‘now there’s a proper cyclist… look he’s using the whole of his body’
pic 1 bobbing dude
I quote a very distinguished consultant neurologist and was, at the time, unable to articulate a well formed answer. However, after a couple of years of thinking about it, here is my considered response!
I have met a few cyclists who off the bike look like this. I have often wondered how their cardiovascular and digestive systems manage as the upper chamber of the thorax, containing heart and lungs must find it very hard to attain their natural desire to expand and the lower abdominal chambers must find it hard to find room for all the very necessary fuel to keep the whole show on the road, so to speak!
Pic 2 standing dude
All that bobbing to one side and another? can’t make it any easier to breathe with all that extreme thoracic weaving around.
Pic 3 bobbing dudes
Seems an awful lot of extra effort to me and besides, consider the analogy of a boat’s mast, and what would happen if the mast was so whipping from side to side? Surely the ‘stays’ would either crumple like jaded elastic or be under such impossible tension that they would eventually snap?
Pic 4 boats
The beautiful erector spinae muscles, along with the abdominal “corset” and deep Psoas are designed to actively stabilize the spine so that it can do it’s job of maintaining the bodies’ organs in an exquisite state of spacious suspension within the body cavities. Also to provide a balanced, strong and responsive core from which the limbs can move easily and freely. Disturb this balance at a cost.
Pic 5 spine ‘stays’ ( partial illustration)
Then there is this problem with the neck. Perhaps a periscope would help if it’s so important to have drop handle bars? Seriously though, look at the risk to that delicate part of the spine and think of all the precious blood vessels that are trying to transport your blood up into your grey matter. Gentlemen, the circulation to your scalp is likewise compromised.
Pic 6 head neck and heart
We all know what happens when at last the card snaps. The intervertebral discs undergo similar stresses and strains when we misunderstand the blessings of our spines and insist that extra flexibility is somehow desirable.
Pic 7 bank card
Dude or goof? I goofed my way around Europe on my bike ( and thought about all this very carefully) for nearly 10 months and the only time I ever suffered any kind of ache or pain was when I travelled by bus, train, or plane.
One of the most pertinent questions which was a great help in times of humungus effort is ‘can I do less?’ ‘how much less?’
Almost always, that old saying ‘less is more’ proved right time and time again.
I wasn’t winning any races or trying to get somewhere in a hurry, but my suspicion is that if I had been, I would have been be able to do so with less risk of mechanical damage and perhaps even, find a more fluid and efficient way to achieve my goals.
What I AM interested in is in preserving my wonderful body in it’s natural and great shape, long into my bold old age. . . . call it an insurance policy if you like. A worthwhile investment I would say.
Pic 7 goofing the alternative…
(I haven’t even begun to talk about playing the piano or painting pictures or…..)