Summertime is here! If you're like me, you love the feeling of wind in your hair. Good posture is the key to avoiding pain in the neck, back and arms during and after riding your motorcycle. In my case, when riding on the back of a motorcycle.
There are three different types of riding that necessitate different postures. These are standing, cruising and sport.
Standard posture requires that you keep your back straight, in a neutral upright position, and your neck in a more neutral position, with arms and shoulders relaxed, with controls at a comfortable reach. It is important that the elbows are flexed and the forearms are kept parallel to the ground. Having the right sized bike can make all the difference. If the bike is too big, the controls may be slightly out of reach, causing you to lean forward or over extend your arms in order to reach the controls.
Cruising posture requires the feet forward, feet are often forward of the knee, grips are higher, and head is upright and neutral. The rider is reclined, per se. The hips and pelvis should be relaxed and the leg held close to the bike. Maintaining proper posture can decrease pressure on the low back. If you ride without a fairing, there is a huge increase in the rider's chest. Therefore, the rider must lean forward and maintain his grip on the controls. This can cause injury to the neck and abdomen.
Sport posture requires that the rider have a forward lean and a forward tilt of the pelvis. The head rests in a slight extension. The forearms should be parallel to the ground and wrists in neutral position. At high speeds, the body is supported by air pressure rushing onto the torso. At lower speeds there isn't enough pressure to provide this type of support and the upper body weight is supported by the wrists and by extending the lower spinal muscles. This type of riding can cause a great deal of stress to the neck and low back.
Let's be realistic, motorcycle riding can come with many risks. I'm not trying to change your mind about riding. I'm just suggesting how to ride with proper posture. Looking cool isn't easy. I ride tandem, so it's a bit different for me. But when I get off a crotch rocket and feel the pain from my low back having been extended, oh, baby! Yes, the higher the speed, the less pressure. The days ahead are broadcasted as beautiful. So, as you repair your bikes, amp them up, and wash them down, watch your posture. When you're ready to ride, remember, we ladies are watching and great posture not only makes you feel better, it makes you look better!