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After a 70 mi. ride yesterday, two unusual things happened...

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After a 70 mi. ride yesterday, two unusual things happened...

Old 05-09-16, 03:25 PM
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one4smoke
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After a 70 mi. ride yesterday, two unusual things happened...

...or at least unusual to me.

A good long ride yesterday, but I've ridden farther, having done my first century about a month ago. Have ridden this distance several times, with 30 to 50 miles about my norm per ride.

First of all, my legs started to cramp up on me at about 50 miles. I have NEVER had this to happen before. It started happening after I would climb some pretty good size hills. Whenever I'd crest the hill, it would start. I had to stop and keep my legs stretched out for about 5 or 10 minutes, before resuming. Once I started going on flat ground again, I was OK. I'm relatively sure I was hydrated efficiently, and the temp was only about 87. I've climbed the same hills many times with no problems. Not sure why I started to cramp up this particular time.

Secondly, and the most perplexing, after I got home and proceeded to take my cycling shorts off, the silicone leg grippers were completely STUCK to the top of my leg. The worst part was, I didn't realize they were so stuck until I ripped them off! Arghhhh! Underneath the half-inch strip, I had a series of blisters, especially the left leg. And what skin wasn't blistered, was awfully red. I've worn these particular shorts many times with no problems. Soooooo, I'm completely baffled.

Any of you experienced cyclists care to shed some light on these issues? It would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-09-16, 03:32 PM
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Too many hours in the sun?
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Old 05-09-16, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Too many hours in the sun?
Definitely what it would appear, but I've been out longer in much higher heat. In those same shorts.
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Old 05-09-16, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
Definitely what it would appear, but I've been out longer in much higher heat. In those same shorts.
Is it possible after repeated UV exposer the material broke down?
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Old 05-09-16, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrettsin View Post
Is it possible after repeated UV exposer the material broke down?
Visually, it looks just fine. I inspected it immediately, and it still looks brand new.
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Old 05-09-16, 04:42 PM
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Silicone is an allergen or sensitizer for some folks. It can take awhile for a reaction to occur after repeated exposure. Maybe it breaks down with age, use and exposure to perspiration.

Cramping doesn't seem unusual with a longer than usual ride, especially on one of the first really warm days this spring. Happened to me when I was younger and in top condition, but hadn't prepped optimally for a tougher than usual ride. The worst cramps occurred on an overcast day that seemed cool but was actually in the 80s, riding an unfamiliar course that seemed easy but was really hillier than it looked at a glance. Took my usual single bottle of water and probably needed double that.

Seemingly little things can throw us off, like a couple of beers the night before, not getting enough sleep, ordinary meds like antihistamines, etc. We won't notice any problems until we push a little harder than usual.

It's 90F here this evening -- our first day this year anywhere near that warm -- and I'm about to take my first ride in a week after repairing a shifter. I plan to take it very easy, maybe 10 miles, and work my way back up to 30-40. I'm nowhere near ready for rides longer than 50 miles at anything other than a 12 mph loaf.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:15 AM
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Sounds like contact dermatitis regarding the blisters since they are underneath the silicone and as canklecat said you may have gotten sensitized to it over time
You can try rechallenging it and see if it happens again.
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Old 05-11-16, 09:26 AM
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Allergic reaction is my reading also. I've had several sets of socks and one set of bike shorts cause a red rash. I am mildly allergic to latex but have no idea if my rash was caused by latex. I tried using a barrier cream as is used by people working with epoxy resins and still saw the rash. Eventually I discarded those items.
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Old 05-11-16, 01:33 PM
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Do you wash the shorts after every ride?
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Old 05-11-16, 03:00 PM
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It is also possible that it was a heat rash. Heat rash occurs when the skin's sweat glands are blocked and the sweat produced cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate. This causes inflammation that results in a rash.
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Old 05-11-16, 03:23 PM
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Problem 1: Electrolytes. Hydration (water) is only part of the battle. You need to keep your electrolytes up too. Depending on your source of water, you're probably not getting what you need. Another factor is recent dietary intake. You do enjoy a healthy, varied diet, yes?

