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  1. #1
    Senior Member Anonymoose's Avatar
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    Chronic Quad Cramps

    I hope this is the right sub-forum for this question. Also, let me preface this by saying I am going to a doctor this week to have this checked out but I'm curious if anyone here has experienced something similar. My background: 27 y/o male, 6'3" 170lbs, played sports through all my childhood, teens and early twenties, have always been naturally athletic and a quick healer, diet is not uber healthy but not terrible either, don't drink any alcohol, drink one cup of coffee almost daily and drink water throughout the day (probably still not as much as I should but more than any of my coworkers), and last had a physical this summer that I passed with flyer colors.

    I returned to exercise this summer after basically inactivity since college. I was riding a couple days a week no more than an hour or two at a time and was fine (pushing myself hard but not to the point of collapse) for about a month. Then about a month ago I started getting what I perceive as cramps in my quads (mainly the left, but both cramp simultaneously 75% of the time). The strange thing is I only cramp days to a week after riding. I can feel no soreness or fatigue in my legs immediately after a ride or the following day and then about 5 days later I'll be walking down the street and one or both legs will have sudden excruciating pain (I have a high tolerance for pain and this pain takes my breath away sometimes) that feels like a cramp. It usually begins in a single point either on the inside or outside of the quad about eight inches above the knee and radiates from there taking 15-30 min to subside and when it does I'm left with my legs feeling very sore and very weak for the remainder of the day and usually still sore the next (I'm left more or less limping around for an hour or so immediately after this happens). It also seems to be the case that once I've had the initial "cramping" episode I will sporadically continue getting them for a few more days. After the first episode I tried to ride the bike again within a few days, still sore, and ended up having both my legs cramp, quad and hamstring, to the point of not being able to walk and practically in tears from pain about ten minutes into the ride. I took almost a month off the bike, stretching, eating lots of food with potassium and magnesium, stopped drinking coffee and the cramping did not happen again. Took two shorter rides last weekend saturday and sunday stretching before, during, and after the ride and felt great, not a hint of pain during those days or after. Thursday I started cramping again and have been on and off since then.

    So, this seems bike related to me. The only change in my habit is I tried a non-covered carbon fiber seat for 3 rides before deciding I just wasn't going to get comfortable on it right before this started happening. I thought maybe it irritated the sciatic nerve (I have a fairly bony butt so maybe the nerve doesn't have much protection)? I switched back to a more plush seat before last week's rides but I've ended up back in the same scenario.

    Furthermore, I'm not sure these are cramps because the whole muscle does not stiffen up when this happens and the pain seems to be fairly localized. I perceive it more like my legs are on fire in certain points then just being tight (though they do feel tight after the episode if I try to stretch). I even tried the pickle juice cure during one of the cramping episodes and it did not help. I'm worried enough to go to the doctor and bummed because I've really enjoyed cycling so far and would like to continue without this chronic pain. Anyone experience anything like this?
    Last edited by Anonymoose; 10-22-11 at 12:55 PM.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Not really. I have noticed that if I don't ride for more than 3 days, my legs do hurt more than if I had ridden at least some, but I've never had cramps. My wife has night leg cramps that seem completely unrelated to cycling, quite random. However, the more frequently she rides, the fewer night cramps she has.

    My guess is that the doctor won't have a clue. Doesn't sound like it has anything to do with the sciatic nerve. Obviously something to do with the riding, though. You might try not letting more than 2 days go by without riding. Vague possibility that riding is exhausting some micronutrient, but you haven't figured out what yet. Seems unlikely.

    By any chance have you reduced the salt in your diet?

    Try carrying 500mg Tums with you, chew one immediately upon onset, another if it doesn't go away immediately. That's just a palliative, but it helps prevent the muscle injury which cramps cause.

    Calcium? You drink milk, eat dairy products? I take a 1000mg calcium/500mg capsule twice a day, plus I do eat a fair bit of dairy.

    Can't think of anything else.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anonymoose's Avatar
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    The calcium is something to consider. I do drink milk almost every day but I don't take any suppliments of any kind. Still, I never did in the past either and I don't think i'm old enough for there to be substantial changes in my health, my recent physical reflects that.

    If I had to go one way or the other in terms of salt i'd say I eat more rather than less salty foods.

