The 2014 Tour de France is underway, and several cyclists, including the 2013 defending champion Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, a 2014 favorite to win, have pulled out of the race due to injuries. This isn’t surprising as these professionals are cycling in packs of 200, for 100 miles a day, for 21 days. In this grueling competition, common injuries including bruises, minor cuts, fractures, sprains and broken collar bones, are most often caused by cyclists crashing into each other and falling off their bikes. For casual cyclists, the most commonly reported injuries come from overtraining and improper bike fit. Scott Taylor, a physical therapist at NEBH and an avid cyclist, has the following tips to cycle safely this season.
General Safety Tips to Avoid Serious Injury While Cycling
Preventing Overuse Injuries
Adjusting your Bike to Fit
Muscle Cramps and Fatigue
You may notice the cyclists drinking lots of water and eating energy bars along the route in the Tour de France. Staying hydrated and nourished can help avoid muscle cramps, as well as evade fatigue, which can lead to bad decision making and lack of attention.
While most cyclists will never be in the Tour de France, biking is a challenging exercise that can be tailored to the fitness level you desire. If incur any type of persistent pain, you should consult an orthopedic expert.