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Interesting Bike Science


Riding smart to avoid injury

The overall design of a bicycle almost looks like it’s made to crunch down the back and tense the shoulders. But after a little conscious intervention, riders can condition themselves to slant the spine at an even keel and get rid of the aches and pains. Posture, good health and bike design are all factors that determine how the bike affects the body. The point of riding should always be to promote relaxation and steady exercise. There’s no worse feeling than that exhausted sweat-painted sensation after a long couple of miles All the detrimental effects, however, can be alleviated with less effort than you think.

Exercise your back

Aligning the spine involves a combination of sleeping on the back and walking up straight. Sleeping on the stomach, for instance, can cause long-term spinal problems that play out on the bike. Posture, when one is awake, really is a book on the head, and it requires a conscious effort to maintain. It’s not easy at first to keep an eye on yourself, but before long, posture will become instinctive like anything else. The health benefits of a straight spine are astounding. Hormones, oxygen and blood can circulate much better with a straight back. It’s also important to get used to a constant center of gravity, even off the bike. Regular sit-ups, for instance, can be expanded to include raising the lower half of the body, too, and practicing a straight curvature between back and legs. To do this, sit on the ground and extend the legs straight out; now roll back and forth on your bottom. Focus on keeping your back and legs at a 90-degree angle the whole time. On the go, try to keep your head parallel to your shoulders and imagine how your head looks in correlation to your body. Try to relax in the mirror and study your posture to see what needs improving. Small exercises like these can make a huge difference in the way you do nearly everything.

Ergonomics and the bike rider

Ergonomics have proven to play a pivotal role in cushioning the body’s weight in the workplace, at home or on the road. One simple 5-degree slant on the seat can make all the difference in a bike’s comfort and ride. Ergonomics and mountain biking meet on the Copenhagen Pedersen, a comfort-inspired bicycle designed to reduce the amount of impact on the human body to a bare minimum. Ergonomics in desk chairs, keyboards and cars have improved the energy and health of many people who sit in one position for a long period of time. In the next 50 years, it’s possible that ergonomics will all together change the way people relax, exercise, work and play. By combining good exercise, posture and ergonomic concerns, any rider can greatly improve his or her comfort on the trail or road. Gel pads in the shoes may prevent pedal pains, while proper hydration will prevent exhaustion. The body has to be prepared to take what you dish out, so be certain that all the essentials are taken care of in diet, moderation and rest. It really depends on what your body needs aside from the necessities. Riding smart is a subjective thing and every rider requires different conditions for an enjoyable and safe ride.