Cycling mishaps always seem to happen when you least expect them to. These cycling mishaps can vary from small cycling struggles to monstrous ones like a global pandemic that forces you to spin solo on your indoor trainer for the umpteenth day while you stare out the window on a beautifully sunny day.
Because cycling mishaps happen to all of us, remember that there is always a way to push though those struggles and keep making forward progress.
Here are some solutions and tips for the next time you find yourself in a pickle and this article was researched using the ideas I found on https://www.bicycling.co.za.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I will get a small commission if you buy anything you click on, but at no extra cost to you.
Cycling Mishaps And Coping Strategies
1. Stomach Problems
What happens when you are cycling and your stomach starts sending sour tasting bile into your mouth.
It is common knowledge that digestion is sometimes compromised during exercise and endurance activities, but there are things that you can do to salvage the situation.
- Drink a lot of water or an electrolyte drink as this can make you feel instantly better.
- Eat something, even an energy bar can help to settle your stomach.
- If you find yourself prone to indigestion, make sure you are carrying antacids with you. If you have a hard race ahead of you take two before you start.
You can order these tablets online and buying them in bulk will save you a bundle, especially if you go through a lot of antacids each month.
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2. You Battle on Climbs
Whether they are steep or long, riders mostly agree that climbs of all kinds topped the list the hardest part of any ride or race. Here are some tips to try that may help you.
Try Changing Positions
Varying your position on the bike will take a lot of the hurt out of long climbs because it changes the load of work on your working muscles.
If you sit back in your saddle, you will engage your glutes more. If you lean more towards the nose of the bike your quads will take on most of the work. Standing in the saddle will let you stretch out your legs and back and make pedaling easier.
Try to alternate through the positions to prevent fatigue.
If you find the grade almost too steep for you try this. Tuck your elbows into your sides, dip your torso towards the bars and gently but firmly pull back on the handlebars with every downstroke. This enables you to transfer power from your upper body through your core and into your legs to assist you in your onward progress.
Lower the tension in your body and deliver fresh oxygenated blood to your legs by breathing fully and deeply. If you feel yourself fading, try forcefully exhaling like you are trying to blow all the air out of your lungs, then breathe in deeper and fuller. This will also calm you.
You can also try to time your breathing with your pedal stroke. Breathe in for three and exhale for two on steady climbs and if the effort gets more intense, quickening the rhythm to two counts inhale and one out exhale. Concentrating on your breathing will help you get your mind off of your aching muscles.
Feed Your Muscles
Keep a bag of energy beans, chewy sweets, or your favorite small snack handy for long rides with lots of long climbs. Pop a few at the base of each climb to give your mood and muscles a little hit of energy. It’s easier to keep the negative talk at bay if your brain has some sugar.
3. Scary Descents
It can be scary staring down a rutted, steep, gravelly, and rocky descent, and you are not on a mountain bike.
You can try to drop your psi. 60 psi sounds super low and slow, but less tire pressure lets the tire conform to the terrain, so you will feel planted and in control. You can always pump the tires up again once you return to the normal roads which is why you should always carry a hand pump or a CO2 cartridge.
When going down the hill relax as this will help for the shock absorption. Also, having a death grip on the handlebars doesn’t give your bike the freedom to correct itself and stay on line. Move your hands to the drops and keep your elbows bent and relaxed. Shift your weight back on the saddle and bend your legs so they can act like springs to absorb the bumps.
4. You Are Stuck Indoors
For most cyclists being stuck indoors is the worst cycling mishap.
Luckily nowadays we have the technology, and this is the secret to making indoor grinds more bearable, and sometimes even more enjoyable.
First of all, make sure you’re training space is a place that you want to be in. Nothing worse than having to go down to a dark basement to cycle.
Set up your recumbent or upright bike near some natural light or next to a window. Circulate the air with a strong fan or by opening windows. A portable speaker and some stimulation to distract from the tedium of pedaling in place will go a long way.
Online there is no shortage of virtual group rides and races and you can even invite you’re cycling buddies for E-meetups. Another option is to ride along with pros from around the world who are holding Zwift events.
Try Treadmill Trails from Amazon for some extra motivation.
Computerized upright bikes like the one above make indoor cycling far more challenging, as you can set yourself challenges, measure your distances and calories, and play music through the built-in speakers.
5. You Lack Your Usual Motivation
Unfortunately, motivation ebbs and flows in all of us at the best of times. Riding alone can also cause one to lose motivation, but here are some tricks to get you going again.
Give your bike some TLC and spruce it up a bit, as it will feel like you are riding a new bicycle the next time you go cycling.
Try a tool like Strava’s new routes features or ride with GPS Route Planning to find new loops in your area. So now you can switch away from your normal routes. Doing something different will mentally stimulate you.
Try some online challenges. Strava has some great distance and climbing challenges.
Try some virtual community events like Ted King’s DIY Gravel. Here you can ride the same distance as an event you had planned. Rebecca Rusch’s Giddy Up for Good is another one that you can rack up vertical feet for charity. This will give you’re cycling a sense of purpose.
Getting a virtual buddy will also help to keep you accountable when you are feeling less motivated. Somehow shared cycling struggles always seem more bearable. Text each other your ride plans for the week and keep each other accountable by sending photos, ride files or any other proof that you can.
6. Managing The Headwinds You Hate
Most people seem to hate headwinds more than they hate hills. This is because unless you know you’ll reach a point where that wind will be at your back, blissfully pushing you forward, they feel utterly unrewarding.
This is how to stop the headwinds from ruining your ride.
Try treating that headwind like a long climb. Shift into an easier gear and spin a smooth and high cadence. Watch your watts and not your speed. Even though you won’t be making as much forward progress as you would like, you will still be getting the work done.
Make yourself low and narrow as your body accounts for about 70 percent of your aerodynamic drag. The most aerodynamically-efficient riding posture is with your hands on the hoods, arms bent with forearms parallel to the ground. That position is also more comfortable and sustainable than sticking to the drops.
When you can ride in a group, use pack dynamics for protection. When you’re tucked behind another rider, you enjoy about a 30-percent reduction in wind resistance. But even if you’re leading the pack, you still get a little boost, according to wind tunnel research, because having someone behind you creates a low-pressure air bubble that lowers the wind resistance about 3 percent.
Riding toward the back of the pack is a sweet spot with the least resistance, but minimize your time being the caboose. Being at the end of the line means you have no one behind you to create that low-pressure pocket, so it can feel harder to bring up the rear.
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I hope this post has helped you with those cycling mishaps that ruin your cycling event or ride. Please comment below if you have any further points to add.