Stop Quickly And Safely - What's the secret to safer braking? Practice braking before you have to use your brakes for an emergency, and be certain your braking system is in good working order. Remember to apply pressure to the brake levers evenly; don't favor the front or rear brake alone. The harder you have to squeeze, the more you should shift your weight backwards. Practice weight-shift braking in an unused parking area or on a sidewalk adjacent to your home. Just before you squeeze the brakes, use your leg muscles to lift your weight off the seat an inch or two, then apply the brakes as you simultaneously and smoothly shift your body rearward. Keep looking forward and be ready to step one foot on the ground as your bike safely comes to a rapid stop. Repeat these steps to build confidence, knowing that you can now stop safely and quickly from any speed. Variations of the same technique will work off-road, too, though loose surfaces such as sand or gravel make skidding, sliding and falling more likely and require increased bike-handling skills.