Bike Fit

So you may have noticed that I don't ever really talk about cycling. Want to know a secret? It's because I hate it. Yes I hate cycling. I love my beautiful celeste and pink bike but the actual pedalling...meh not so much.

It's so unnatural to me and I totally suck at it. I'm terrified of falling off or of being hit by an angst ridden teen. I don't have a lot of balance and being clipped in to a bike is just hell. So it makes so much sense that I'm doing a casual 90k cycle for the (now dreaded) half Ironman in June. On the rare occasion that I do don my Lycra, I get quite a lot of all over body pain (back, knee, wrist). Originally I thought, maybe I'm just not made for cycling but on closer inspection I realised by bike was set up wrong. I duly booked a bike fit.
It went to Maison du Velo. They had a discount on their bike fits and the guy on the phone, Paul, sounded friendly and like someone who wouldn't laugh at my lack of bike knowledge. Paul was just as friendly in real life! He helped me with my bike as in the travel, the chain has got caught up in itself (it would only happen to me!) and kindly explained what I could do to stop this happening again.

He asked me lots of questions to begin with; what are my cycle goals (to get through the half iron cycle!), how often do I cycle (never if possible) and how I felt when on the bike (fear, pain, more fear). He measured my flexibility and took some body measurements and then got me on the bike. As I cycled, he watched which was mildly amusing as I've never had such an avid audience before. He took a few measurements as I pedalled on then told me to stop.
Paul explained where my bike needed adjusting; the seat was too high and too far away from the handlebars. The handlebars were too wide for my shoulder and the stem was too long. I could do with better pedals and bike shoes too. I liked Paul as it didn't feel like he was trying to push products on me. He explained everything really clearly and why it wasn't working. All the bits we could fix then we did. I decided to buy new handlebars and a new stem but against the pedals and bike shoes- not made of money ya'know!

A week later, I picked up my bike and the change is so noticeable. I feel so much more comfortable riding and the fact that I'm not stretching out to reach the handlebars makes such a difference. I couldn't recommend getting a bike fit enough. Not only is it important to ride correctly to prevent injury but it just feels so much better. Now for the weather to warm up a bit please so I can go cycling!

Thanks so much to Paul and the team at MdV!

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