Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Riding Days Over?

Reply

Old 04-24-09, 06:21 AM
  #1  
AeroJoe
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Riding Days Over?

OK, I turned 50 this year, so I guess I can post here now- I usually hang out in the "Clyde" section (230 lbs., been riding a modified Trek 7200 and two old road bikes for 8 years, 1500-2000 mi/year). Here's the problem- about 2 months ago I began to experience severe, sharp pain in my lower neck, about 1" left of the center of my spine. Pain would extend down into my shoulder and even elbow. It would sometimes get so severe I had to stop whatever I was doing and wait until the worst passed. It kept me off the bike/trainer this Spring for over 1-1/2 months (I couldn't even THINK about riding a bike due to the pain). Doc diagnosed it as a pinched nerve due to bone spurs and disk degeneration. After a month of pills and home traction, it feels good enough to ride, but still with some pain. He says there's not a lot you can do, surgery is a last resort if you can even find someone to do it. Anyone else have this problem? Are my good riding days over?
AeroJoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:24 AM
  #2  
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How would you do with a recumbent?
DnvrFox is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:31 AM
  #3  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Try a different Doc.
2nd or 3rd opinion's might be better.
Stay in touch.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:53 AM
  #4  
AeroJoe
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DnvrFox, thanks for the suggestion. I was hoping that no one would bring up the dreaded "R"-word, but if that's what it takes to keep cycling, I may have to seriously look into it. I have nothing against recumbents, it's just that I ride a lot on the road, and recumbents are harder to see because they sit lower- it's more of a safety issue. But with all of the new, very nice MUP's they are building around my area, a recumbent just might be a very good idea.
AeroJoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 07:13 AM
  #5  
George
Senior Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Katy Texas
Posts: 5,494

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
You might want to go get a fit rather than a operation.If I were you I wouldn't get surgery. I just got done with my second foot operation and it's still screwed up. I'm going to live with it. Maybe your hunched up or something. Sometimes when the bars are to high they jam your shoulders up. Have someone ride with you and see if they can see something that you may be doing wrong. Whatever you do, use the doctor as a last resort.
__________________
George
George is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 07:41 AM
  #6  
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 5,806

Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Don't go to the "R side" until someone carries your shell of a body and places you in it. As for riding days being over?, you wont get much compassion here, several of our members have recovered from serious injuries and illness and some even rode thru chemo and radiation treatments. However, you are in the proper place for support, advice and encouragement. Welcome aboard! As others have suggested there could be a fit issue or correction that can position you better and take some of the added stress away. Another option is to work on the platform muscles needed to sit and ride properly. There are many core and stability excersizes that will strengthen the support muscles needed to take the added pressure off the area which is giving you trouble. Lastly HTFU, and graduate from the Clydesdale Forum, loosing weight alone may be the ticket to comfort on the bike. You can do it, I was also member a little over two years ago and am currently at my college weight.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 07:56 AM
  #7  
Monoborracho
Senior Member
 
Monoborracho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Deep In The Heart
Posts: 2,659

Bikes: Seven Ti Tandem, Blue T12 tri bike, 92 Paramount, 93 Schwinn Mesa MTB, Soma Saga

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Philisophical statement for 50+'ers.

If it doesn't hurt from time to time it probably doesn't work.

The pain is there to remind you that you're still alive.

Growing old isn't for sissies.
__________________
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation the first things to be bought and sold are legislators"......P. J. O'Rourke
Monoborracho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 08:34 AM
  #8  
Big Lew
Fraser Valley Dave
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia Canada
Posts: 547

Bikes: devinci monaco (upgraded)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
I agree with "10 Wheels," get a second opinion for sure. In 2000, at age 54, I broke my hip, the first surgeon was just going to replace it, but fortunately I asked for a hospital transfer and the second surgeon was more thorough, checking my good health record, and opted to pin me back together instead. Fourteen months later I rode over 2250 miles with 50 lbs. extra camping gear down the alaskan hwy. Have ridden many thousands of miles since then. I also have had sharp pain in my lower neck area, (probably not the same as your situation) and found relief by adjusting my riding stance to take some of the weight off my shoulder area. Hope you can find a way to keep riding, good luck!
Big Lew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 08:37 AM
  #9  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 19,192

Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
I share your safety and visibility in traffic concerns regarding recumbents, but admit that they are also much less likely to throw you head-first in a bike-versus-rut scenario. If you decide to go that route, look for a 'bent which puts you up as high as possible.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
Capo: 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 09:17 AM
  #10  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 13,868

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
"get a recumbent" is often stated as a prescription for cycling with back problems. My wife is a long-term sciatica sufferer, and has ridden a hybrid for a while without back pain. Now she has a new issue, stenosis, and is back in PT. Between two PTs, several helpful and knowledgable people at Training and Nutrition, her pain therapist, and our doctor there are three opinions regarding her continuing cycling. The MD does not agree that recumbents are necessarily the answer, due to her own experience as a distance rider, and the variation in position available among recumbents.

