Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 07:54 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
TRY THIS ON YOUR NEXT RIDE
Don\'t you hate traffic signals? Just when you\'re in the groove, there\'s the dreaded word: STOP
The worst case: a stop sign in the middle of a great descent.
It\'s important to obey traffic signals, of course. Running stop signs and red lights is dangerous and sends the wrong message to motorists, even if they don\'t drive over you.
Some motorists get peeved and aggressive when they see cyclists ignoring signals. \"You guys break the law,\" goes their thinking, \"so you don\'t deserve any respect from me.\" Be aware of your responsibilities as a road user, as well as your rights.
And don\'t regard stop signs only as a nuisance. Let\'s see how to use them for a training benefit.
After all, stopping means starting again -- accelerating up to speed. This is a good thing for at least 6 reasons:
* It encourages you to stand, relieving saddle pressure on nerves and blood vessels to restore circulation.
* It stretches your legs and back, lessening stiffness.
* It works the muscles of your torso, arms and shoulders if you sprint forcefully.
* Accelerating hard fires your fast-twitch muscle fibers, contributing to well-rounded fitness. Repeated efforts can help you become a faster sprinter.
* If you\'re a racer, particularly a criterium rider or time trialist, starts from stops can improve your out-of-saddle bike-handling technique.
* Stop lights that make you wait for a minute are a chance to work on your trackstand -- balancing at a standstill with feet on the pedals -- assuming that won\'t PO gramps in his Buick waiting behind you.