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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-15-09, 11:23 PM   #1
napoleoninrags
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LD riding with wrist injury

Wondering if there are any stories on riding long distance with a wrist injury? I am 4 weeks into a wrist sprain that has not healed yet. I have an LD ride coming up in a week that I plan to ride. If anyone has any tips, I'd appreciate it. TIA
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Old 08-15-09, 11:44 PM   #2
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get it checked. It may be something more serious than a sprain. Scaphoid breaks are often misdiagnosed as simple sprains. That said, if it is a sprain, let it be and sit this one out or get a comfy aero bar that takes the weight off of your wrist.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:02 AM   #3
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Get yourself some aerobars, if you don't have them. That will get the weight off of your wrist/hand for most of the ride. Other than that, make sure you have it wrapped good and can still use the brakes/shifters. You should be ok as long as you don't have any long technical descents on your ride. I assume you've seen a Dr.

I've ridden with some pretty serious injuries before and as long as you are not making the injury worse I say go for it. I feel that the exercise actually promotes the healing process. If not, sit it out and let it rest for an while longer.

Last edited by Homeyba; 08-16-09 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:07 AM   #4
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Thanks. I did see a doctor and a physiotherapist. Interesting you mention the scaphoid. I just Wiki-ied it, and that is where I think I injured it. At least the pain seem to be localized there. I do plan to wear a tensor bandage to provide some support.

Unfortunately, I have no aero bars on the bike to rest the wrist.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:13 AM   #5
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Thanks Homey. I am able to shift now without too much pain. And yes, the descends are a worry esp. when emergency braking is required. Good to know that you've successfully ridden with injuries.

It is my first 600km. The longest I have ridden since the injury is a 60km ride, at the end of which I had to put some ice on. I am hoping in a week it will get a little bit better.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:31 AM   #6
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Well, endorphins and adrenaline seem to kill pain. ride faster, have fun, be safe.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:28 AM   #7
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If you don't have aerobars you can ride like you have them. I do it all the time on brevets (like PBP) that do not allow them. Wrap some extra padding on the top of your bars. If you have flat top bars it works better. You ride with your forearms on the tops of your handlebars, in a postition just like you would if you were on aerobars. You may want to raise/pull back your handle bars a bit to make it more comfy if you're not flexible. This will take some practice and do not do it in a group. You won't be holding on to anything with your hands so you don't have as much control so careful where you do it but it will go a long way towards giving you some relief for your wrist.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips bkwentz and Homey. I'll post up whether I finished or DNF'ed
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Old 08-17-09, 04:35 PM   #9
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(I'm not a doctor... so... )

A couple of weeks ago I fell on a Wednesday and hurt my wrist. On Thursday it hurt so much when I rotated it I was sure I had broken it. I had an X-ray. No break, just sprained. Then Saturday I went out to ride the Mount Tam Double Century with 16,500 feet of climbing and some awful condition descents.

For the first fifty miles the road vibrations caused minor discomfort. But here's the thing. After that first fifty miles I had no pain in the wrist at all. Even when I flexed it or turned it. Handlebar vibration didn't hurt it either. I hadn't taken any pain medication either.

Two days after the ride my wrist was sore again and has been to a lesser and lesser degree for the last three weeks since the fall.

As bkwents alludes to above, I'm convince the body probably compensates for the stresses placed on it during a long hard ride with all sorts of cool chemicals and damage control. Perhaps that's why my wrist did not hurt during the ride.

If your wrist isn't broken then I'd suggest at least starting and playing it by ear. You'll never know unless you give it a shot.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:39 PM   #10
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The first 600K is always tough -- it'll be especially moreso with an injury. I'll echo not doing anything that would make your trusted medical professionals, your spouse/sig other, and your mom cringe too much.... That said, I've started (and finished) a 400K while deathly ill, and I once did a century with a hand injury that hurt so bad it prevented me from shifting the rear derailleur or using the rear brake. Now that I'm a bit wiser I'd probably sit both rides if I had to chose again. There's always another ride. But serious injury or death.... that'd put an end to the riding for good.

Best of luck and be careful out there.
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Old 08-17-09, 05:39 PM   #11
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Defer to your doctor and/or talk to a reputable sports doctor. If he/she believes you can ride without further injuring yourself, then go for it.

One week, unfortunately, is probably not enough time to effectively learn how to use, and get the proper fitness for, aerobars.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:43 PM   #12
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I was going to do a 600km(my first) this weekend but 4 weeks out from a broken collar bone I did not feel all that comfortable enough to do it.
When I first broke it I was orginally slated to do a 600km the next morning but the ride was cancelled due to the ride organizer being in a terrible bike/car accident.
If I had broken my collar bone and the ride had been still happening I would have at least started and saw how things went.
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Old 08-24-09, 10:29 AM   #13
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Finished!

Thanks all for the comments and stories. Going in to the ride, knowing that others have successfully done rides with injuries helped me mentally.

I can gladly report that I managed to finish the ride. During the last week before the ride, the wrist started to heal noticeably. During the ride, the dull pain I started out with did not get any worse. Shifting the front was a pain but other than that it held up okay. The last 150km was a little bit worse with some bad pavement, but manageable. The course was flat - only ~12,500ft of climbing - which definitely helped.

Glad to be a first time SR!

spin guru, heal up fast!
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