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Cycling and Health.

Dr B. W. Richardson, in the iEsclepiad, points out that unless certain essential conditions are observed cycling is inevitably injurious to health. Ho thinks that it is always best to delay the commencement of cycling xtntil the body is closely approaching to its maturity; Even adult cyclists who are too much in the saddle almost invariably, acquire what may be called the cyclist's figure, which is not graceful arid is not indicative'of the full possession of perfectly balanced bodily powers. Hence I should not recommend cycling as a pastime of the schools, and I should not favour it as an exercise, [ even during holiday" time from school, except in the most moderate degree. The systematic pursuit of cycling should never be fully commenced until the rider has arrived at maturity—that i£ to 1 say, until the age of twenty-one years lias been attained. The effect of cycling on the upper extremity of the arm and forearm is to slightly bend, the limb, -the yletojanity taking place in tho arm-bone and in the fineers, and to bring about an unnatural curve of the; shoulders. On the lower limbs cycling, tells as markedly as;.it does, on the spine ;; and, as the * lower' limbs perform the', greater part of the work, they usually' feel the effects of it most distinctly.; Riding", brings",outtandl'-exaggerates any^ deformity, however slight. The pelvis^ of the rider, now practically a part of the; 'machine, is fixed' to it, and is almost as.i rigid as itself. In this position of things the thigh-bone is placed under unusual' strain. The large muscles in the fore part of the thigh are«hiployed in extend* ing or lifting up the leg &t grea^ disadvantage of leivefageV' 'Wmtttieisfcrftinis on these muscles every young cyclist knowstto his cost r and it is not until they get a kind of extra-natural power that riding is easy. The pressure upon the* thigh-bone causes bow-leggedness. We still maintain a basic error in the machine, by having it so constructed that the pelvis of the rider becomes a.fixod part of the machine- Tim is/well showh when the cyclist has to meet a lull; In climb-ing-we push the machine, or. drag it* We, want two ; entire; changes in construction of the machine, one by which we can-bring the whole weight of the body into the propulsion; the other 1 by which we can call., fprfcli all that muscular power which is,used with such effect in walking and running, but is lost in cycling. ]f these rwo objc-cts were attained and -there is not the slightest reason why, they should not be attained, Qliiinbirig,-would be just as easy on the machine as it is off it; while the degree of speed that would be rendered Applicable wou}d,. r at, .least he doubled; that is to say', 'if now in ordinary, riding the fourjmiiesan •.hojtqp of the pedestrian is Qhfljhgpct'• into eight, it would then, with the same amount of exertion, be tmrne(jt into sixteen ; whilst the 20'iniles an hour; of the fastest rider would be turned into forty, if that were a safe pace to. travel. , ,

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Bibliographic details

Cycling and Health., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2454, 30 June 1890

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Cycling and Health. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2454, 30 June 1890

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