The Rider Nation Blog
6 Tips to Avoid Pain, Cramps, And Aches While Riding Your Motorcycle
Getting out on the open road is an exhilarating experience… until you start feeling the miles as they go by. In order to keep these aches and pains from ruining your experience as a rider, we wanted to offer a few tips that can help greatly reduce them.
Let’s go over seven or so tips to make your rides feel better, both during and after the fact.
How to Avoid Aches and Pains as a Rider
1. Prepare Your Body
Riding is hard work, so you need to make sure you’re in good enough shape for the long haul. A little bit of muscle development will help a lot, so some mild exercise and conditioning is recommended.
Before you get on your bike, you should also take a few moments to do some light stretching, particularly in those muscle groups that you engage while riding. It is also recommended that you stretch whenever you stop for a break, just to keep loose.
2. Fuel Your Body
You need fuel just as much as your bike does, and just like your bike, the quality of the fuel you put in makes a difference. As riding takes some endurance, you’ll want to eat sufficient carbohydrates so your body has enough long-term fuel to last.
To fight against cramping specifically, you’ll also want to be sure that you eat plenty of potassium and magnesium—so stock up on things like bananas, beets, and potatoes.
Equally important—if not more so—is how well hydrated you are. You need to drink plenty of water… and we mean plenty. Not to be gross, but take a peek at the color the next time you, well, “drain the main vein.” If your urine is a light lemonade color or lighter, you’re adequately hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, you need to drink—especially considering that dehydration can lead to a multitude of issues. Amongst many other symptoms, you probably don’t want to be fatigued, delirious, or feeling a headache while you’re on the road.
3. Keep a Proper Posture
Your hips and knees should be held at 90-degree angles, with your back held up straight and your arms also at your side at 90-degree angles. This is the proper posture you want to maintain to avoid fatigue and other forms of pain. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, just like you would pay attention to your bike. Muscle tension is the enemy.
4. Invest in the Right Gear
While there’s a lot you can do to avoid long-term aching and discomfort, there’s a lot that the proper equipment can do to help as well. A good throttle lock can help reduce strain on your wrist over long stretches of road, for instance, and a back belt combined with a good seat pad can provide improved lumbar support and thereby prevent soreness.
You should also dress the part while you’re on the road. If you should find yourself unfortunately falling off your bike for whatever reason, you’ll be glad to have a reinforced layer of clothing separating your skin from the asphalt. In case of pollution, a good pollution mask can help keep your lungs clear.
5. Take Advantage of Your Bike’s Capabilities
While they might not look it to the average person, your bike offers a lot of adjustments that can help make the ride much more comfortable. Taking the time to make these ergonomic adjustments will pay off in the long run.
Furthermore, provided you don’t have a throttle lock, you always have the option to throw your bike in cruise and give your forearms a rest.
6. Spend Some Time on Self Care
Some soreness is bound to happen every now and then, particularly after a long ride. While we’ve largely focused on preventative measures thus far, it is important that you also treat yourself well after the ride is over. Icing and/or heating the muscles that riding engages and responsibly applying medicated creams and ointments to address any soreness that sets in is something you’ll be happy you did.
Riding is Fun, So It Shouldn’t Be Painful
We hope that this helps you take better care of yourself so you can spend more time on the road. What have you done to keep the miles from catching up to you as you ride? Share any tips we didn’t mention in the comments!