    Thanks for the heads up on the tums, i'll try that.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    When you changed your saddle to the all carbon one, (and changed it back?), did you make sure that the saddle was set up at the same height and more importantly put you at the same fore/aft position vs the bottom bracket? You can't just measure from the saddle nose to the headset when switching to a different saddle as the past you sit on is usually a different distance from the tip of the saddle.

    If your saddle ended up positioning you farther forward that would put more stress on your quads (and less on the hamstrings and glutes).

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    Senior Member Anonymoose's Avatar
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    It did put me farther forward (the all carbon piece) and lower down and I adjusted it immediately, although I wished it could go farther back than it was capable of. My sitbones never felt well seated . I did switch back to my original saddle prior to last weekend's ride and felt comfortable on the bike again but the same situation occurred. I'd add that I don't actual measure anything, i'm going purely on achieving the same fit in terms of the way it feels. I also don't think I rode long or intensely enough the couple times I had the carbon saddle for ill fit to have caused something I'm still suffering from a month later but who knows.

    Edit: My quads are also not sore or tired immediately after a ride. I haven't pushed myself to muscle failure ever. At this point my lungs get tired well before my legs. This is what I find strange about this, I don't feel I have been pushing myself nearly hard enough for the problem i'm having.
    Last edited by Anonymoose; 10-22-11 at 09:01 PM.

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    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    calcium would be a good idea. Calcium citrate is more readily absorbed.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymoose View Post
    I hope this is the right sub-forum for this question. Also, let me preface this by saying I am going to a doctor this week to have this checked out.
    Good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymoose View Post
    I returned to exercise this summer after basically inactivity since college. I was riding a couple days a week no more than an hour or two at a time and was fine (pushing myself hard but not to the point of collapse) for about a month. Then about a month ago I started getting what I perceive as cramps in my quads (mainly the left, but both cramp simultaneously 75% of the time). The strange thing is I only cramp days to a week after riding. I can feel no soreness or fatigue in my legs immediately after a ride or the following day and then about 5 days later I'll be walking down the street and one or both legs will have sudden excruciating pain (I have a high tolerance for pain and this pain takes my breath away sometimes) that feels like a cramp. It usually begins in a single point either on the inside or outside of the quad about eight inches above the knee and radiates from there taking 15-30 min to subside and when it does I'm left with my legs feeling very sore and very weak for the remainder of the day and usually still sore the next (I'm left more or less limping around for an hour or so immediately after this happens). It also seems to be the case that once I've had the initial "cramping" episode I will sporadically continue getting them for a few more days. After the first episode I tried to ride the bike again within a few days, still sore, and ended up having both my legs cramp, quad and hamstring, to the point of not being able to walk and practically in tears from pain about ten minutes into the ride. I took almost a month off the bike, stretching, eating lots of food with potassium and magnesium, stopped drinking coffee and the cramping did not happen again. Took two shorter rides last weekend saturday and sunday stretching before, during, and after the ride and felt great, not a hint of pain during those days or after. Thursday I started cramping again and have been on and off since then.
    Your time periods here aren't adding up. You might want to sort those before you take a chart explaining all this in to your Dr. And you will want to take a chart or calendar or something in to the Dr with all this information.


    IF it is bicycle related, and you are experiencing leg pain a few days after exercise, my first guess is DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Look it up.

    Riding as little as you do is still "relative inactivity" and may be too little for you to build up your muscles in order to prevent a recurrance of DOMS each time you ride.

    However, if that's not it, you may have some other medical condition.


    And you say you drink water throughout the day, but how much do you drink before and during your ride?

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Another thought: you could try riding at an easy pace for 30 minutes, no more, every day. See what that does.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Anonymoose's Avatar
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    First off, thanks guys for the suggestions and helping me clarify things before seeing the md.

    Machka:

    Let me try to be more clear about the timeline.

