Apres-Cycling: the Wine Bottle Massage
It's been a while since my legs felt this tight after a ride; I have low gears on my bikes and use them. But after two long, climbing-intensive rides a couple of days apart, a massage was in order.
There are different ways to go about doing this on your own, and here is what I do: I sit on the floor with my legs stretched out in front of me. The massage can be done on bare legs or over clothing, such as loose pajama bottoms (just not anything made of thick fabric, like jeans). I hold the bottle firmly, in one or both hands (there is no second handle as you would have on a rolling pin, but it still works okay), and move it in a gentle rolling motion up and down whatever muscles feel tight, in long strokes, at an even pressure. I use light to medium pressure, but others press harder - whatever feels right. Also, some prefer to sit on a chair, rather than stretched out on the floor. Try it both ways and see what feels better. If you need to do the back of your legs and don't have anyone to help, you can do it yourself standing up. A little awkward, but doable. Either way, this simple leg massage technique works surprisingly well on stiff, achy, or even just tired leg muscles in a fairly short amount of time. I have even seen cyclists do this during rides - using their mini bicycle pumps.
Of course if you have an unopened bottle of wine, you could combine the bottle massage with a glass of its contents for that extra bit of relaxation. A versatile product to keep on hand.