As we all know, regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve the immune system response. It is especially important to exercise now when our immune function is so important and stress levels may be at an all-time high. Bicycling is a great way to exercise while practicing social distancing, especially as the weather begins to warm. However, bicycling, like any repetitive movement, can lead to aches and pains or even injury if not counterbalanced by other movements.
The position our body is in while cycling--flexion of the spine, with the head forward--can lead to neck and back pain if not counterbalanced. The movement of pedaling can lead to overuse of the hip flexors and quadriceps, especially if the bicycling shoes are clipped onto the petals. This can lead to back and hip pain, and contribute to injuries in areas both above and below the hips and pelvis. The flexed position of cycling also can lead to tension through the whole muscle, fascia, and neural system of the back body.
A simple yoga practice to perform in conjunction with your bicycling is described below. This can be performed either after cycling or on alternate days when you are not cycling. This practice is great cross-training for cycling, reducing aches and pains possibly even reducing the risk of injury.
By Jonathon Weber, Livable Streets Program Manager
One impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a drastic drop in motor vehicle traffic in our communities. Step out to a normally busy road in your town, and you’ll probably notice it. At the same time that there are fewer cars, many more people are out biking and walking. There are so many people at times, that there isn’t enough room on the sidewalk for them to abide by physical distancing, which is forcing people to walk in the road.
As we look back on 2019, I see a year in which Local Motion advanced the work of culture change and movement building in a serious way. We brought Jeff Speck—a thought leader in designing equitable bike- and pedestrian-friendly communities—to UVM, where he spoke to a packed room of officials including mayors and planners, advocates, and interested citizens. And then we brought many of those same folks to Montreal to experience firsthand the sort of changes for which Speck (and Local Motion) advocate.
Five or so years ago, as e-bikes were just starting to pick up steam, my partner and I invested in an e-bike for her to commute on in San Diego, California, where we lived at the time. She loved it! And best of all, it meant that our car didn’t move on most weekdays.
A trip to Montreal is always a treat—there are incredible art and music, and delicious food from every tradition. Of course, you’ll find those things in Vermont, too. When it comes to bike infrastructure, though, our northern neighbors are far ahead. Montreal boasts a robust bike infrastructure network that is used and maintained year-round. So, what can Burlington learn from this even-snowier city?