Three Cycling Tips That Might Just Save Your Life On The Bike One Day

Hi folks,

Cycling on the roads is dangerous, as is Mountain Biking. Almost everything worth doing is dangerous, so don’t stop, just adjust your approach for a (hopefully) long and (definitely) happy life. Even the most experienced cyclists have crashes, but there are ways to improve your chances.

If you read this blog you are probably not an elite cyclist, but just a ‘regular dude’ like yours truly. As an amateur, I live in the world of amateurs, some of which are extremely skilled on a bike, but the people I ride with are still one of my risk factors, as I am for them. This is like scuba diving, in a way, with the greatest danger being your buddy. Choose your cycling buddies wisely. In my recent post on the NYC Triathlon swimming deaths I mentioned the fact that the bike segment of a triathlon is more risky than the swim with respect to severe injuries. In another recent post about my experiences at the Lake Placid Ironman, I reported that three male athletes not much younger than I were pretty badly injured, two of the three being a consequence of bike wrecks. How do we limit this risk? Here are three things that can improve your safety on the bike: (1) A well-fitting and well-maintained bike of good quality, (2) a strong core and (3) bike skills. There are many other factors to consider, including an effective mirror and not letting your attention waver when you are tired.

How do we set up 1, 2 and 3 above?

1. The Bike. Have the right bike support person, or know your bike and become your bike support person, depending on your interests, time, and money supply.

2. Strong Core. There are plenty of core exercises, but Victor, my bike guy and real cyclist, swears by squats and lunges in the weight room. I am trying Pilates plus this weight room work. There are many ways to hoe this row, but you neglect it at your peril on the road.

3. Bike Skills. Just read about it, talk to elite riders, and then find a coach willing to teach you. At the latest training camp I attended, with the FastForwardTriathon (FFT) team, we covered balance (last one to arrive wins on a 50 yard loop), agility (picking up objects from the ground while riding), and interaction with other cyclists (looking behind whilst resting one arm on your buddy’s shoulder, on a flat road at about 15 mph). You will be surprised how effective such simple exercises can be. Then, if you hit a pothole when evasion is impossible you probably won’t lose control. Just watch professional cyclists riding in a peleton, and you’ll see what I mean by bike skills.

Furthermore, see the latest blogpost by ‘my bike guy,’ Victor, if you want to know more.

-k Your Medical Mind


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.