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  1. #1
    Aspiring curmudgeon icepick_trotsky's Avatar
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    Riding home sick

    So yesterday while at work I came down with a bad stomach bug. After emptying the contents of my stomach in the bathroom as politely as possible, I decided I needed to go home early...only, I had to ride home. I was weak in the knees and still nauseous. Fortunately the ride home is only about five miles, but it was brutal. I was in the granny gear pretty much the whole time, and it took me nearly an hour. Needless to say, I felt much worse when I arrived at home than when I left the office.

    Have you ever gotten stuck and had to ride home sick? Share your war stories and possible solutions.
    "Party on comrades" -- Lenin, probably

  2. #2
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    That stinks! I have had to call my wife to pick me up a few times, either due to severe weather or illness.

    There's a nice organization in central PA called Commuter Services (Commuter Services of Pennsylvania). It's free to join and they'll reimburse any transportation expenses (taxi, bus, etc.) you incur for "emergency rides".

  3. #3
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    That is awful. I think I would get the taxi or call the wife. I would probably lock the bike in my office and return to get it.

    I have a decent hill I would probably not make it up if I was in your condition.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and back to eating solid soon.

  4. #4
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    One Tuesday morning I rode in to work and then started to get a stomache ache. It got pretty bad by lunch time so I rode home and took a nap. The next day I drove in to work but called my doctor for an appointment cuz it wasn't getting better. She asked me some questions and then figured I probably was having appendicitis. Drove to the doctor's office, then drove to the imaging place, then drove to the ER. Wednesday night about 11pm I had my first ever surgery... appendectomy.

    So I rode my bike with an acute appendicitis and it was pretty miserable. I was sure an alien was going to burst forth from my belly.
    Last edited by DiabloScott; 12-04-14 at 03:32 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    I am retired now.... so I don't have to worry about making it home from the office. But once while traveling for work I found myself deathly ill with a flu in another state. I felt lucky to make it home... even cutting my trip short.

    Over the years I've seen many ill or injured that had to be driven home... or taken to the hospital. Those things will happen.

  6. #6
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    I've tried it once. Didn't realise how sick I was and when I got home I collapsed in bed and stayed there for a couple of days. I can't even remember the trip home. Not much of a war story

  7. #7
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
    ... I was sure an alien was going to burst forth from my belly.
    Makes one wonder: If it had, would it have been wearing a helmet?
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  8. #8
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    I'd rather ride home than risk puking all over myself and the car's interior on the drive home. at least on a bike you can just launch it to the side or quickly stop and easily do it somewhere off to the side.

  9. #9
    Aspiring curmudgeon icepick_trotsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    I'd rather ride home than risk puking all over myself and the car's interior on the drive home. at least on a bike you can just launch it to the side or quickly stop and easily do it somewhere off to the side.
    This was part of my thinking, too. I could have taken public transit, but the route is kind of round-a-bout, and I'd rather vomit in someone's yard than in someone's lap.
    "Party on comrades" -- Lenin, probably

  10. #10
    Senior Member mcours2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    I'd rather ride home than risk puking all over myself and the car's interior on the drive home. at least on a bike you can just launch it to the side or quickly stop and easily do it somewhere off to the side.
    Maybe so, but how easy is it to ride when you're feeling like that? I can imagine the sheer misery of it all, exerting effort while at the same time feeling like you're going to die.

  11. #11
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Once, about 6 years ago and it was brutal and I'll never forget it.

    My father was in the hospital and he wasn't doing well. It was my responsibility to be his advocate and make decisions. So I had ridden there to meet with his Dr. early in the morning before work. No problem, but I started feeling nauseous while waiting for the Dr.. When he finally did arrive I had to stop him in the middle of this intense conversation about my dying father and run out and hurl. Not good. He waited for me and we finished up the conversation. I didn't know what was going on but I kew I was sick, and I figured I have to leave as soon as I can so I don't pass on any germs to my dad in his fragile state. I call work and tell them I'm not coming in and I hobble outside to my bike on the rack.

    It was a sunny hot summer day and even though it was morning it was warming up fast. I realize that I'm really weak and dizzy and feel like a limp rag but my wife was out of town so no good ride option. Then of course in my stubborn bike riding macho idiot jerk mind I figure I'll just go slow and cruise home. I ridden this route 1000's of times, it's only about 7 miles almost all of it on the MUP, how hard can it be? Hard, really really hard. Soooo, 90 minutes and 4 stops later to rest and throw up I finally and barely make it home. It was harder that any century I've ever ridden, i had no reserves, I was spent, and I felt awful. I realize in retrospect that I had done a stupid thing but I lived to tell the story. I have gotten sick at work since, and I've gotten a ride home. Never again. You asked so there it is.
    Last edited by modernjess; 12-04-14 at 04:19 PM.

