.
The method I will use involves using calculations based on of bodyweight.
What liquids should contribute to our measurement of intake?
We will include all the fluid intake except for alcohol. Yes, even things we see as “dehydrating” like coffee, actually do more to contribute to our fluid intake that detract from it. So all fluids, including coffee, Diet Coke, milk, juice, tea, flavoured waters, and any drink (besides alcohol) will count towards this intake. We don’t count alcohol because it is dehydrating and makes you pee more fluid out than you take in.
So how much fluid should you take in?
A good rule is to take in one litre of fluids for every 23 kg of your bodyweight.
Another method to ensure you are adequately hydrated is one found on the website bodyrecomposition.com. The article recommends that you should have 5 clear pees per day, 2 of them coming shortly after your workout (or during your workout if it is long).
The reason that I prefer this method for clients and myself is that at the same bodyweight, two people can have a very different hydration status, but let’s keep this easy for now and just say try to drink one litre for ever 23kg of body weight, keep an eye on the clearness of your pee and adjust if you do not have five clear pees a day.
Custom insoles and orthotics have been widely used to treat foot, ankle and lower leg problems and injuries for years.
Increasingly, custom insoles have become standard equipment for elite athletes including runners, football, rugby, tennis, hockey players, cyclists, weightlifters and more.
If you are injured or recovering from an injury Bicycle Richmond Custom Insoles can help with: plantar fasciitis, achilles-tendon pain, knee pain, and hip and lower back pain as well as many more foot and body alignment issues.
This is something that sets Bicycle Richmond out from the rest, send an email today or book an assessment
LEG & GLUTE ACTIVATION
Exercises you can use before or separate to your lower body workout sessions, in order to help increase contraction/rep quality on key exercises.
Remember, that this should be before resistance work like squats, deadlifts & hip thrusters (glute bridges) if your aim is to build your glutes, burn more calories & activate the core. Don’t waste too much time with walking like a crab or jumping up and down like you see on so called fitness pages in Instagram. Squat, deadlift & glute bridge/hip thruster variations with increasing load (weight or total volume) over time is key to achieving your goals, & way more effective.
If you’re a male considering using this mini-routine, also look at mobilising the groin & stretching the hip flexors too shown in the third stretch routine. These exercises are created to help the glutes & abductors fire, so you can load them over the quads & help protect the knees. Tight hip flexors will impede the glutes, & a tight groin can increase the knees collapsing toward one another during leg exercises (& lead to lots of athletic issues).
Complete 20 reps per exercise & 1-3 rounds in total. Remain as neutral as possible through the trunk, minimising undue arching of the lower spine where possible.
Zero set procedure:
To remove all of the set-up info from the EPS and re-teach it what it needs to apply to the software, to know where each sprocket is.
L2 is the lever just behind the brake lever
L3 is the thumb lever
MB is the mode button.
RH and LH are hopefully self explanatory
Sprocket 11 is the smallest cog at the rear
Sprocket 1 the biggest cog at the rear
"upshifting" is coming towards sprocket 11 at the rear
"downshifting" is going towards sprocket 1 at the rear.
Upshifting at the front is coming up to the big chainring from the small
Downshifting at the front, the reverse.
In Italy they do it all the other way around and Campag's English Language videos do it all the Italian way ... in the UK and the US the descriptions above are generally better understood.
The two MBs are - one just behind L3 on each side, either one can be short-pressed to check battery charge state.
Check the battery state - you can do a zero set in any state (except flat) but it's best to check before you start.
Put the magnet back into the PU and leave it in for around 40 sec to fully power the system down and allow the internal capacitance to dissipate. This hard-resets the chip.
Withdraw the magnet and look for a green flash at the PU - this indicates that there is power enough to operate the diagnostics and that the diagnostic software is active.
Operate both L2 and L3 on both levers - this verifies that there are no connection faults - if there are, the diagnostics will generally tell you. The only thing they can't tell you is if an interface-to-lever cable is cut through or the lever is completely unplugged.
First difference from the published instructions & for safety - put the bike on the big chainring (if possible) and sprocket 11. Disengage the RD from the electronics (Ride Back Home mode) and push down the cassette as you are turning the pedals to check that the low gear limit screw is correctly set - we do this now because in zero-set mode, the electronic limiters are not active - they can't be, because we haven't told the system where the sprockets are relative to the gear hanger yet.
Re-engage the RD and shift down electronically as far as you can, hopefully to sprocket 1.
Press both MB simultaneously (it must be simultaneous) and hold - you will get a blue LED at the Interface after about 15 sec. You are now in zero-set mode and must complete the set-up routine for either front or rear mech before the system will allow you to exit. The system will now "forget" all previous settings for whichever mech you now move.
To set the RD ...
Press and hold L3 as you turn the pedals and the RD will upshift steplessly. Be careful - the upper limit is no longer set and you can drop the chain right off the top of the cassette & the RD moves quicker, the longer you hold the lever down.
Before you get to the second-to-top sprocket (sprocket 10), release lever 3 then using small "dabs" on lever three, drop the chain onto sprocket 10.
Using short presses on L2 and L3 to move the RD "up" or "down" in small increments, adjust the run of the chain over the sprocket until you get a the cleanest possible chain passage. The top jockey should be directly under sprocket 10 when viewed from the back when you have this right but the sound of the chain running on the sprocket will tell you a lot, too.
