As an outdoor cyclist, you should know that there will be so many events that occur—getting injured while riding is also inevitable. However, you can learn a few tips about cycling injury prevention for safety purposes.
We have been listing down a few good pieces of information to help you avoid potential injury in cycling and first aid tips in case an accident happens to you or your riding buddy. Consider bookmarking this page so you can easily access it in an emergency.
Cycling Injury Risk
Back in 1996 to 2000, there were about 60% of hospital admission and half of emergency department presentations for injuries caused by cycling in Victoria was dominated by children of age between five to fourteen.
The common injuries in cycling are usually caused by riders falling off their bike or hitting a stationary object while riding. The injuries that involve a clash with another vehicle is rarely seen, although there are some cases of it. For athletes, several factors may cause injuries, for example:
- Common cycling injury which has been caused by repetitive motion and a sustained bend over a position in most areas for chronic injuries like the lower back and knee, for example;
- Cycling imbalances are usually caused by the rider’s tendency to move forward and rarely side to side, driving body muscle development in some parts, like the arm and leg, faster than any other body parts.
Obey Road Rules When Cycling
There will be more dangers of cycling on the road and other outdoor activities rather than indoor training. To improve your safety, it will be best to follow the road rules for cyclists that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has made, such as:
- Like you are riding another kind of vehicle where you should obey all the traffic signals, the same restrictions apply to cyclists too;
- Remember to travel in the same direction flow of the traffic;
- Wearing a helmet when you are riding on the road is a must;
- Avoid using any mobile communication while riding your bike to avoid the split in focus that might lead to accidents;
- Ride as close as practicable to the far left edge of roads and always allow the traffic to overtake you safely;
- Remember to switch the front and rear lights when riding in the dark. Remember, the front light should be in white while the rear light should be in red.
Cycling Safety Tips
Aside from following the LTA rules for cyclists, you might also wonder about how can you prevent injury while cycling. Here are some tips you can apply:
- Before taking turns or intersections, try to make eye contact with the car driver—or another road user. Exchanging signals before taking a turn will reduce the possibility of crashing into one another;
- Avoid the usage of headphones when riding on the road. You will always need to stay focused and able to hear the event that occurs around you during the ride;
- One of the most common causes of cycling injury is hard braking. Try to combine your back and front brake in combination whenever you are going to pull a brake. This method will help you to minimize the possibility of your weight going forward over handlebars;
- Remember to inspect your bike before going for a ride. Get your bike to the trusted local bike shop for annual maintenance. If you are in Singapore and unsure which bike shop gives the best services at reasonable prices; you can visit Rodalink.
Cycling Injury Prevention Strategy
Choosing the correct bike sizing fit will lessen the probability of getting injured while riding. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean choosing the right bike size will make you completely immune from getting injured. Here are some cycling injury prevention exercises you can practice to help you stop cycling injuries before they come:
Warm Up Before You Start a Ride
Most cyclists will directly hop on their bikes and start a ride. However, according to the specialist cycling physical therapist Ellen Foster, D.P.T from Ohio, it will be better for cyclists to spend around two minutes activating their muscles while taking their joints through full range motion so the muscle will be ready to act. This method helps hinder injury as well as soreness.
Train Your Physical Strength
Try to do squats, deadlifts, lunges, or kettlebell swings so you can make your muscles strong and resilient. Sustain your progress by consistently doing the exercises for 15 to 20 minutes twice a week. You can also consider taking a gym class two or three days a week.
Common Cycling Injuries
Cycling is indeed good for health, but there are still lots of health risks of cycling that you should be aware of, such as:
Have you ever felt pain under or around your kneecap when doing activities or resting? There will be a chance you are getting Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or PFPS. To prevent this condition, you can remove the pressure from your knees by keeping your supporting muscles, especially the quads and supple. Consider doing a quad stretch, massage your legs, and stretch the supporting cast.
Low Back Pain
If you are feeling aching, burning, stabbing pain, and stiffness, there will be a higher chance of suffering from lower back pain. To prevent this, you can consider working on your mobility, stability, and strength by strengthening the posterior chain muscle that holds up your back, including the hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae. You can take your spine through its full range of motion and relieve tension.
Some cyclists, especially female cyclists, may suffer from cycling saddle injuries caused by a combination of heat, pressure, friction, moisture, and bacteria. There are a few treatment methods cited, for example:
- Resting from your biking activity for a while;
- Applying the heat or cold, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal ingredients medication;
- Wear a loose cloth that is made of breathable materials.
Aside from the cycling saddle injuries, there is also a type of health issue that causes testicle and groin pain as the side effect of chronic pressure against the saddle that constricts blood flow while compressing the pudendal nerve, known as the cycling injuries groin.
To prevent these conditions, you will need to choose a saddle that could relieve pressure over the pudendal nerve, shift weight to the two bottom points of your pelvis, and properly adjust your bike to reduce tension over your hip, back, and knee when pedaling.
Cycling is a fun and healthy activity that will be good for your cardiovascular workouts. However, sometimes there will also be special occasions where you might be injured during your ride if you are not careful enough. You can try the presentation method mentioned above for prevention tips.
If you are new to the cycling world and looking for accessories to be installed on your bike according to the rules made by LTA, you can visit Rodalink. There will be a wide range of bike accessories, parts, and even apparel that will be comfortable for every riding session.
Products sold at Rodalink are guaranteed to be of high-performing quality at an affordable price. For every purchase of non-bike products for about SG$200, you will get the purchased item delivered to you without any additional shipping charge.
If you are looking for a bike in perfect sizing as the primary prevention of getting a back or knee injury, then Rodalink will be the best place to assist you. Rodalink comes along with a one-stop cycling shop with groups of professionals and experienced teams. They will gladly assist you in finding the most suitable bike for you and help you to adjust the seat position and handlebar reach to ensure you get the utmost comfort during your ride.
Don’t wait any longer and take one step closer to your cycling journey right away by visiting Rodalink. Only at Rodalink, you will find everything you need to start your biking journey without breaking your savings account. Happy cycling only if you start with Rodalink.