Addressing Common Cycling Pains
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike? You probably weren’t concerned with bicycle comfort – especially if you were a young child at the time.
Can you remember watching the scenery breezing by from behind the handlebars on your short maiden voyage? Perhaps you can recall the bike you were riding, or who was there to witness your first glide. By far, the most memorable part of the experience was that swooshing feeling – the combination of balance and movement. The joy and exhilaration of that feeling just seems to stay with each of us through life.
But, now that you are “older”, you may experience discomfort or pain when you ride. There may be a distance threshold – when you reach it, the colorful scenery begins to get a little grey, and the joy begins to fade.
Your enjoyment, endurance and performance all diminish without bicycle comfort. Cycling health is contingent upon your comfort. You can address and resolve your issues.
These are the common forms of discomfort and pain associated with bicycling:
- Saddle soreness and genital numbness
- Knee pain
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Foot and ankle pain
- Numbness in the hands and wrists
- Low back pain
The good news is that each of these can be alleviated.
There are 3 interrelated approaches to addressing the causes of cycling pain. They are:
- Bike fit
- Functional Strength
- Cycling Technique
None of these approaches has priority. However, you must start with a bike that fits you to optimize the other two. A bike fit alone may alleviate some of these issues. But, it usually requires a combination of these three approaches to resolve most issues.
Bicycle comfort is so critical to cycling enjoyment, endurance, efficiency, performance and safety.
However, if you are pursuing performance goals, you are going to experience some discomfort (and occasionally pain) as part of your pursuit. Discomfort is a sign of healthy stress – a vital part of the Endurance Training Cycle.
Experience will hone your discernment between the stress of discomfort and the injury of pain. For some guidance on this: Cycling Performance: Discomfort Versus Pain.
Read about the following three methods to avoid injury, minimize discomfort and maximize both your performance potential and your enjoyment:
Bike Fit For Cycling Health
Strength Training for Cycling Health
Cycling Technique for Bike Comfort
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