Author: Cheri Felix
I used to get a kick out of watching people on foam rollers at the gym. I’d see people wince and almost cry with pain when throwing themselves over a hard cylinder type thing; also known as the foam roller. I thought, ‘What the hell are they doing to themselves and why?” Now the jokes on me.
Well, today I’ll share a bit about why you, yes you, might want to get intimate with a foam roller and I also share some of my deep thoughts for this week. Including where to ride if you are a beginner and how to set some goals (like a race) to help start your season off right.
Foam Rollers: As cyclists we use different parts of our bodies than say someone who sits on the couch (too much) and drinks beer. That can leave us with very tight IT (Iliotibial band) bands. Once you realize they are tight, you need to start looking for one of those foam rollers. Excessively tight IT bands can have consequences that keep you off your bike. So, at the gym, ask one of the kind personal trainers walking around how to use the foam roller. You’re welcome. And remember, I am NOT a doctor. So don’t believe everything I say.
Beginners Rides in Boulder: People often ask about very beginner trails to ride. But I always say any trail can have consequences (think gravel) or crowds (think horses or dogs) but here are my favorite easier rides:
- Boulder Valley Ranch-You can park at the trailhead off Highway 36 or drop in from the Foothills Trail. Warning there is a bit of a steep hill if you do it that way but you can always WALK. No shame in that.
- Marshall Mesa-Yes, there are a few tricky spots but for the most part you’ll just have to keep an eye out for people with dogs and kids and other bikes.
And about kids and dogs and horses… I tend to think we all know the rules but I’ve been out enough to know that some of us need reminding. We’ve all made a bad call; didn’t stop fast enough for a biker coming uphill or came up too fast on a horse or a family. And for some of those missteps all mountain bikers (and I might add road cyclists) are blamed and judged. And for some people that’s all it takes them to get themselves to a public meeting to vote against land access for mountain bikers. I kid you not. First impressions stick with people. So please for the love of all things bike, yield to horses, people with babies, bikers coming up hill (and downhill if you need a break and want to be generous) and generally anyone not on a bike. Error on the side of caution. We can seem pretty scary in our baggies and helmets and nice bikes. Wink wink. Learn more about Trail Etiquette
Ok, last but not least. Every year (o.k. so it’s just the last two) I sign up for the Beti Bike Bash. I NEVER have any friends in the race. I’m not whining because mountain bikers don’t whine but I’d love to see some friends out there. Two of my dear friends just signed up yesterday (way to go Annie & Nic!) and they have NEVER EVER raced. Good thing there is a NEVER EVER category. The race is not technical, it is all women and it’s FUN. Sign up at www.betibikebash.com and let me know you will be there. We can high five each other and tell each other how awesome we are.
O.k. that’s more than enough. In closing, get to a foam roller, get out and ride and be nice on the trails and be sure to sign up for a race. It’s a great way to set the pace for your upcoming season. Bring it on!