2017’s Tour de France is running this July, and those familiar with the event know that the nine flat, five hill, five mountain and two time-trial stages are a true feat of human endurance. However if you’ve been watching the news, following Richie Porte's horrifying high-speed crash, you’ll know riding a bike’s not risk free!

Despite this after watching the event, many armchair athletes will be tempted to dig out their bike and helmet from the back of the shed, dust it off and hit the road for a taste of cycling action. Bathurst chiropractor, Dr Ben Purcell, often sees people hit with this sporting fever and urges a degree of caution.

Dr Purcell says, “While it’s great to see people getting out on their bikes, like starting any exercise program, riders need to pace themselves and start training with a plan to increase their fitness over time.” He’s put together some easy tips to get you started.

Apart from injuries due to collisions or falling from the bike, most cycling injuries are of the long-term microtrauma type. This is where poor technique or poor bike setup places extra strain on muscles, joints and ligaments causing them to become inflamed and irritated over time.

Examples of these injuries and their causes include:

- Poor cleat position causing foot numbness or Achilles tendon inflammation.
- Knee cap inflammation due to poor cleat/foot position also.
- Neck problems caused put the seat being too high or handle bars too low.
- Back problems when the seat is too high for your particular frame.

Dr Purcell and the team at Bathurst Chiropractic are able to advise on getting your bike setup in an ideal position for your body type and situation. The store where you bought your bike should also be able to help.

Dr Purcell also had these other tips to ensure your bike sessions are pain free.

- Like any sport, you need to warm up first. The hamstrings and calf muscles often get tight in cyclists so be sure to stretch these muscles regularly.
- Don’t forget your core strength. While cycling is great for your cardiovascular health and your lower body strength, for peak performance and to achieve the most aerodynamic posture, you need to work on your core strength while off your bike.
- Work on your technique to ensure you’re pedalling smoothly and maintaining good posture.
- Don’t forget to eat well and rest appropriately. As you increase your training your body will need more fuel. Make sure it’s healthy fuel!

Done well, cycling can be a great way to improve your fitness and help you relax. Just make sure that you follow these simple tips to ensure your ride is pain free.

Ben Purcell
Company: Bathurst Chiropractic
Address: Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Phone: +612 6331 1004
Website: http://www.bathurstchiropractic.com.au/