How to Fix Bad Cycling Habits

How to Fix Bad Cycling Habits

 Whether you stick to a stationary bike or ride outdoors, cycling is one of those activities that seems pretty straightforward (hence, “it’s like riding a bike”). But picking up a few bad habits is easier than you’d think, and poor technique can cramp your cycling style, damage your body, and even mess with your bike.

Not wearing a helmet when cycling outdoors.

The biggest, most obvious cycling no-no is to skip out on wearing a helmet. Even wearing one that isn’t a proper fit can be harmful—a comfortably snug helmet is an absolute must, as a loose fit won’t protect you in the event of an accident.

Even if local laws don’t require you to wear a helmet, do it anyway. Nix the annoying excuses you make: No distance is too short, temperature too hot, or hairstyle too perfect to justify not protecting your brain. Promise me you won’t ever get on a bike without a helmet again, OK?

Neglecting your gear.

If you are a serious cyclists that is logging serious miles then you should be buying a new bike every 2-3 years. Or, instead of getting an entirely new whip, you can invest in a great carbon frame and swap out components when needed. Also a new chain is as valuable as a new bike so be sure to get a new one every 2,000 miles.

It is also suggested that you keep up with regular maintenance appointments and schedule them with your local bike shop to prevent long-term issues. If you are someone who rides more than once a week, then this could be once every three months. If you are a less frequent cyclists then you should aim for twice a year. But always check your tire pressure and inspect tires visually to look for any small tears or leakage.

Riding a bike that’s the wrong size.

Unless you’re riding a BMX bike that’s intentionally small, you should speak with an expert to get properly fit for a bike before making a purchase. Having a bike that is properly fit plays a huge role in injury prevention and overall comfort on the bike.

It is common for many riders end up on the wrong equipment if they’re not working with experienced shop staff or a fitter to determine the bike size. This is due to a lot of companies measuring their bikes to slightly different points. Even if you are buying bikes within the same manufacturer, you may ride a 56cm frame in one model and then a 54cm in another, simply because of the design of the bike.

Skipping meals before or after a ride.

You’ve got to fuel before riding, but there’s no one-size-fits-all meal plan for cyclists. Now keep in mind that eating before exercise depends entirely on the person, especially if you are someone who bikes at dawn or takes morning classes. If you’re going to eat something, make sure it’s at least 30-45 minutes before class. It is common for people to eat something small like an RX bar or other protein bar. These are things that you can keep on you or in a workout bag.

However after a ride, it’s essential to refuel as cycling burns lots of calories. You will need to refuel your body after cycling. You should consider having something like a nutritious smoothie to replenish your body until you are able to have a meal with lean protein and lots of greens.

And don’t forget you need to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a ride.  Even though the actual amount during a workout varies from person to person, you should try and aim for around 36 ounces of water in the hours before and after exercise.

Barely warming up or cooling down.

Even if you hate it, stretch before and after a ride. Stretching is the best way to prevent injury and is also imperative for recovery and maintaining your range of motion.

It is recommended to do a runner’s lunge as it helps elongate the hip flexors that typically get very tight during cycling. And massages are always a great idea for tending to sore muscles—this is your permission slip to book that spa day you’ve been dreaming about.

Most indoor cycling spots will allow riders to enter the studio at least five minutes before class, so you should try hopping on your bike early to get warm. This is a great way to let your body loosen up and get the muscles ready for action.

Skipping out on anti-chafe cream.

Discomfort from chafing during an epic ride is such a buzzkill. But good news: This agonizing pain is entirely preventable. Chafing occurs after hours of friction in the groin region while cycling. You will want to apply a generous amount of Chamois Butt’r on any areas with creases in the skin that may be touched by the lining of your shorts’ padding.

 Not being aware of your surroundings.

Wearing headphones is just plain dumb when it comes to outdoor cycling. You won’t be alert, you’ll have trouble hearing car horns and emergency sirens, and you definitely won’t hear other cyclists approaching. Even in the countryside you need all of your senses to be fully aware of your surroundings and prevent accidents.

It is also important to know the laws in your area. This is because it can be illegal in most places to use your phone while operating a vehicle, and bikes are no exception. Don’t text and ride. If you need to send a message, snap a picture, or check directions, stop off on the side of the road. Keep your phone out of sight to prevent the temptation of checking in.

Contact Us:

To find out the best nutrition plan for you, contact us at Peak Wellness office to schedule a consultation with someone from our team. Our team is here to meet your sports medicine needs as well as any other wellness services!

2022-05-10T06:00:43-04:00October 6th, 2021|health, Nutrition, Recovery|Comments Off on How to Fix Bad Cycling Habits

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