    I started cycling in August at some point. Riding on weekends for a couple hours at a time (I have not kept track of distance thus far) and the occasional weekday. I would be sore immediately after a ride but never cramping and I'd be good to go by the next time I rode. The frequency of cycling was 2-3 times a week usually separated by 3-4 days. I kept this up for a month to a month and a half. So at this point (early to mid September) I switched to the all carbon seat and rode with that about 3 times before the first cramping episode occurred (again, it was after several days of rest, NOT during the ride). At that point I took a week off the bike, tried to ride again (probably the 3rd week of september) and severely cramped both legs in the quads and hamstrings during the ride. Following that episode I took about a month off the bike. Last weekend (Oct. 15-16) I tried to ride again (having switched back to the original, non carbon seat) after this month of rest and cramped up on Thursday Oct 20th and have had a cramping episode every day since then (with today being an exception so far). I hope that's slightly more clear.

    Also, reading wikipedia's definition of DOMS I don't think that's what's going on here:

    "The soreness is perceived as a dull, aching pain in the affected muscle, often combined with tenderness and stiffness. The pain is felt only when the muscle is stretched, contracted or put under pressure, not when it is at rest.[1] Although there is variance among exercises and individuals, the soreness usually increases in intensity in the first 24 hours after exercise, peaks from 24 to 72 hours, then subsides and disappears after about five to seven days after exercise"

    My pain often begins and always endures during rest, it seems indifferent to what I'm doing. I've had a charlie horse before and it's not that. My pain only begins days after exercise, not within 24 hours. Lastly, the pain is not a dull aching but rather acute, semi-localized and excruciating.

    As to the water, I drink before and after a ride but not during. I still think this is not an issue as I don't think I'm riding long or hard enough to need it that badly. I've played years of sports and have been far more drained on less water and not had this happen. I know my limits and I'm not anywhere near them.

    Carbonfiberboy:

    I did think of trying that as well to help condition my muscles to the exercise but given my current state I haven't had the chance.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymoose View Post
    As to the water, I drink before and after a ride but not during. I still think this is not an issue as I don't think I'm riding long or hard enough to need it that badly. I've played years of sports and have been far more drained on less water and not had this happen. I know my limits and I'm not anywhere near them.

    Carbonfiberboy:

    I did think of trying that as well to help condition my muscles to the exercise but given my current state I haven't had the chance.

    Try drinking during your rides, and also follow Carbonfiberboy's suggestion. If what you're experiencing is not like a charlie horse, then I still think you may be experiencing DOMS.

    DOMS appears in different forms (and wikipedia isn't the best reference source). I've had DOMS where it is certainly not a dull ache. I've had DOMS appear within hours after exercise ... or 2 or 3 days later.

    If the extra drinking (take 1 bottle with you for a 1 to 1.5 hour ride) and the easy riding doesn't help ... go see a Dr.

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, OK, I'm with Machka. DOMS. Especially if the Tums don't do anything. DOMS can be quite severe, make you think you really pulled a muscle or some such. Try whey protein every day, mebbe 3 X 15g in water, one 1/2 hr. before each meal. Add another one when you come back from a ride. May not do anything, but it's cheap and does no harm.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Anonymoose's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys. If the above mentioned does not help and I see a doc I'll update with the diagnosis for the curious.

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    Hi there i also have the exact same symptoms. In fact i am on the couch now with both feet up as i can't walk. I also have not ridden for four days and when i am relaxing or going about my day to day activities, i get what is like a crap or a contraction of both of my quads.I have now had my cramps for two constant days on and off and have never experienced anything liike this before. I went to an acupuncturist today as well as a masseur and no luck. I have a gym and fitness back ground and i understand DOMS, yet i would not call this feeling DOMS. As there was no initial lead up and the last ride i went on was a recovery ride which i found easy. I am wanting to know how you went in dealing with this problem???

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie87 View Post
    Hi there i also have the exact same symptoms. In fact i am on the couch now with both feet up as i can't walk. I also have not ridden for four days and when i am relaxing or going about my day to day activities, i get what is like a crap or a contraction of both of my quads.I have now had my cramps for two constant days on and off and have never experienced anything liike this before. I went to an acupuncturist today as well as a masseur and no luck. I have a gym and fitness back ground and i understand DOMS, yet i would not call this feeling DOMS. As there was no initial lead up and the last ride i went on was a recovery ride which i found easy. I am wanting to know how you went in dealing with this problem???
    If you look at Anon's last post date, you'll see it precedes yours by almost three months. Which I would take to mean he followed the above suggestions and the problem went away. He did not return with a diagnosis from his doctor. So if I were you, that's what I'd do.

