I used to think that a descent was reward for summiting. A time to relax, recover, and coast to the bottom. My how things have changed. It’s certainly a reward. But it’s not a time to slow down. It’s a time to continue pedalling, and pick an aggressive, tight line. It’s a time to go fast with less effort.
I practice descending regularly. Like climbing, it is a learned skill. A skill you can improve. When I summit, I don’t stop pedalling. I used to. Even if spent on the climb, I keep turning the pedals, and gradually gear up until I’m producing as many watts as I did on the way up.
This video outlines several tips. All tips I practice. But the most important one is to relax and let the bike do the work. Lower yourself onto the drops, select a tight line, keep pedalling, lean the bike into the turns, and let it run.
You learn to feel the turns. Learn to brake as you approach a turn not while you are in it. To look ahead avoiding pot holes, bumps, and giving less experienced cyclists a wider berth. To push on the outside pedal throughout the turn.
The more I relax, the faster I go. And, the more I enjoy the ride 😎