Winter is finally over, and there’s no better way to celebrate than heading outside for a bike ride to enjoy the warmer weather. But before you hop on your bike, it’s important to understand how you can protect yourself while you ride so you don’t suffer injuries. The experienced team at Cherry Creek Wellness Center has offered these tips to help you avoid injuries on your bike:
Relax your grip.
You may feel tempted to keep a tight grip on your handlebars while you ride your bike, but try to make an effort to relax your grip. Clenching something tightly for an extended period of time can lead to pain in your hands, wrists, and forearms. Keep a firm grip on the handlebars so you can stay in control of the bike, but don’t grab the bars too tightly if you want to avoid unpleasant aches later.
Check the extension of your knees.
Before you begin to ride, sit on your bike and push one foot down as if you are pedaling forward. Now, check to see how far your knee has extended. Your knees should be slightly bent at all times when you are pedaling, even when you are in a full extension on a downstroke. If your legs are completely straight or you feel your knees locking, it means you need to adjust the height of your seat. Lower the seat an inch or two and then try this test again. If your knees are bent more than 20-25 degrees, you need to raise your seat so you are able to extend your legs more during each downstroke. See the correct cycling posture
Wear protective gear.
Accidents can happen to anyone—even the most experienced riders. If you are thrown off of your bike, or if another bicyclist or motorist collides into you, you could suffer devastating injuries. Not every injury is preventable, but many can be avoided with the proper protective gear. The most important piece of protective gear you can wear is a helmet, but it has to fit your head properly. When testing different helmets, remember that you want a helmet to be low, level, and snug. This means the helmet should be level on your head and should cover the majority of your forehead. Once you’ve adjusted the straps, make sure the helmet fits snugly on your head by pushing it in different directions. If it moves more than an inch in any direction, you need to either adjust the straps or buy a different helmet.
Reach for the handlebars.
Grab the handlebars and take a look at the position of your arms. Are your arms completely straight? If so, you will need to adjust the stem until you are able to achieve a slight bend in your elbows. If you don’t make this adjustment, it’s very likely that you will experience pain in your back, shoulders, and neck later on.
At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients treat pain and stay healthy. Are you interested in learning more about our services? Contact us
today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful staff!