Portland, an evolving magnet for bicyclists of any shape or stripe, recently celebrated BikeAPalooza – an annual celebration of the glorious pivot from biking in the rain to pedaling in the sunshine. Portland boasts a 400-mile network of biking pathways throughout downtown, tree-filled neighborhoods, and trails of the urban-parks.

Don’t have a bike?

No worries – rent from Biketown’s fleet of 1,000 bright orange, 8-speed bicycles equipped with baskets and lights, which riders can check out at a kiosk or via website.

Need a bike in sync with a physical disability?

You’re good – Biketown, in partnership with Kerr Bikes, created Adaptive Biketown, a program to increase access to bicycles for those with disabilities. Rental options include foot or hand-powered bikes, multi-user bikes, and accessory rentals (eg, special grips). OK. So you’re finally cruising PDX on the bike of your dreams – whenever, wherever and however you choose…nice!!

But let’s review an un-fun truth: in terms of body posture/alignment, riding a bike is similiar to sitting all day at your work-station. Sure, biking demands repeated pumping of your legs (great cardiovascular and musculoskeletal workout), but your head, shoulders and hips are ‘hunched’ forward. This causes tightness in your hip flexors (eg, psoas muscles), hamstrings, and calves that can lead to neck, shoulder and back pain. The good news: you can decrease the tightness/alleviate the related pain, by doing the following 3 exercises just before (and, ideally, just after) enjoying a bike ride. For optimal benefit, do the exercises in the order listed:

  • Static Extension
  • Downward Dog
  • Cats and Dogs