Learning simple skills like how to properly mount and dismount your bike can save you precious seconds during the transition stage of your next triathlon.
For the advanced, the flying mount and flying dismount is a skill that can take years to master. This skill is perhaps best left to those who are experienced triathletes, but like with anything, practice really does make perfect, and it’s a skill you can develop if you’re committed.
The best way to practise this skill is on a soft surface. Any flat ground such as a grassed park should be your go-to area to start off. A soft surface is more forgiving should things go wrong. A soft surface will also give you more confidence when trying this skill out for the first time.
Before attempting your first flying mount, you need to set your bike up as you would before a race. Clip in your bike shoes and position them at the three- and nine-o’clock positions. The next step is to use rubber bands to hold your bike shoes in this position as you run out of transition with your bike. I usually attach one rubber band from my shoe to my rear skewer and then the other from my opposite shoe to my front derailleur. These rubber bands will hold your shoes in place and then snap once you’re mounted and pedalling.
Start by jogging with your bike, holding the saddle as if you were exiting T1 in a race.
Once you’re ready to mount, position both hands on the bars and one foot on the front shoe, then throw your rear leg over the saddle and land with your bottom on your seat.
This is hard to do the first time around, so start at a slow speed and walk through the steps. As your confidence grows, you’ll be able to increase your speed.
The more you practise this, the faster you will get and the more confident you will become. The big takeaway point is to always keep looking forward. It is easy to look down for too long and run into people in front you – particularly those less advanced competitors who have to stop to mount their bikes.