Body by BikeAug 05, 2022
I’m all about sharing the gospel of cycling and exploring the outdoors on two wheels. I firmly believe that movement is medicine and that there’s nothing more exhilarating than the wind through my hair, dust spraying from my wheels, and the sensation of flying through space. Riding bikes is fun!
But the dirty little secret that no one talks about is that zipping around on two wheels can make a body hurt, even if you never crash. I’m not talking about the good kind of pain like your lungs searing and legs screaming as you roll over the top of a mountain pass. We like that kind of pain! No, I’m talking about the kind of pain like numb hands, a sore butt, stiff neck, aching back, and knee pain. This is the bad kind of hurt that should never be part of riding a bike.
Why does cycling hurt in this way? Well, most of the time, the pain comes from a poor (or non-existent) bike fit. Many of us get a bike that is suitable for our height, adjust the saddle a bit, throw a leg over, and go. Most riders don’t give any thought to the rest of the bike adjustments and we fit ourselves to the bike instead of fitting the bikes to our unique bodies.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. I bought my very first mountain bike from a pro cycling friend. It was a good bike, but I didn’t realize it was too small for me. I ended up with knee pain, and I crashed a lot due to poor handling because the short top tube put me too far over the front wheel. The result: As a new rider, I didn’t like mountain biking. In fact, I hated it, because it hurt and I was crashing all over the place. I thought the pain and frustration was because I just sucked at riding a bike.
My next bike was the right size, and I invested in a professional bike fit at a shop. I was blown away by all the things that could be adjusted. The beauty of the bike is that, unlike buying a shirt, there are tons of adjustments to customize your bike to your unique body. I thought it was just saddle height that mattered. I was so wrong. When I went out to ride, I was on fire! Nothing hurt, and I felt fast and in control. Just like that! I hadn’t gotten any better at riding; I was simply riding a bike that fit me. Suddenly I loved mountain biking because it was fun and didn’t hurt…at least as long as I didn’t crash!
We use our bikes as a tool for movement, meditation, and exploration, and to be a better version of ourselves. Racing, training, touring, dirt, gravel, or road…whatever kind of ride you’re on, the bike is your tool, and you have the ability to fit it to your body and riding style.
And now, thanks to technology and science, you can do your own custom bike fits at home with your phone! Your body. Your bike. Introduce them with MyVeloFit so you can start shredding pain free! You can thank me later.