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    I just want to update that i sought medical advise as the cramps didn't seem to go away. After a blood test i was told to go straight to hospital as i had Rhabdomyolysis. As best and as quickly as i can describe this, the muscle breaks down and as a result there is more protein in your blood stream that can block your kidneys and can cause kidney failure in some cases if not treated. As a result i was advised i had to stay in hospital for several days on intravenous fluids to flush out the kidneys. The doctors that i have now seen believe this was all caused by lack of fluid and over riding considering i have only been riding for a short period of time. I have since had a discussion with a friend who rides who advised me she lost one of her kidneys from the same illness.
    I worked in a gym for two years and considered myself fairly fit and i though i new my body well enough when i was training or in this case, ridding but obviously not.
    I now have to stay off the bike for several weeks until my blood count drops to a safe level and i need to continue to get weekly blood tests.
    So if you are new to cycling don't over do it and drink, drink, drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
    If you are experiencing muscle cramps several days after riding, even though you did not experience any DOMS, seek medical advice.

  16. #16
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie87 View Post
    I just want to update that i sought medical advise as the cramps didn't seem to go away. After a blood test i was told to go straight to hospital as i had Rhabdomyolysis. As best and as quickly as i can describe this, the muscle breaks down and as a result there is more protein in your blood stream that can block your kidneys and can cause kidney failure in some cases if not treated. As a result i was advised i had to stay in hospital for several days on intravenous fluids to flush out the kidneys. The doctors that i have now seen believe this was all caused by lack of fluid and over riding considering i have only been riding for a short period of time. I have since had a discussion with a friend who rides who advised me she lost one of her kidneys from the same illness.
    I worked in a gym for two years and considered myself fairly fit and i though i new my body well enough when i was training or in this case, ridding but obviously not.
    I now have to stay off the bike for several weeks until my blood count drops to a safe level and i need to continue to get weekly blood tests.
    So if you are new to cycling don't over do it and drink, drink, drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
    If you are experiencing muscle cramps several days after riding, even though you did not experience any DOMS, seek medical advice.
    Good job you went to the doctor! That's a new one on me, but that's the reason many of us post here: gaining knowledge. However, as you can see you are not the first person to post here with severe leg pain after riding that lasted for days. It's possible that other posters have had the same problem. Many of them went to the doctor too, with no result, but it's possible that one needs to go to a doctor who knows something about sports problems or is at least educated and observant. I'll bookmark this. Here's a good overview of rhabdomyolysis:
    http://www.athleteinme.com/ArticleView.aspx?id=241

    From the linked article, the three main symptoms of rhabdomyolysis:
    severe, incapacitating muscle pain
    elevated levels of creatine kinase (CK) in the blood
    myoglobin in the urine
    The article says Coca-Cola colored urine. The article suggests two preventative steps:
    1) Train properly. This condition results from a greatly increased exercise level, no matter your previous level of fitness, which might be quite high.
    2) After exercise, consume a recovery drink containing protein. The URL has a link to a page evaluating sports drinks, where I found a very good discussion of what's on the market:
    http://www.athleteinme.com/ArticleView.aspx?id=358
    Again, chocolate milk looks pretty good. I'd say 16 oz. after a hard or long ride.

    budgie: You might want to drink a good bit of milk in the next few days or use whey protein as previously suggested. All that excreted protein is going to want to be replaced.

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    Thanks for the advice carbonfiber boy.

    Like you said it depends on the doctor in order to get the correct advice, i went through two doctors who told me to take some painn killer and i will be fine until i found one who specialises in sports related conditions.

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    At last I have found someone who is suffering with the exact same chronic pain problem as me.....can you please advise what the doctor diagnosed on you visit. I have just returned to cycling after a twenty four year break and after 4 month in the saddle have encountered the same pains I had all those years ago.
    In between that time I have covered hundreds of miles fell walking and acquired a black belt in Karate and ran many half marathons without any chronic cramp effects but after retuning to the bike the dreaded first attack of chronic pain started on Friday night four days after my last ride.......frustrating especially as I have ordered a new bike...

