After Every Bike Ride: What to Do

It's a lot of fun to ride your bike in the rain, especially when you can slide through puddles. But in order to prevent a major mess or, worse, a broken bike, it's crucial to clean and check your bike before your next trip. Within an hour following your ride, eat a meal high in protein and carbohydrates. Steer clear of foods heavy in fat, as they can hinder digestion.

Extend

Your muscles are stressed during a strenuous workout or a bike ride, which causes muscular tissue to break down. These muscles heal, become stronger, and adapt during the post-exercise phase, making the same workout feel easier the next time. Dynamic stretches are a common warm-up technique for competitive cyclists, but they can also be helpful after a ride. These static stretches promote the lengthening of muscles that are persistently tense from cycling, help recover impaired flexibility, and enhance posture. Tight hamstrings, lower back muscles, stiff quads and hip flexors, and the chest and shoulder muscles from spending all day bent over a bike are some of the most typical regions that bikers experience. To ease these trouble spots, try this stretch: Step down into a deep squat by pushing your knees outward while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. This releases tension in the psoas iliacus muscle, which joins the iliotibial band to the lumbar vertebrae and expands the hips. Additionally, it stretches the muscle that runs along your calf, the gastrocnemius.

Eat.

Getting enough fuel both before and during a ride can mean the difference between a podium result and a bonkers ride. Disregarding your body's energy stores can swiftly impair your performance and result in the dreaded hangover or post-ride crash. Try to finish eating solid foods two to three hours before you go on a bike, especially if it will be a challenging one. This allows the stomach to start breaking down any food and absorbing some of the liquids you've ingested. Eating something with both carbohydrates and protein before and during a ride is also crucial. This could be as easy as a pack of jelly beans or a sandwich. To aid with recovery after a ride, pre-made recovery drinks with both protein and carbohydrates are also available. To maintain your energy levels on longer rides, think about packing a carb-based snack like chips, cookie bars, or jelly beans.

Rehydrate

Drink to your thirst is a wise maxim in general, but it's not so great when riding a bike. It's common to become dehydrated before you feel thirsty. This is particularly valid if you are riding hard or in a hot climate. Start drinking frequently early in your ride and make an effort to always have a bottle with you to prevent this. In order to avoid starting at a disadvantage on longer rides, you might try to pre-hydrate a little by consuming water a few hours beforehand. From the moment you get on your bike, try to drink a few large swallows of liquid every ten to fifteen minutes. Additionally, you should have some carbs in the form of energy bars or sports drinks. After your bike ride, try to have a substantial lunch no later than two hours later. This will provide you with the protein required for muscle repair and assist in replenishing your glycogen levels.

Inspect your cycle.

Many accidents occur as a result of a little mechanical problem that was ignored or not fixed. Make it a practice to inspect your bike before each ride because it can be difficult to spot these items when you're disoriented following a collision. Be sure you're okay, first and foremost. After a bike collision, it's easy to transition from a sense of ecstasy to total confusion, especially if your head hits the ground. Check your bike after feeling and moving every limb to determine whether you have any injuries. It's easier to accomplish this while standing over your bike. Squeeze each tire to make sure the air pressure is correct and the rims don't grind against the brake pads. Make sure the through axle or quick-release lever is firmly holding each wheel in place in the frame by spinning the wheels. Examine the frame thoroughly, checking for any loose screws and other issues that require correction.


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