I originally started working on flexibility as a form of injury prevention. My hope was that by improving my flexibility I would be less likely to become injured in the event of a fall.
I mountain bike and I seem to be progressing skill wise at about the inverse rate of the number of times I fly over the handle bars. I haven't broken any bones but I did manage to give my shoulder a good strain sometime in April.
As the training progressed I found that by stretching on a daily basis it seemed to reduce muscle pain after a hard workout. An additional benefit of my increasing flexibility has been the ability to get down into the drops more comfortably.
When I toured I found that stopping every so often for a stretching break was very useful. This seemed to reduce pain.
Knowing what stretches to do in advance made these breaks easier to do.
There are also stretches that you can do on your bike while pedalling. The are described in "Long Distance Cycling" By Edmund R. Burke and Ed Pavelka. I plan to try them out in the next little while.
On to the fifth element.....
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