You know you might be a serious cyclist if you prefer lycra and cleats to shorts and flip flops for your riding attire. With Staunton’s Tour de Donut last weekend and the Edwardsville Rotary Criterium just a few weeks away, the metro east is in the midst of cycling season.
While it’s rare for the bicycle-built-for-two weekend riders to experience pain and/or injury, the competitive cyclers are extremely susceptible. We thought we’d dole out some unsolicited but helpful advice for injury prevention. This advice is more for the serious cycler and less for the beach cruiser bicyclists.
- Basic Safety: Of course, there’s always the basic safety precautions: wear a helmet, make sure you have a headlight if riding at night, use proper hand signals when riding on streets, etc., all of which is common sense.
- Positioning: Make sure your seat is at the appropriate height that is comfortable for you. When positioned too low, it can cause knee pain; too high can cause back pain. It’s helpful to write down the measurements that fit you best and keep them on file.
- Warm-up: Stretch your legs, hips and back to loosen muscles and joints, and prevent injury.
- During the ride: A low cadence (pedaling rate) is much harder on your knees and hips. Ideally, try to keep it at or above 90 rpm.
- Take it sloooow: Doing too much too soon is hard on your body in general. It can cause ankle pain, such as Achilles tendonitis, knee pain (the patellofemoral joint in particular), and hip pain.
- Relax and enjoy the ride!
If you have questions or are experiencing any pain, please call our office at 618-288-9460 for an appointment. You can also visit us online at http://c4ao.com/.