Once you are happy, short-press the RH MB. On release, the LED on the Interface will turn white.
Use L2 to move the chain down to sprocket 2 (second to biggest). Repeat the process of using L2 & L3 to set the chain as smoothly over sprocket 2 as you can. Again, the top jockey should be directly under the sprocket when viewed from behind.
Once you are happy with this position, short press the RH MB. The LED on the Interface will flash blue. When it stops flashing, the system will "know" where all 11 sprockets are - you can then verify the shift. The first movement of L2 or L3 may not shift the gear (depends on the software version) but after that, the shifting should behave normally.
Zero setting on the front is a similar procedure.
Drop the chain to the inside ring (if you can) and run it over sprocket 1 at the rear.
Enter zero-set mode by pressing both MBs at the same time & holding until the blue LED lights.
Use LH L2 and L3 to position the FD so that with the chain on the small ring, the gap behind the chain and in front of the inner cage plate of the FD is around 0.5 to 1mm.
Turn the pedals and make sure that the chain doesn't scrape the FD cage due to the chain rocking on the teeth of the inner ring.
Once you are happy with that, short-press the LH MB. THe Interface LED will flash blue. Once it stops flashing, that's the FD set up. Check the shift, holding the LH L2 over for a couple of pedal revs just to verify that the RH crank doesn't touch the outer cage plate of the FD when in full "overshift" position.
Check all the shift combinations.
4. Plant your weight on your outside foot.
To corner safely, you need your center of gravity to remain over your tyres and your weight distributed appropriately across both wheels. With your body weight planted on the pedal facing the outside of the corner, you’re increasing the traction your tyres have on the road. You can’t be tentative about this; press your weight onto the outside foot.
5. Learn to Read the Road
If you can get used to reading the signs along the road it will help you with your descending; hedge rows, telephone poles etc. The more you descend, the better you’ll get at recognising the signs. You can predict where the bends will come by looking at the profile of the hills ahead of you. In the same way, you can also use the tree-line to predict what will happen next.
Be mindful of hazards and interpret what’s around the corner. Just because you recognise these hazards, doesn’t mean immediately killing your speed, it just puts you in the right mindset to respond more quickly should such an obstacle arise.
6. Getting Your Bike Set Up Right
Having a bike that is properly maintained and set up will do wonders for your descending, not just from a practical point of view, but from a mental one as well. Having full confidence in your brakes is imperative, but having your bars correctly positioned and your seat at the right height will also play a big role in helping you descend at speed.
1. Brake late, but before the corners.
You ought to make significant changes in speed before you enter a corner, using both brakes so you are in control of your speed. You may still be on the brakes in the turn, but the significant braking will have been done. You should have eased off the brakes so as not to overload the tyres with braking forces and turning forces. If you go into a corner too fast and grab the brakes, you’ll either lock up the wheels and slide or crash; or your momentum will carry you so far to the outside of the turn that you’ll miss the exit and end up in the trees. The more advanced way is to brake late; hold your speed until you’re closer to the corner and use more braking power to slow down quickly, here disc brakes come into their own as they will have consistant braking perfomance whenever you want it.
2. Look as Far Ahead as Possible
Your bike goes where your eyes are pointed; look through to the exit of the corner. So much of where you’re ‘pointing’ comes down to where you’re looking . When descending, don’t just look ahead of your front wheel or the rider in front of you, instead try to set your gaze well down the track, ideally after the bend you’re currently tackling. If you do this, you’ll flow through the bends with ease and you’ll still catch small hazards like gravel in the road or someone trying to overtake on the inside with your peripheral vision.
With corners, rocks, potholes, etc. coming at you quickly, you have to pick your lines early. Ideally, you want to set up wide as you enter a corner, cut through the apex, and exit wide. Choosing the wrong line on the entry makes it difficult to safely exit the turn and stay on the road.
3. Body position is everything
A good low position on the bike like the pros’ is what you should be trying to emulate. When you’re descending it makes sense to get as low as possible on the bike. It makes you aerodynamic, but also being low-down on the bike lowers your centre of gravity, making you more stable as you corner . When you’re hurtling into the bends, fight your instinct to lean into the curve with your body – instead, keep your body weight above the tyres as much as possible and lean the bike instead. This will imcrease the traction you get through the turns.
Descending if mastered can shave minutes off your times. Some riders seem to possess an ability to drop like a stone from the side of huge mountains without any trace of fear, others are not so blessed. It’s a fantastic skill to have and believe it or not, it doesn’t take that much to master.
If you’ve ever felt the fear on a descent, suffered a nasty crash that you haven’t quite mentally recovered from, or have simply never been told how to do it right – Here are some tips which will have you nailing it downhill with supreme confidence.
What makes the difference between a beautiful, fast, and smooth descent and a nervous, wobbly one? Skill is the foundation of great descending. Skill instills confidence and confidence builds courage, and the combination of skill, confidence, and courage gets you down the mountain fast.
If you’re not racing you don’t need to take big risks on descents, it’s important to note that having great descending skills it will make you safer and more confident rider in all conditions.
Everyone has to slow down for the corners, but the best riders take great lines, position themselves over their bikes perfectly, brake late and slow down the least; and those skills can either move you off the front of the pack or help you catch back on.