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    Since my last post i have had several outbreaks of cramps which i determined was a result of alcohol. I can no longer consume any alcohol or in several days time i am in pain and blood tests show a high CK level (this includes one light beer).
    The doctors were not aware of what was going on. I went to many doctors until i was refered by a sports doctor to a neurologist. The neurologist stated she treats many athletes and people active in sports with Rhabdomyolysis (no doctors were aware i had this). It is caused by dehydration. I have since spoken to a marathon runner who also had the same problem, collapsing in a marathon and ended up in hospital for days. He has never been able to compete again.
    I now find that as long as i don't consume ANY alcohol i am ok. I can push myself hard on the bike with no problems and i make sure fluids are well maintained. The neurologist said that she could do a muscle biopsy to look into why i have continual outbreaks if i drink alcohol, instead i decided to never drink again.
    If you live in the Melbourne are i can give you the details of the neurologist i dealt with.
    Im sure that new bike will get a workout.

  20. #20
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    Interesting that a protein drink is recommended. I have to be pretty careful not to overdo the riding or I wind up with bad Quad cramps. What has worked is gradually increasing the ride length and speed, along with a protein drink very soon after the ride ends. I thought that was weird as so many other riders are hunting for carb drinks but I had a craving for a protein drink. I still don't quite get why I would have even a borderline problem with Rhabdo (if that's what it is) as I was a weightlifter for years and my legs are quite strong. I guess they aren't used to pumping pedals around and around, even after four or five months!

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    I'd like to start by thanking everyone who has already contributed to this thread.
    Fortunately I found this thread a couple of days into what has been 6 days of pain and worry. My story : I'm a fit 33 y/o male and had decided to exercise harder than usual for 3 to 4 weeks (5 days a week of spin classes/60k rides), but then I trapped a nerve in my back which totally immobilised me for 4 days. On the 5th day (and 7 days after last serious exercise) I thought I'd try get back in the saddle only to be struck by the most excrutiating quad pains (cramping for want of a better word). As others have described - like a cramp but the muscle not tensed. It'd come on with a twinge, like a cramp, but quickly spread deep into the quad muscle of both legs with an extremely painful burning sensation. This agony would typically last for around 10 minutes, then linger as a sore muscle for hours... seriously immobilising me and making moving around extremely difficult.
    I went to the doctors after 3 days of this only to be fobbed off with a diagnosis of 'muscle cramps... try stretching'. But thanks to this thread I insisted on blood tests. These have since come back with a c/k of 2,800 (some 11 days after my last exercise) diagnosed as rhabdomyolysis. I am only thankful that I avoided the more serious kidney failure complications.

    Getting to my point... it has been 6 days now since the cramps started and my legs are still as weak and susceptible to cramping now as when they started.
    I'd love to hear from those who have been through this. Any advice on rehabbing and in particular the timescales?
    How long did the extreme weakness and cramping last for? and what sort of progress I can expect in the next couple of weeks? My real concern is that I have a holiday planned in 18 days (3 weeks since first cramp) but as it stands I am still extremely prone to cramping and struggling to negotiate the slightest down hill slopes or flight of stairs. Though I have noticed that if I catch them early enough I can ward off a full blown cramp with a quad stretch.

    I already intend to follow the advice above to take protein and vitamin supplements & stay hydrated.
    Any further advice would be extremely appreciated.

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    After my last bout of cramp I visited a Sports physio who specialised in cycling injuries. He advised that it was lack of flexibility that was causing my cramps. I have now committed my self to a rigorous stretching programme backed up by also taking one endurolyte (hammer nutrition) per day upping to three before a long ride and two during the ride, I also take 1 x multivitiman tablet per day.
    I have had the odd twinge since then but it has not ended where I was unable to ride my bike. I will continue with my stretching pre & post rides but I'm still not convinced that I will be free from this chronic ailment for the rest of my cycling days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeds_spinner View Post
    I'd like to start by thanking everyone who has already contributed to this thread.
    Fortunately I found this thread a couple of days into what has been 6 days of pain and worry. My story : I'm a fit 33 y/o male and had decided to exercise harder than usual for 3 to 4 weeks (5 days a week of spin classes/60k rides), but then I trapped a nerve in my back which totally immobilised me for 4 days. On the 5th day (and 7 days after last serious exercise) I thought I'd try get back in the saddle only to be struck by the most excrutiating quad pains (cramping for want of a better word). As others have described - like a cramp but the muscle not tensed. It'd come on with a twinge, like a cramp, but quickly spread deep into the quad muscle of both legs with an extremely painful burning sensation. This agony would typically last for around 10 minutes, then linger as a sore muscle for hours... seriously immobilising me and making moving around extremely difficult.
    I went to the doctors after 3 days of this only to be fobbed off with a diagnosis of 'muscle cramps... try stretching'. But thanks to this thread I insisted on blood tests. These have since come back with a c/k of 2,800 (some 11 days after my last exercise) diagnosed as rhabdomyolysis. I am only thankful that I avoided the more serious kidney failure complications.

