Touring - Getting In Over Your Head/Knee Problems
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01-10-09, 11:58 AM
So I have been sick lately. Just a bad cold with a sore throat. I hadn't been able to ride at all even though the weather is great here in Florda. It had been killing me. While I was sick, I got this idea that I wanted to be able to ride a metric century. Partly for fun and partly to get ready to tour. I looked up the mileage and planned a route. When I got better I decided to put in some miles. Well, I got all the way out my 31 miles with a light tail wind. As I approached the turn around point the wind picked up. When I had left flags were only partly standing, now they were full standing. I had about a 13 to 15 mph head wind to battle back. It took FOUR hours. Along the way I developed some knee problems and cramps that I had to battle through. I ended up doing a little walking too, idiotically denying a ride from a cute girl who thought I had a flat. Anyway I made it home safe and ultimately was proud of myself for not quitting when I seriously considered it a few times.
Anyone else do this sort of thing? Before this I never had trouble with my knee. Yesterday I went for a 10 mi spin and started with the same pain about 5 miles in. Ive been keeping my rpm low but i don't think it has strengthened yet. It has only been a few days since the long journey (three). The pain has been coming from the right knee from around the patella, on the down stroke. Any suggestions for working my way up to this comfy 62 mile goal?
Give it some rest. Then get back into it gently. I did a 90 miler the Sat before New Years, and was about crying the last 5 miles it hurt so bad. I bike commute 15 miles each way also, so the first Monday back after New Years I was thinking it was going to repeat about 10 miles in.
For me it's the left knee, but I decided to put a sports brace on it and keep going, albeit at a low, low pace - all spin and no load. Seems to be doing much, much better now. Still not 100% though. Like you, no previous history. I've slowly been able to pick up the pace since then, but still off my normal. To give you an idea, "normal" on my commute is 55mins to 1 hour, right now running at a 1 hour 15 min pace.
And Advil is your friend :-)
Beyond that find a Dr that is savvy with Sports medicine. It's a repetitive motion issue that may be flaring an existing problem. It could also be a bike fit issue.
01-10-09, 12:58 PM
It could also be a bike fit issue.
That's what I've been working on. I think I might have had my saddle set too high. I've lowered it since but I feel I ride better toes down. I'm going out for another this afternoon and will see how it works out. Been working on ordering new front end (handlebars, stem brake levers) to update the cockpit. Plus I'm in love with the Tektro levers (http://www.ebikestop.com/tektro_r200a_ergo_brake_levers_blacksilver-BR7210.php). On one bike Ive got old Campy GS non aeros that are killing my hands. I don't know how I ever got by without the Tektros.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one with knee problems.
Any advice on setting up handlebar reach (saddle to stem) or is a matter of experience? I've read numerous articles and just don't seem to get any of it. Especially Peter Whites section on fore/aft saddle position.
01-10-09, 02:07 PM
I hate the wind.
I rode against a 70-80kmh wind daily on my commute last summer.
Eventually another board member told me to visualize it as my "mountain" since I live on the prairie.
so that's what I do. That's my mountain.
01-11-09, 12:42 AM
I'm a bit worried that my attempts at touring this year will be me definitely getting in over my head. I have bad knees and no idea how they're going to react to me pushing along a fully loaded 'bent trike. I'll definitely be taking the first short tours very close to home and when the husband is around to rescue me if it doesn't work out.
Though I guess if my knees have a flare up, I can just find a nice pretty place to camp for a day or two until they decide to behave again.
I'm going to be so disappointed if they don't cooperate with me. :notamused:
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