As the sun begins to shine and temperatures rise, it is time to start thinking about getting back on that road bike or taking it off the turbo trainer and back on the road. We look at some top tips to consider before jumping on your bike, including expert advice from Irish professional cyclist Rory Townsend. Tips range from lubricating your chain to using NuroKor bioelectrical therapy to get the right muscles firing before your ride.
Our top tips for getting back on the bike:
Before you get back on the road and start tackling some big rides, it is vital your bike is clean and in good working order. You should make sure everything is running smoothly and that your tyres have decent grip on them. Rory Townsend advises that cyclists should “make sure the drive chain is clean and re-lubricated. It will help protect the components and make it run faster.”
Unless you have been putting in hours and hours on the turbo, it is a good idea to start off with some shorter rides to get your legs (and your bottom!) used to being back on the bike for a good few hours at a time. Building up your training is a good way not to get disheartened, and to avoid injury.
As well as ensuring your cycling kit is in decent condition, still fits and remains comfortable, Townsend suggests that early season it is a good idea to carry extra layers: “It's always a little colder first thing, so you want to have kit you can take on and off.”
“It's better to take more than you need because you'll probably burn more than usual for the first few rides back,” suggests Townsend. Equally, eating well before you ride and giving your body enough time to digest food before you set off is important at any time of year, particularly early on in the season.
You can easily get out of the habit of what to carry when you are riding, so make sure you have a spare tube, pump and repair kit if you like to carry one. As Townsend says: “A puncture on Zwift doesn't matter as much as it will on the road.”
NuroKor bioelectrical therapy can be a key tool to help muscles, and aid recovery for cyclists, both in early season and in general. Townsend uses NuroKor both for recovery and for muscle activitation. He explains: “To help me recover more quickly, I use NuroKor to promote blood flow to my legs, the same goes for long travel days to stop the blood pooling in my lower legs. In early season, NuroKor is great to get the right muscles firing before a ride (or gym session).”
To help avoid injury and keep your legs in good condition for the next session, it is a worth considering building a stretching routine into your cycling training. Cyclists’ lower hamstrings can often get tight as they spend a lot of time in a shortened position on the bike, so it is worth focusing on the hamstrings, as well as the glute muscles, IT band and quads.
Nearly all professional cyclists shave their legs, so if you want to mix in with the pros, then consider shaving those pins – whether you are female or male!
Rory Townsend is an Irish professional cyclist who rides for the UCI Continental Team Canyon dhb Sungod. Follow Rory’s journey on Instagram - @rorytownsendcyclist.