    Getting to my point... it has been 6 days now since the cramps started and my legs are still as weak and susceptible to cramping now as when they started.
    I'd love to hear from those who have been through this. Any advice on rehabbing and in particular the timescales?
    How long did the extreme weakness and cramping last for? and what sort of progress I can expect in the next couple of weeks? My real concern is that I have a holiday planned in 18 days (3 weeks since first cramp) but as it stands I am still extremely prone to cramping and struggling to negotiate the slightest down hill slopes or flight of stairs. Though I have noticed that if I catch them early enough I can ward off a full blown cramp with a quad stretch.

    I already intend to follow the advice above to take protein and vitamin supplements & stay hydrated.
    Any further advice would be extremely appreciated.
    Well my CK level would return to normal after 2-3 weeks from the initial cramp onset. The neurologist advised me to drink and drink and drink to keep flushing the system out which assists reducing the CK level and NO strenuous activity until back to normal. She did advise the swimming would be ok for exercise as there was no pressure on the muscles however i didn't bother as i was in too much pain. I can understand your pain, i couldnt drive a car as the pressure from breaking would cause me to cramp. Also advised was to not over do the stretching with a high CK level as the muscles will be weak and could potentially cause more damage (i cant remember the technical terminology she used). In summary i was told to keep my feet up as long as i could and to drink and eat to just flush out the system. As stated in my previous posts, i can no longer consume alcohol as this brings it back on so perhaps don't drink now and during your holiday in the event it is the same for yourself.

  24. #24
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I wonder if the cramps contributed to the muscle damage/rhabdo, which made the muscles cramp even worse and cause the rhabdo symptoms to worsen. Vicious circle.

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    This thread is about the only piece of info pertaining to my condition I can find, so anyone with any additional information would be most helpful.

    Bit of background: Cat 4 racer, do about 250-350km per week. Eat fairly well (cake!), hydrate well, although could probably drink more during a ride, but hydrate a lot pre-and post-ride. I get these cramps, starting in quad, radiate out to glutes etc depending on how bad it is, always following 3/4 or more days off the bike. Like the others, I'd then have residual pain for about a day after the ride. If I didn't ride long enough on the first ride, I'd get the same pains on the next ride - it seems the cramps continue until I do enough cycling to get them out of my system - after that, I get on the bike with no pain at all until the next time I take >3 days off. On the rides themselves, it's a matter of stopping to relieve the pain, then after another 1/2km, pain comes back, stop....repeat.

    I do a bit of trans-atlantic travel with work, and used to get it when I came back and got on the bike (or occasionally, milder episodes when walking). I initially put it down to being tall and in economy for long periods of time, so tried to avoid caffeine, alcohol, long periods of sitting down when on the plane, including waking and walking during overnight flights.

    I went to a physician who thought it might be back related, so put me on a program of back strengthening exercises, and I did pilates in January and February, but due to work/kids/bike training this has taken a back seat (my fault, I know). Anyway, I thought I had cracked it, as I did 2 transatlantic trips in April with no pain, at all. I did do some 30 minute gym workouts on the bike on both occasions while I was away. But last week, I fractured a rib, so was off the bike from Monday to Friday. On Friday, when I tried to do a slow ride. I had the worst episode ever. It was as sore as I can ever remember, and took 3 rides for the pain to abate - even on the 4th ride I could feel a little pain that receded after 10/15km.

    I have gone to a number of physicians about this. It may well be that I need to continue to work on strengthening my back and core, but I can't help feeling that this latest episode must be due to more than that, particularly after having no issues the month before. My urine is usually very clear, I haven't noticed anything odd there. Any ideas? Is there any value in having a blood test now, or should I wait til the next episode?

    Thanks in advance, especially if you read all the way to the end of this post!

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