I don't think it's at all clear that you're done.

I like Allegheny's suggestion, to upgrade the conditioning of as much of your body as possible to gain resilience against what the road offers you. Then don't do what is not comfortable.

My PT, when I was in shoulder therapy, would never tell me if I could or couldn't ride while under therapy. She said, "you know what inflammation of the shoulder feels like, and you have to prevent inflammation. Don't do whatever makes it feel that way." I never left my road bikes. I refitted them, but kept riding.
Road Fan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 09:26 AM
  #11  
bobbycorno
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AeroJoe View Post
it's just that I ride a lot on the road, and recumbents are harder to see because they sit lower- it's more of a safety issue. But with all of the new, very nice MUP's they are building around my area, a recumbent just might be a very good idea.
Oh, give me a break! I've been riding a recumbent daily for commuting for the last year and a half, and if anything I'm MORE visible, because I don't look like every other bike on the road. For an awful lot of drivers, conventional bikes are invisible - they're just visual "noise". The "safety issue" is all in your head: if you think it'll be more dangerous, it will.

SP
bobbycorno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 09:28 AM
  #12  
bobbycorno
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
Don't go to the "R side" until someone carries your shell of a body and places you in it.
Ah, good! More anti-recumbent bulls**t! What is this kneejerk nonsense? I'd really like to hear a coherent explanation some day.

SP
bobbycorno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 09:29 AM
  #13  
Velo Dog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 3,811
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
with all due respect, some people are freaking morons when it comes to recumbents. By the time you're old enough to post here, you ought to be past worrying what people you pass on the road, people you'll never meet or see again, will think about your bicycle. If my choices were Buy a 'Bent or Not Ride, I wouldn't have to give it one second of thought.
Having said that, you can do a lot on a conventional bike just by thinking about fit and setup. I had back spasms off and on for years that often kept me off the bike. When I bought my Atlantis, I followed Grant Petersen's advice on setting it up, and I've been pain-free since. I'm sure it's added years to my "serious" riding career. Poke around at www.rivbike.com. There's one essay here: http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_...izing_position
Velo Dog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 09:33 AM
  #14  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,527
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
You might try a more upright bike. Riding is easier than walking, so if you can walk, you can ride.

Paul
PaulH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 11:44 AM
  #15  
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 5,806

Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
Ah, good! More anti-recumbent bulls**t! What is this kneejerk nonsense? I'd really like to hear a coherent explanation some day.

SP
Sorry if you took my comment personally. My take on the OP's comments/questions is that he wants to continue riding in his regular fashion and wonders if he needs to give it up. I only attemped to give him encouragement and possibly some options to continue to strive for what I percieve are his desires. I personally don't have any issue with recumbants, trikes, electric bikes, golf carts, bikes with $3,000 wheels or even Amish buggys filled with manure. I pass some, and others pass me, and I say "hey" to everyone. Fifteen years ago I had to give up running and basketball due to an ankle injury and to this day will still have dreams of playing B-ball and running. If the doctor back then gave an option or a program that would have enabled me to continue doing those activities I would have persued it with vengence.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 02:23 PM
  #16  
The Weak Link
Banned.
 
The Weak Link's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Post-partisan Paradise
Posts: 4,938

Bikes: GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was on a group ride this week where I had the agony of being stalked by a recumbent for a mile or two and then being passed going UP HILL. It was also a very windy day and he had his own cowling. Frankly I was jealous.

Not to change the subject or diffuse the hatred, but I wanted to ask him: is it effective to draft off a 'bent? I would have asked him myself but I couldn't catch the sucker.

Anyway some day I'm gonna get me one.

PS: Allegheny Jet, you might want to cool it with the rude, obnoxious boorish comments.

Last edited by The Weak Link; 04-24-09 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Sometimes ya just can't help it.
The Weak Link is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 02:41 PM
  #17  
Bud Bent
Wheezing Geezer
 
Bud Bent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Crowley, Tx
Posts: 1,782

Bikes: Bacchetta Corsa, RANS Stratus XP

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by AeroJoe View Post
DnvrFox, thanks for the suggestion. I was hoping that no one would bring up the dreaded "R"-word, but if that's what it takes to keep cycling, I may have to seriously look into it. I have nothing against recumbents, it's just that I ride a lot on the road, and recumbents are harder to see because they sit lower- it's more of a safety issue. But with all of the new, very nice MUP's they are building around my area, a recumbent just might be a very good idea.
I don't think seeing a recumbent on the road is a problem. Drivers often seem to give recumbents more room than upright bikes. They're different, so they catch a driver's attention better, sometimes.

Recumbents are much easier on many parts of your body than an upright, but a recumbent can be as hard on the neck as an upright. I vote with those who say to try other opinions to tackle the neck problem.
Bud Bent is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 03:04 PM
  #18  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Staying out of the recumbent argument except to say I have tried one and they ain't for me.

