Cyclists can ride into retirement with right equipment

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email


Cycling, like any sport, can be dangerous and for avid cyclists chronic issues like carpal tunnel, problems with the 'sit bones' and numbness of the hands can ruin your ride. Though cycling has pitfalls, it is a low impact sport and can be great for recovering athletes, beginners and even seniors, according to Dr. Scott Hofer, an orthopedic surgeon at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Hofer is a competition cyclist, and though bike riding can prove dangerous navigating traffic and obstacles, he worries most about spin class participants.

"Who sets up their bike for them?," said Dr. Hofer, "I think everybody pretty much sets up their own bike, so unless you've got some guidance in terms of how you should be positioned on a bike, whether the seat should be more forward or back, you can actually be more prone to the overuse injuries in an environment like that than when you're riding the same bike day in day out."

Triathlete Randy Biggs injured his fibula while running and doctors told him to rest for seven weeks. He could not stop training, so instead of running he tried cycling as an alternate form of cardiovascular exercise. "Anytime you do just one thing you're neglecting other areas of your body," said Biggs,"One reason I stopped running all the time was it caused me all that over-use running everyday the biking took away from that."

Dr. Hofer recommends cyclists prepare before a ride with a helmet, sunglasses, gloves to protect your hands in a fall, and a bike that fits you. He also added that headphones are not good for riders because they can distract from road noises and cause an accident. With these tips he says anyone can ride into their 60s or 70s with ease because biking can relieve arthritis and is not hard on joints.

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