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Ron Harry 09-17-13 06:03 PM

Mountains to Coast N Carolina ride and possible neck nerve damage
Just a rant; to get it off my chest I suppose...
been training all summer for this week long ride. Last weekend, did century ride with N.Fla bike club [annual Watermelon Ride in Fernandina Beach; NFBC [JAX] has to be one of the best bike clubs in SE USA]. Had a great first 45 miles, and got to 51 rest stop with 18 mph avg [pretty much a personal best for me]. Then it hit me...bonk time...but this bonk was unique for I LOST MY NECK MUSCLES. Damnedest thing ever. I could not for the life of me keep my head up. They call it Shermer's neck or something or other, and is sometimes seen in ultra long distance riders. I had experienced this a time or two before well over a year ago, but not like this time. There was nothing neck like a floppy chicken wing...nada, nothing. And the pain is hard to describe too, for one simply cannot ride with their head 'down' for long, MUST at least draw one's head up to see what is ahead on the road [this is a very dangerous thing, this Shermer's neck]. Looking back, I have no idea how I made it that last 50 miles, for all I really remember was the excruciating PAIN, as I forced my head up like a bobbing apple, time after time for a slight glance at the road before it sank back down to stare at my shoes. I found that I could take 'some' pressure off propping under my chin with a free hand [riding with one had on the bike...again, very dangerous with traffic whizzing by]. It took me days to recover...had light headedness hours after...and now my entire left arm throbs with a constant dull pain, while my neck still radiates a stiffness down through my backbone [to middle of back]. I haven't been on a bike for 9 days now [so much for peaking out my training for CNC in October]. It's hard to sleep even [the dull throb comes and goes].

I haven't been to a doctor yet, but I'm thinking I perhaps did some sort of nerve damage struggling that last 50 miles.

I posted on this before, asking for advise on some sort of brace for people with this propensity for 'sore neck' syndrome. All I get are 'sermons' about bike fit, and proper hydration and food prep etc. WE NEED A NECK BRACE...that is lightweight, stiff, and designed that one can 'relax' their neck muscles while keeping their head cocked high enough from a bike riding position that they can see the road. If I could have only 'rested' my neck for awhile that 50 miles [I slowed to less than 12 mph avg on that last half].

End of rant I suppose. I'm now wondering if I can make the Carolina ride or not; for one thing, I've halted my training for a full 9 days.

zzOtherlandzz 09-17-13 11:18 PM

Wow that sounds VERY painful. I would have bailed on the rest of the ride... Several friends rode that ride too, said they had a great time!!

Ron Harry 09-19-13 03:42 PM

This was probably wrong forum to post this...more about sore necks than a regional event; sorry. The neck soreness is slowly going away, back to training, getting stoked for CNC. Anyone interested in this Shermer's neck, a google 'images' search will bring up some interesting contraptions people have made to combat this severe problem. I still say there's a 'niche market' for some enterprising company to develop something for this malady. Just a stiff molded plastic form, to prop between the chin and chest would do; has to be lightweight and carry-able on a bike.

Juan Foote 09-20-13 07:38 AM

Have you gone to see a Chiro or Dr about this?

If you have been training, and building yourself up to doing distances like that you really shouldn't have had such a rapid onset. The only time I have ever experienced anything even similar was trying to do a metric after not riding for months. I would suggest that you may have a misalignment or even disk damage. Go get checked out.

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