Now on that Doc's diagnosis-- Any Xrays or scans done to confirm his suspicions? I had a trapped nerve a few years ago and the pain did not come on when I was doing any one particular thing---It was there all the time. The wife had the same and it was 2 weeks of pain till it got bearable.

Not the same for you- as you have been riding the same bike for a while- but I had one bike that caused me shoulder and neck ache. Took a while to sort out what was wrong- about 4 months of trying to adjust the bike to ease the pain- and still not certain what it was. I don't ride that bike often now but there is something about the set up on that bike that makes it bring on neck pain after a couple of hours.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 04:34 PM
  #19  
bobbycorno
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
Sorry if you took my comment personally. My take on the OP's comments/questions is that he wants to continue riding in his regular fashion and wonders if he needs to give it up. I only attemped to give him encouragement and possibly some options to continue to strive for what I percieve are his desires. I personally don't have any issue with recumbants, trikes, electric bikes, golf carts, bikes with $3,000 wheels or even Amish buggys filled with manure. I pass some, and others pass me, and I say "hey" to everyone. Fifteen years ago I had to give up running and basketball due to an ankle injury and to this day will still have dreams of playing B-ball and running. If the doctor back then gave an option or a program that would have enabled me to continue doing those activities I would have persued it with vengence.
No issues? Then why the "Don't go to the "R side" until someone carries your shell of a body and places you in it." comment?

SP
bobbycorno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 05:04 PM
  #20  
cranky old dude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AeroJoe, I ride both uprights and recumbents...and will probably continue to do so. They're all good. They're all fun.

You sound very reluctant to go in the recumbent direction which is fine. A lot of great advice has been offered in this thread and by following up on it you will most likely find yourself back up on that saddle again soon.

I hope you're able to stay with upright bikes as they seem to be your preference. If you choose to investigate recumbents there are a lot of folks here and elsewhere who can send you off in the proper direction to find out what works for you. Either way, keep us posted on your progress.
cranky old dude is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:17 PM
  #21  
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11,019

Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Chiropractor?
zonatandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:32 PM
  #22  
Longfemur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Take heart, and don't give up just yet. Not the same medical problem, but I once thought for sure my riding days were over. They certainly were very limited for a while during my kidney failure and dialysis years, but eventually, I built back up to it. At one time, I could hardly walk around a city block, let alone cycle around it. Today, I rode 20 miles, a few days ago, 25 miles, and 15 miles a number of times weather permitting since March. I've been doing that almost every day for 3 spring/summer/autumn seasons now. Mind you, I've been extremely lucky to be healthy enough to do that so far.

Maybe with proper conditioning and perhaps some physical rehab of some kind, you can still have some riding in your future. Best of luck.
Longfemur is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:56 PM
  #23  
tntyz
Senior Member
 
tntyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nabob, WI
Posts: 1,188

Bikes: 2018 Domane SL7

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Both my sister and I suffer from a pinched nerve caused by disk degeneration in our upper back/lower neck. Both of us had constant tingling in our hands and lost some strength. She eventually lost ability to control her hand (left) and had surgery. It went very well and I would say she is fully recovered.

I quit riding for a year as a result of my condition. Then I started to get more concerned about overall health. Dropped my weight from 215+ to about 170. Focused on better nutrition and posture. Somewhere along the way my nerve problem cleared up and got about 1500 miles on last summer and over 500 so far this year.

Surgery works, but there are alternatives. Maybe I just got lucky somehow. I know that the conditions are still there and I will probably have to deal with it some time, but things are good now.

Side note: I switched over to a road bike this year. Had my 7500 out this Sunday for the first time, just for old time sake. Almost immediately I started to experience symptoms of my nerve pinch acting up. I think the upright position jams your spine down more and makes the problem worse. On the road bike my back is angled and I absorb shock with my abdominal muscles instead of my spine. You may want to consider changing to a relaxed-geometry road bike and get off the hybrid.

Good luck!

Tony
tntyz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 06:59 PM
  #24  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
You may want to consider changing to a relaxed-geometry road bike and get off the hybrid.

Worked for me and my two bad disc's.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-09, 08:15 PM
  #25  
surfjimc
Used to be fast
 
surfjimc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 580

Bikes: 85 Specialized Expedition, 07 Motobecane Immortal Spirit built up with Dura ace and Mavic Ksyriums, '85 Bianchi Track Bike, '90 Fisher Procaliber, '96 Landshark TwinDirt Shark Tandem, '88 Curtlo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had exactly the same thing. It was miserable. It comes from a bulge in the disk. Found a good Chiropractor that did PT and it was healed in a few months. Took a bit longer to be comfortable on the bike again. It took a few months for me to get to a doctor to get it taken care of. First doctor wanted to do surgery. No way! An interesting aside, when I finally got back to the gym to lift, the arm that hurt had suffered serious atrophy and was significantly weaker than the other. I'm still trying to get them balanced. PM me and we can talk on the phone. I can give you all the exercises that healed my neck.
surfjimc is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service