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Thread: Bow Legged Rider

  1. #1

    Default Bow Legged Rider

    I have this young rider ( no older than 21-22) She rides fast, no resistance on at all (typical I know) .. I have tried and tried to get her to add resistance she refuses, I have spoken to the class in reguards to effects of riding with no enough resistance, blah, blah, blah,( you all know the drill) no luck, and eventually, I spoke to her one on one, she got real frustrated, and somewhat offended. I realize that is just how some riders are going to ride, no matter what I say, or what type of example I show them. Eventually, I feel (hope) they will tire of that, and want the challenge of resistance. It is still a work in progress.

    As I watch her, other than riding fast, she rides extrememly "bow legged". This concerns me a great deal. I have helped her in setting up, getting her bike adjusted, and she still rides with legs extremely out to side, and bottom bouncing. I can stop obsessing over the no resistance,(for now) its the bow legged that has me concerned. I noticed her walking, she does not walk bow legged. I have mentioned in class to everyone, make sure to bring their knees in, keeping legs aligned over ankles instead of out to the side. No luck, however, she did mention to me that when she brings her legs in, they rub the water cage in the center. How can I fix this? Or can I? I realize the bikes will never fit every individual perfectly, and sometimes, we have to do the best with what we have. When I look out at my class, she just really sticks out to me. Maybe it is because I am older, but she makes my knees HURT!

    Any suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,836

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    Knees will track over the feet. You will probably notice her heels close to or rubbing the crank arm and her toes also pointing out. If she straightens out her feet, the knees will follow. Experienced cyclists will often tend to ride slightly pigeon toed, and as a result their knees will be tucked nicely close to the top tube.

    As a rule, address the root cause and not the symptom.

  3. #3

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    Thank you very much Todd...I will look at that first thing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    57

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    One of the things I learned from a Master Instructor about the no-resistance riders is to get off the bike and show them just how quickly those pedals go around with no resistance. I tell them about the heavy fly wheel and show them that with no resistance they don't need their leg muscles to push the pedals around. I explain how it's not good for them and it's not even exercise so why bother!

    Great advice on the feet. With the proper positioning the knees will definitely fall into place!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Golden, Colorado
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    2,689

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    Quote Originally Posted by TammyE View Post
    I have this young rider ( no older than 21-22) She rides fast, no resistance on at all (typical I know) .. I have tried and tried to get her to add resistance she refuses, I have spoken to the class in reguards to effects of riding with no enough resistance, blah, blah, blah,( you all know the drill) no luck, and eventually, I spoke to her one on one, she got real frustrated, and somewhat offended. I realize that is just how some riders are going to ride, no matter what I say, or what type of example I show them. Eventually, I feel (hope) they will tire of that, and want the challenge of resistance. It is still a work in progress.

    As I watch her, other than riding fast, she rides extrememly "bow legged". This concerns me a great deal. I have helped her in setting up, getting her bike adjusted, and she still rides with legs extremely out to side, and bottom bouncing. I can stop obsessing over the no resistance,(for now) its the bow legged that has me concerned. I noticed her walking, she does not walk bow legged. I have mentioned in class to everyone, make sure to bring their knees in, keeping legs aligned over ankles instead of out to the side. No luck, however, she did mention to me that when she brings her legs in, they rub the water cage in the center. How can I fix this? Or can I? I realize the bikes will never fit every individual perfectly, and sometimes, we have to do the best with what we have. When I look out at my class, she just really sticks out to me. Maybe it is because I am older, but she makes my knees HURT!

    Any suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.
    I'm the last person to be preaching this, Tammy, but sometimes it's good to realise that no matter what you do or say, you sometimes can't change an individual's behaviour......especially one with the advantage of being young and inexperienced enough to know it all

    However, reading what you've thought about so far, I don't see that you've tried the "Poking merciless fun..." gambit. Not that you need to make someone a laughing stock but one of the cues that I've been known to use after exhausting rational explanations etc. is to demo the *Pro Peleton* look (i.e. the biomechanically sound position) as opposed to the *Froggy Ballet* (what I think you are looking at)....

