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Tiger Woods said getting back to his best was like riding a bike

Before winning his first Masters title in 14 years, the greatest golf player of all time compared rediscovering his game to riding a new bicycle

Tiger Woods

On Sunday, American golf legend Tiger Woods won his fifth career green jacket at Augusta National ending a 14 year Masters drought. In one of the greatest comebacks in golf history, Woods put behind him years of injuries and significant personal problems. People doubted if he could play at a high level again. But just over a year ago, Woods indicated to the world that he was once again finding his form after back surgery comparing the process to getting comfortable riding a new bike.

In an interview with ESPN in March of last year, Woods said, “I am pretty close to putting it together. It’s like riding a bike. But it’s a new bike.”

Woods indicated that the process involved rediscovering his bodies limitations, much like a cyclist gets comfortable with the handling and feel of a new bicycle. For Woods, it was a turning point that set him on the course to the 2019 Masters where he was back to his best after 11 years without a major victory when he was by far the worlds most dominant golf player.

“For the better part of 4-6 months, I had to be helped out of bed every day,” he said in 2018. “There were some days where I just, even if you helped me, I couldn’t stand up. I’d fall to the floor or just stay in bed.”

Woods made rediscovering his game sound a bit like tweaking your position on a bike. “The difference is I don’t have the same range of motion. I’m stiffer there. It takes me a little longer to warm up. The angles I used to create with my body, I can’t do that anymore,” he said.

At 43-years-old, Woods wasn’t the only ageing athlete to impose himself in a sport he was once dominant in. At Paris-Roubaix, 36-year-old Philippe Gilbert who has been known throughout his career for his explosive climbing ability won the pan flat Monument across the brutal cobblestones of Northern France.

The victory added to Gilbert’s career achievements that now includes four of the five Monuments of cycling as well as a world championship title. If Gilbert wants to add the fifth missing Monument, Milan-San Remo, much like Woods he may have to tweet his training to conquer the elusive La Primavera.