As a bike fitter going on a group ride can be a little like work.
Like every cyclist I enjoy the camaraderie, drafting, pushing the pace as well as the the challenge of a good group ride, but as a bike fitter it’s impossible to ride with other cyclists without examining their form, and think of all the possible corrections.
I was recently invited on a ride with a group that I did not know very well. We rolled out of town, and the usual conversations slowed as the pace picked up, once out in the country we settled into a nice clip. As I made my way through the rotating pace-line, sitting behind others I saw a few things I would fix , one rider was too stretched out, one sat twisted with one knee brushing the top tube, and one rider rocked back and forth on his saddle.
As we rode the pace mellowed, and conversations picked back up, the usual small talk “what do you do?” etc. I was riding next to the guy who was sitting crooked on his saddle, “windswept” as we fitters call it and he asked “how do I look” after learning my occupation. The challenge is there can be so many variables to each problem that it’s impossible to give the why without further investigation. I let him know what I saw, and some possible causes:
Cyclists ride to get work-out and a certain level of discomfort is expected, sore necks, rear ends, shoulders, backs, and legs are all a part of what we believe is the process. When I started to describe what I saw to Matthew he was aware that his right knee was closer to the top tube, but just thought that was the way it was. I explained that it was exacerbated by the twisted posture, and that it was placing additional strain on his right knee, and that it could be corrected. Not wanting to dominate the conversationI asked him what he did, and the ride rolled on.
So many of us ride with little annoyances that may bug us, but often we just shake it off or accept it as part of riding. The cool thing is that you don’t have to.