Cycling is a funny thing. While most people ride bike at an easy pace over short distances (5-10 miles taking 30 to 60 minutes), when you get into the faster speeds (call it 17 to 25 mph), it can hurt over a long four or five hour ride. While I do make light of yoga and stretching (I do neither), they do have their uses after Herculean efforts – even for a super-cyclist like me. After all, if you’re hurting you have to get ready for that next big ride. You don’t want to waste any time being sidelined – or worse, have trouble sleeping because you’re sore. I have regularly resorted to a few simple yoga poses to work the kinks out because we all know that yoga, or stretching, can make sleepy time just a little more enjoyable. Here are my suggestions [I use the actual Sanskrit names to show that I’m smarter than you]:
The Evenmytainthurtsasana: After a century, especially if you’re only doing one or two a year, you might find it hard to sleep because your hips hurt… lay in bed with one leg straight and the other rotated out and down so your legs and body make a goofy lowercase “h”. Your hips should feel better instantly.
The Myfrickinlowerbackiskillingmeasana: After a long day in the saddle, especially in the drops, it helps to stretch out that lower back a little bit. Simply lay in bed and fold your leg over your other leg so your foot is a few inches lower than the top of the bed. Switch sides of the bed and do the other leg.
The Cameltoeasana: Squat down so your butt almost touches the ground and wrap your arms around your knees (make sure they’re spread wide). This will help with the hips and the lower back.
The Lookatthosehootersasana: Cycling for all you’re worth isn’t easy. Spend a day on the hoods or in the drops and your neck can become quite stiff… Simply touch your chin to each shoulder to loosen things up a bit.
The LookmaI’mWileECoyoteasana: Part two of the shoulder stretches… Rotate your arms as Wile E Coyote does after running off the edge of a cliff, a second before he falls to the desert floor.
The Peeonmyownfaceasana or alternately for the guys, the Lightmyfartasana: The hips still bothering you? Don’t fret, happens to the best of us! Simply lay down on your back, spread your legs to shoulder width, bring your knees up to your chest, wrap your arms around them and hold that for a few seconds.
These are some of the best poses I know (or have made up, alternately). If they don’t shake out the cobwebs, take two pain relievers and follow that with a recovery ride in the morning. 16-20 miles at 2/3’s normal pace should do.
You’re welcome, in advance.