I know it seems like bikes just pedal frantically all over the place, but most of us are actually doing our best to co-exist as seamlessly as we can with the cars on the road. Which is why I’m asking you to remember to use your turn signal.
Most of the time, the cyclist on the road with you is occupying the space between the right side of your car and the curb, which is a perfectly reasonable arrangement except at intersections where you are turning right and the bicycle is going straight. These are two events that cannot take place concurrently, for obvious reasons, as both bike and car will end up occupying the same space.
When you signal a right turn you are giving the cyclist beside you an opportunity to either speed up to cross the intersection before you enter your turn or slow down to allow you to turn in front of him or her. (The decision to speed up or slow down being based on how fast the bike is going, how fast you are going, and how close you both are to the turn.)
If you don’t signal, the cyclist will be assuming you are going straight, and it will be much more likely that he or she is in your way when you attempt to turn.
So to summarize: please use your turn signals. Even if you don’t see any bikes. Because goodness knows you’re not all that great at detecting bicycles on the road with you as it is.
Standing with your feet pointed straight ahead, step forward with your right leg and bend your knee, keeping your left foot firmly planted on the ground behind you.
Keep your upper-body erect and drop your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your calf (dont bend over at the waist use your hips to move) Hold for 15-30 seconds, then rotate.
Standing, reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the top of the ankle, and pull up towards your butt.
The quads are the biggest cycling muscle, and deserve a very slow stretch, careful not to pull too hard too fast. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then rotate legs.
Quick tip: Heighten the stretch by tightening your butt muscles.
The IT Band runs down the side of your leg and helps in balance and control; the section of this band that affects cyclists is between the hip and knee.
A tight or inflamed IT band can cause tendonitis or knee alignment issues.
Stretch from a sitting position: cross the left leg across the right knee and gently push down on the left knee. You should feel the stretch on the outside of your leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then rotate.
The pedaling motion develops short and powerful hamstrings. Unlike running, which lengthens hamstrings, cyclists are prone to tightness in these muscles. This is why your “hams” might ache if you’re a cyclist who runs on occasion.
This makes it very important to stretch hamstrings slowly and carefully.
Standing, bend over at the waist and let your arms dangle toward the ground, letting the knees bend slightly outward. This stretch benefits greatly from deep, steady breathing youll find that you can touch the ground after several slow, deep breaths.
The butt muscles are perhaps the most oft-overlooked muscles in cycling stretching.
From a cross-legged sitting position on the floor, angle your left leg over the right and plant left foot next to right knee, so your left leg forms a triangle.
Grasp the front of your left knee and lean forward, careful to keep your back straight. Feel the stretch along your left hamstring. This releases the piraformis, a connecting muscle that often tightens after sitting on a saddle. Perform this stretch with both legs.
Neck and Shoulders
Checking for traffic and other riders behind you is where the neck muscles come into play.
Standing, gently roll your head in a circle several times, then rotate directions. Shrug your shoulders upwards and hold for five seconds. Repeat several times.
Your trunk of abdomen and back muscles are the support system for your legs as they pedal.
The best stretch is actually doing crunches or back extensions to help strengthen these varied muscles.
You can do a simple back twist from the gluteus-stretch position, by twisting your trunk to look behind, one side and then the other. Feel the stretch in your abdomen.