People often ask me how I’m able to keep riding day in day out. I have a few answers to that and one is always in reaching distance strapped to the back of my bike. It’s a little bizarre looking and it always attracts questions from people who see me load up my bike. It’s my Sprinter Stick. It’s 19″ long (48cm) and is used to give massages on the cheap. I can often be seen at the end of the day, or even sometimes during the ride, laying on the floor and rubbing down my legs in particular.
In the summer of 2010, I did my first and so far only Ironman. It involved a ridiculous amount of training and one of the main ways my legs didn’t give up was because I had a foam roller. It worked along the same principle as my stick does, but it was nothing like as portable and so I couldn’t bring it along.
You can see how it works in this video. Basically, you ensure the muscle is relaxed and then roll the stick up and down the muscle you are targeting with as much pressure as you want. I primarily use it on my calves, IT band (runs outside of the leg between the knee and hip) and quads. It’s also great to use on my shoulders as I sometimes get a little aching there if I’m not on the bike correctly.
The Sprinter Stick only weighs 12 oz (340g) so doesn’t really add much weight to my load. It’s as thick as a normal bike pump that would be carried on a trip like this so it’s easy to find a place to put it on your rear rack. I could also fit it inside my dry bag if I really wanted, but as it’s made of plastic it’s weatherproof and it seems to be nice and durable. I’m really glad to have picked up my stick and my legs feel noticeably better since I did.