Problem 2: Contact dermatitis. Could be a number of factors here... detergent, silicone, fabric. What worked for you in the past does not guarantee you won't have problems in the future. I wore a particular brand of non latex gloves for years then suddenly I noticed irritation and in the span of a week was unable to wear them even for a few minutes before the itching and redness would start. Weird stuff.


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Old 05-11-16, 04:15 PM
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Lot's of good suggestions in this thread. Personally I've found cramps do occasionally happen, I'm not sure why. I did 90 miles yesterday in 70's and 80's sunny weather and didnt have an issue. But I've had cramps happen on 30 mile rides. Sometimes your body just has an off day is how I look at it.
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Old 05-11-16, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
It's 90F here this evening -- our first day this year anywhere near that warm -- and I'm about to take my first ride in a week after repairing a shifter. I plan to take it very easy, maybe 10 miles, and work my way back up to 30-40. I'm nowhere near ready for rides longer than 50 miles at anything other than a 12 mph loaf.
I rode 20 miles that afternoon, rather than the 10 I'd planned. And pushed a little harder because I was feeling pretty good. Sure enough, had cramps in my right leg, thigh to arch of the foot, by the end of the ride. But I'm not in great shape now and 20 miles without stopping is a long ride for me. The day was hottish, our first 90F day this spring, and I hadn't bothered to warm up or stretch. Drank plenty of water, but I probably should stretch first.
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Old 05-12-16, 09:10 AM
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Bananas, grapefruit juice or any juice high in potassium, dark chocolate before the ride.

Should help alleviate any cramps.
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Old 05-12-16, 02:51 PM
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For the cramps, I just ran a sag stop for our bike club, and we had a couple of jars of dill pickles with all the snacks. Several people poured out the pickle juice, and said it was good for cramps.

Problem 2 I cant help you much on, since I ride bents, and ride with rugby shorts that are non restricting and made of cotton and polyester 50/50.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Do you wash the shorts after every ride?
You have to wash them?!?

Last edited by one4smoke; 05-13-16 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Bananas, grapefruit juice or any juice high in potassium, dark chocolate before the ride.

Should help alleviate any cramps.
Yeah, I usually eat a banana every day for breakfast.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:46 AM
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I've had similar issues with the silicon grippers on cycling shorts on long rides, particularly during hot weather. My thighs haven't blistered but I've often broken out in a rash where the grippers contact my legs during long rides. I avoid shorts with silicon grippers now, for that reason. I suspect that the rash also might be a reaction to salt from sweat interacting with the grippers, because the problem is worst when I am sweating a lot.

It's not unusual to get cramps on long rides, particularly during hot weather if you haven't had enough to drink. It could also be due to electrolyte imbalance, even if you are well hydrated. Once the weather gets hot, I start using electrolyte supplements or Gatorade on longer rides. Usually it's not an issue for me because I eat plenty of bananas and other foods that help prevent cramps. I try to avoid energy drinks due to the sugar and dilute Gatorade with water when I do use it.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I've had similar issues with the silicon grippers on cycling shorts on long rides, particularly during hot weather. My thighs haven't blistered but I've often broken out in a rash where the grippers contact my legs during long rides. I avoid shorts with silicon grippers now, for that reason. I suspect that the rash also might be a reaction to salt from sweat interacting with the grippers, because the problem is worst when I am sweating a lot.

It's not unusual to get cramps on long rides, particularly during hot weather if you haven't had enough to drink. It could also be due to electrolyte imbalance, even if you are well hydrated. Once the weather gets hot, I start using electrolyte supplements or Gatorade on longer rides. Usually it's not an issue for me because I eat plenty of bananas and other foods that help prevent cramps. I try to avoid energy drinks due to the sugar and dilute Gatorade with water when I do use it.
Great points. I wonder if the extra sweating also caused the grippers to move ever so slightly back and forth, creating friction causing the blisters?
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Old 05-13-16, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
Great points. I wonder if the extra sweating also caused the grippers to move ever so slightly back and forth, creating friction causing the blisters?
That's what I'm presuming.
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