I keep thinking of this since the food consumption is so freakin high.
im sure this works, but gross hehe
I’d start practicing when on a trainer; don’t look for the cages, just get a feel for it so you know where they are without taking your eyes off the road.
Practice reaching into pockets for food.
It will probably be tougher on the rollers than on the road, so if you master it there, you’re golden!
I agree with the comments about core strength, and practicing on rollers (if you have them). You can also practice riding on the white line (quiet road please!), where you should try to stay riding straight ahead even if you look to one side or the other. It’s common for newer riders to swerve their bike when they turn their heads to talk with someone. That’s is highly unnerving in a group. Also practice riding on that white line while looking behind you–tips here include putting your hands on the tops, and when you turn around to the left, put your left hand on the back of your saddle (and for turning around to the right, put your right hand on the back of your saddle). You should still be going straight when you turn back around to the front. All of this will help you be able to continue to ride straight when getting a bottle or snacks. For the bottle, to avoid dropping it (which I have also been guilty of), I try to make sure that it really is in the cage before letting go–it just takes some practice to have that as part of the whole “return” motion.
Hey thanks for the tips all. I really like the thumb down grip idea, I tried that out in a race today and didn’t kill anyone or throw bottles, and was able to keep riding in the pack while drinking too.
Not quite able to drink on the rollers though, might have tried that with some spectacularly hilarious results
Agree all above, also just wondering do you ride with fair amount of weight on your arms? Or shift more so onto the other arm when you reach for the back pockets? Again comes back to core, and keep hands light. Nonetheless should be able to steady your line and balance using your hips too. If that makes sense? Something I’ve noticed with my self, havent had to be much trouble so far!
Forgot to mention, point was the extra weight through your arms will certainly make it a little more difficult to hold a line, not impossible tho.