How many of us tear down our bikes after a weekend ride, check the oil, lube cables and chain and do preventative maintenance? I hope all. You do it to make sure that your trusty ride is ready to go on the next outing correct? Well, how many of you spend time on recovery for your body after? I don’t mean the post race brew or tacos on the way home either. This is also more than stretching once done as well. It is important to help our bodies recover and keep the muscles “released” to help avoid being sore or even more important ready to ride the next day.
Many of you may have heard of a foam roller. It is a tube shaped item with different density of foam available. It can be used to relieve tension in muscles all over the body. It is especially great for the IT band, quads, calf muscles and back. Another great item is called a Tiger Tail. The inventor is actually married to an ex Supermoto racer who used it for arm pump. Myself, along with other riders regularly use it for arm pump or leg cramps.
Foam Rollers can be found at various sporting good stores. The key to remember is to never roll on a bruise or swollen area and also not push too hard. Find tight spots and gently roll through or wiggle back and forth on the spot. I have also included links to both below as well as other therapy and release tools.
Tiger Tails have various sizes and easily fit in a gear bag. They come with great instructions but the same guideline for a foam roller can be followed.
The key is spending a bit of time to soothe and care for those muscles you pushed to the limit and release “knots”, tension and tight points so you are ready to ride again quicker. Many of us do not get to work our “riding muscles” as often so some soreness is expected but these tools and techniques can cut that time down. You might be surprised how good they make you feel when used regularly.