  12. #12
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
    Maybe so, but how easy is it to ride when you're feeling like that? I can imagine the sheer misery of it all, exerting effort while at the same time feeling like you're going to die.
    I'd just take it easy. Pedal slowly, walk up steep hills, rest a few times. etc.

  13. #13
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    Years ago, on an extended 80-100 miles per day tour, I came down with some kind of stomach virus. Unlike the typical 24hr bug, this one lasted almost a week, and I was very limited in what I could keep down more than 5 minutes. It was basically french fries or certain chocolate bars which I resorted to because of the energy density.

    That's when I learned my engine got 10 miles to the Milky Way.

    But yes, riding when sick or on zero fuel can be a bear.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member winston63's Avatar
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    This hasn't happened to me, but I have thought about what I'd do in that situation. I think I'd call a cab and worry about my bike later - I'm fortunate that my work place has a covered bike lock up in a vehicle compound that is locked after hours, so I could leave it there for a time without fear.

    I did pull my hamstring badly at work last year while moving some stuff. That was brutal and I could barely walk, let alone ride. I called a friend who was able to pick me (and my bike) up and get us both home.

  15. #15
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    In over 3 decades of near daily cycling I have yet to be so sick that I had difficulty cycling. In fact, getting up and taking a shower typically feels more exhausting than cycling when I'm sick. I view cycling sedately as an almost no-effort activity -- certainly for me there is far less effort than walking.

  16. #16
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    The one time I had food poisoning at work was a day I drove to work. I made it 45 mins into the day, said "I'd better go", and then tossed my cookies all over the inside of my new-to-me 2000 Tacoma on the way home. :/

    My first day at this job, I got food poisoning the night before and had my wife drive me to orientation because I did not feel good enough (too weak) to make it across town. I then took the bus to my office, and still had to walk a mile, which was rough. My boss was nice enough to drive me home, and I started riding the next day.

    Once in the Bay Area, I made it halfway through my 11mi ride to work before the vertigo started (defective inner ears). I spent 45 mins on the curb waiting for it to stop, then rode VERY SLOWLY to the nearest light rail station to get home. Then I threw up and slept it off.
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  17. #17
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    damn dude

  18. #18
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
    Have you ever gotten stuck and had to ride home sick? Share your war stories and possible solutions.
    At least you didn't have the trots...sky
    Genesis 49:17

  19. #19
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    There was a virus going around the office last winter. When I came in at 8:30 I was fine. By 10am I was feeling hot and achey and weak. I emailed my boss I was leaving, shut off my computer, and rode home (20 minutes). Ride was slow but the cool air felt good. When I got home, I got undressed, got into bed and slept for 10 hours. I was wiped out. Could barely get out of bed to eat or use the bathroom. Stayed home for 2 more days.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  20. #20
    Senior Member kevmk81's Avatar
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    Yes. This past Wednesday, about an hour before leaving work, I started getting chills. My ride home is fairly short... but it was difficult. Shivering - not because of cold temps - but because my body was causing it - was strange & uncomfortable. Took yesterday off. Worked today and drove into work. 2nd time driving to work since I don't even remember when I started bike commuting. It wasn't a good ride home Wednesday night. Got home and temp was 102.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Sick for me typically is feeling nauseated or just kind of crappy. It usually falls short of actually needing to hurl. I've found that riding the 6 miles home in that condition isn't awful for me and sometimes the fresh air helps.

    Last year I got a rapidly progressing ear infection. It started overnight but as the day went on it got worse and worse until I started experiencing vertigo by the end of the day.

    Freaky.

    I figured that riding with an impaired ability to balance was not smart. So I rode the train home as far as I could and walked the last mile, - in a snowstorm. My wife got home later and took me to the doc.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Sick for me typically is feeling nauseated or just kind of crappy. It usually falls short of actually needing to hurl. I've found that riding the 6 miles home in that condition isn't awful for me and sometimes the fresh air helps.

    Last year I got a rapidly progressing ear infection. It started overnight but as the day went on it got worse and worse until I started experiencing vertigo by the end of the day.

    Freaky.

    I figured that riding with an impaired ability to balance was not smart. So I rode the train home as far as I could and walked the last mile, - in a snowstorm. My wife got home later and took me to the doc.
    oddly when i've experienced vertigo it's often muted when i bike.

  23. #23
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    Pulled Back

    Once, I pulled a back muscle at the office. Walking down steps hurt like...! Somehow I managed to tough it out to quitting time.. (Bad idea.) Riding home was a nightmare! I was in my lowest gear and still it wasn't enough. Lesson of the day, Go home before you get sick!

  24. #24
    I love the rolling hills. ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    At least you didn't have the trots...sky
    +1. Pukey-sick is one thing, but I was picturing the other thing when clicking on this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  25. #25
    Aspiring curmudgeon icepick_trotsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    At least you didn't have the trots...sky
    Insert rimshot!
    "Party on comrades" -- Lenin, probably

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