Unlike bike frames, your human frame needs to be strong but not ‘stiff’.
So good is some factory bike manufacturing now that some big brands now offer lifetime frame warranty. And this is with sub 1kg superlight carbon bikes – unbelievable!! Anyway whether or not we choose to trust this notion – that a carbon bike can be ridden safely for a lifetime is not the focus of this blog. Rather, it is about offering some attention to a frame that you are more or less stuck with for a lifetime – that is you!!
As a guy now moving deep into my 40’s I am now more than ever aware that the fun and experiences I continue to enjoy on (and off) the bike are something that I cannot take for granted. In particular I have made a reckoning of the contribution my body adds to the enjoyment and fulfillment of cycling, it is significant.
More so I come without a ‘warranty’ – so this frame needs to be able perform for a lifetime!! At least that needs to be the intent.
So what to do?
Unlike bike frames, human frames need to be strong but not ‘stiff’. Indeed any quality human mechanic will tell you tight and stiff muscles will bot be strong muscles – quite the opposite!! Indeed the repetitive nature of cycling can potentially exacerbate tightness and weakness.
Also consider that as we move into the 40’s and beyond changes occur that contribute to a gradual and progressive strength and flexibility loss – of which will impact negatively to ones level of cycling – not to mention the long-tern integrity of your frame.
My recommendation is a weekly yoga session and remedial massage. Yoga is one of the most misunderstood exercise activities. Simply, yoga enhances strength, flexibility, stability, and mindfulness. For cyclists it offers so much. Likewise massage needs to be seen as a key component of restoration (off-setting tightness and associated pain), not a simple luxury. That would be my ideal – with ‘own’ stretch and self-massage the ‘less than ideal’ (but still very good) fall back option. Anyway, this is my new commitment, a commitment that hopefully sees my frame holding itself together for a lifetime!!
Next month I will post a sequence of specific stretching and strengthening exercises for cycling.