Your free time probably isn’t as full with bike riding as it once was in the summertime. Sure, you can take advantage of this opportunity to catch up on your reading, finally knit that scarf or fix the broken toilet flapper that’s been slowly leaking since spring. But it’s also the perfect time to dabble in a little cross training and adjusting, the activities that will compliment your riding and help your body stay healthy all around.
Cycling is a relatively gentle sport, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a toll on your body. If you’re riding in discomfort, something needs to change, and chances are you need a different bike set up. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need a new bike, so treat yourself to a quality bike fit to learn more.
Even if you don’t subscribe to any particular schools of thought when it comes to stretching, rolling around on the floor to loosen your hamstrings, calves and shoulders is always a good bet, and you can even do it next time the commercials play during your favorite TV show.
Forget any notions you have about yoga being a chanting hippie activity. Sure, if that’s your jam you’ll find it within yoga, but the discipline is as varied as cycling (BMX, triathletes, beach cruisers, cyclocross, tall bikes, handmade bikes… you get my drift). Many styles of yoga focus on stretching out, limbering up and core strength – all crucial activities for bikers.
Many yoga places allow a trial class or more so you can get a feel for the place. Find a location that’s convenient and a style that fits you. Don’t be fooled by the overly-pristine studios that cost an arm and a leg, you can easily find excellent yoga at affordable prices in the most unlikely of places. West Coast Health and Fitness is an independent gym with three Portland locations. They offer that nearly 30 weekly free yoga classes for members and the instructors provide a low-key setting for an at-your-own-pace style class.
You might also want to try a location that specializes in yoga for bikers, like Belmont Yoga (Portland), Eugene Yoga (periodic class series that are bike focused) or the special Bike-Centric Yoga class series at PedalPT (Portland).
It may seem crazy at first, but try it and you just might fall in love with spinning. Sure, sitting inside staring at the wall is kind of lame, but because you’re not navigating bumps, turns and stoplights you’re free to focus on your form and your ride. You just may find you have heightened focus and a better overall result. Nothing can compare to riding in the countryside on a sunny summer day with a light breeze at your back, but let’s face it – those days are seven months away.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN WINTER?
Share your ideas below.