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Old February 1st, 2017, 01:16 PM   #1
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Relax!

One piece of advice that I often hear people giving new riders is to just RELAX and while it is good advice, it can be hard for a new rider to do so unless they know HOW.

How do you learn to relax on your bike? What specific techniques help you stay relaxed?
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Old February 1st, 2017, 02:11 PM   #2
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Which part of the body do you want to relax ?

If it is your mind you want to relax, don't ride in public.
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Old February 1st, 2017, 02:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Misti View Post
One piece of advice that I often hear people giving new riders is to just RELAX and while it is good advice, it can be hard for a new rider to do so unless they know HOW.

How do you learn to relax on your bike? What specific techniques help you stay relaxed?
Take a rider or track course, it gives you peace of mind, having good rider skills and having the knowledge to know what to do in a emergency situation helps loosen up your mind as well as your sphincter. As a nubby I was always white knuckling on the road until I started taking courses and track days. Oh and I find riding my dirt bike, ATV, or sled helps when I get back on the road machine. I'm typically not as stiff after a good trail ride.
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Old February 1st, 2017, 02:31 PM   #4
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Like the general advice in Yoga classes look over your body starting either at the top or bottom and look at which muscles are tense and relax them. You may find for example that your hands are locked on to the handle bars and your forearms tight, loosen the grip. You may have tension in your scalp (not as silly as it sounds) from grimacing. Of course you may want to tense parts of your body at particular times, like gripping the tank with your knees than entering a corner, but learn to let it go once it has served its purpose.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:36 AM   #5
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I ride to relax! The last time I wasn't relaxed on a bike was when I was racing. I think being able to relax comes from experience. I agree with daledo, riding on a track will make you comfortable, especially at speed.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:55 AM   #6
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For me, relaxing on the bike comes from my vision. If I am focused on things that are coming up right ahead of me, I tend to tense up a bit on the bike. I'm thinking it's basically another form of target fixation so I wind up feeling rushed which makes me tense up.

Looking a bit further up the road keeps me relaxed because I don't always feel so rushed and panicy. I'm still trying to work on a technique that you guys teach at the CSS, the 2 step... Seems simple enough, but I don't always get it right. I rush the second step sometimes. I can tell that I look in too early because my line is way to the inside and causes me to make corrections mid corner.. work in progress.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 01:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cosmik de Bris View Post
Like the general advice in Yoga classes look over your body starting either at the top or bottom and look at which muscles are tense and relax them. You may find for example that your hands are locked on to the handle bars and your forearms tight, loosen the grip. You may have tension in your scalp (not as silly as it sounds) from grimacing. Of course you may want to tense parts of your body at particular times, like gripping the tank with your knees than entering a corner, but learn to let it go once it has served its purpose.
So what if you tell yourself to relax over and over but you still find yourself riding tense and stiff? A lot of time riders want to be relaxed while riding but no matter how often they remind themselves they just can't....What specific things might you be able to do on the bike to help?
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Misti View Post
One piece of advice that I often hear people giving new riders is to just RELAX and while it is good advice, it can be hard for a new rider to do so unless they know HOW.



How do you learn to relax on your bike? What specific techniques help you stay relaxed?


Two tips - 1/ Always look to where you want to go, NOT where you are - in other words, keep your head up & look as far ahead as possible. 2/ Remember to breath!
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Misti View Post
So what if you tell yourself to relax over and over but you still find yourself riding tense and stiff? A lot of time riders want to be relaxed while riding but no matter how often they remind themselves they just can't....What specific things might you be able to do on the bike to help?

"Light on the bars" over and over it never gets old and is very effective.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:41 PM   #10
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Many noobs grip the grips too tight on the bars. Be aware of it, as gripping too tight puts tension into your whole upper body. When I hit the canyons hard, I still sometimes tense up my whole body. When I realize it, I relax my grip, take a big deep breath, and let it out really slow over about 4-5 seconds. Sound cheezy, but it works for me.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 06:21 PM   #11
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I'm liking this. I'm learning a lot.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:43 PM   #12
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"Light on the bars" over and over it never gets old and is very effective.
To expand on this... Try to be mindful of not locking your arms straight - keep a slight bend in your elbows. This keeps your arms more flexible and you gain better control that way - plus it decreases the tension in your shoulders and back.

This increased control will give you more confidence and the decreased tension will help you relax more. ...at least this works for me.

Paul
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 10:56 PM   #13
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To expand on this... Try to be mindful of not locking your arms straight - keep a slight bend in your elbows. This keeps your arms more flexible and you gain better control that way - plus it decreases the tension in your shoulders and back.



This increased control will give you more confidence and the decreased tension will help you relax more. ...at least this works for me.



Paul

Yep and if I didn't make it clear I say that to myself repeatedly while on the track.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #14
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Two tips - 1/ Always look to where you want to go, NOT where you are - in other words, keep your head up & look as far ahead as possible. 2/ Remember to breath!
Great. Looking where you want to go will help prevent that feeling of being lost or of not having enough time. When you feel insecure about where you are then your body automatically tenses up and it's hard to be relaxed. But, when you give yourself space by looking ahead you have a better chance of remaining relaxed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulM821 View Post
To expand on this... Try to be mindful of not locking your arms straight - keep a slight bend in your elbows. This keeps your arms more flexible and you gain better control that way - plus it decreases the tension in your shoulders and back.

This increased control will give you more confidence and the decreased tension will help you relax more. ...at least this works for me.

Paul
Absolutely. This also helps with how quickly and effectively you are able to steer the bike. When you push forward and not down on the bars then the bike will turn quicker.

Now, is there anything you can do with your lower body to help reduce the death grip you sometimes have on the bars?
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Old February 7th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #15
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Great. Looking where you want to go will help prevent that feeling of being lost or of not having enough time. When you feel insecure about where you are then your body automatically tenses up and it's hard to be relaxed. But, when you give yourself space by looking ahead you have a better chance of remaining relaxed!







Absolutely. This also helps with how quickly and effectively you are able to steer the bike. When you push forward and not down on the bars then the bike will turn quicker.



Now, is there anything you can do with your lower body to help reduce the death grip you sometimes have on the bars?

Squeeze the tank with your thighs!
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