    Just another iteration of "Why on Earth would you...." as opposed to "Why you shouldn't...."

    Vivienne

  6. #6

    Default

    It can be due also for valgus/varus legs.
    In this case the setting can be changed only using specific insole (inner the shoes). But this is an orthopedic work.

    Did you check the toe clips are properly positioned ?
    If she is agree (outside the class session) try without clipless pedals (if you can mount a flat pedals on a bike).
    Without clips, she/he tend to self positioning the foot on pedals in (proprioception) position. And you can also do little adjustment shifting the heel.

    ...it may be also that without clipless she is less confident and tend to add resistance for perceive a best feeling (more dangerous spining fast without load in this condition).

    Ciao Matteo

  7. #7

    Default

    I have a couple of thoughts on how I might approach your problem rider.

    1. Do you have mirrors in the room? Have you asked folks to look at themselves and work to smooth out their body position? Being able to see the problem might help.

    2. Can you show videos? Even if you can't you can describe this: I have played the scene from Friends where Pheobe and Rachel go running, but Pheobe runs with her arms and legs flailing like crazy and Rachel gets embarrassed because she looks ridiculous. Then, I contrast it with footage from any foot race, preferably a sprint. Then, I point out that it might fun to ride or run with no control over your body, but there are lots of reasons to ride with the kind of physical control used by a sprinter. Every muscle fires to drive them toward the finish line - there is not one iota of wasted movement. The word I use frequently is "Streamline"...

    So, there ya go. Good luck and don't be afraid to give up on lost causes..... :-)
    sometimes low self-esteem is earned. it's the correct response if you are not trying your best. do something about it. - Michael Koppelman

    My Blog for Instructors (no longer updated, but some useful stuff) * Charleston RIDE™ * Spotify

  8. #8

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    Thank you all for the wonderful advice, It is much needed. In our class, we have a big mirror, BEHIND the riders. (No use right?) I have been planning on turning the bikes around, so they could watch themselves. (They dont mind looking behind them while riding, I guess to see what they look like from the backside?) lol...I'm serious, I was like WTH?! I will turn the bikes around tonight. As far as watching a video, we dont have a way to watch anything, but I will put it out there for them verbally. They probably think I talk to much, but it is things that they really need to know.

    The girl I am talking about has not been back, must have got tired of me trying to "change" her riding. But I feel she will be back soon, and when she does, I will zone in on her feet and pedals. Speaking for my class as well as myself, Frog Ballet is played out Thank you all again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Golden, Colorado
    Posts
    2,689

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    Quote Originally Posted by TammyE View Post

    The girl I am talking about has not been back, must have got tired of me trying to "change" her riding. But I feel she will be back soon, and when she does, I will zone in on her feet and pedals. Speaking for my class as well as myself, Frog Ballet is played out Thank you all again.
    Honestly Tammy, as much as I recommend not getting too caught up in whether class members might not *get it* with regard to what I (or you) offer.....it's as good to see it in the reverse.

    A good many are there in the first place because your time slot is convenient ( but your *attitude* sucks....or your music....or whatever).....and if they come back in the future, they'll be there because your time slot is still convenient (and your *attitude*.....reinforced by anything you read here or any other sites......will still suck)

    If someone appears to be ignoring what you perceive to be good, biomechanically sound advice (and make pretty darn sure it actually is....that's important!) there are a few things to consider...

    1) they don't know what you're talking about.....that may be your bad WRT communication skills, knowledge base etc....

    2) they think you don't know what you're talking about......not necessarily bad (make sure it isn't!!!) but prolly an ego thing for them

    3) they're in cahoots with a personal injury lawyer to enhance their financial future at the expense of yours (a bit *out there* but still......just wait until risk management courses become a pre-requisite for re-cert and you'll have good cause to remember this insight)

    You can't change *TEH STOOPID* ....

    Good to try (and get witnesses)......but even better to let it go.


    Vivienne

  10. Default

    Find a physical therapist with many years of experience in how to fix bow legs. In these sessions, the patient lies down as the therapist moves the patient’s legs back and forth to stretch them.

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