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What gives out first...

Old 12-05-06, 08:34 AM
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What gives out first...

I am not sure I have a problem, or not. First of all - it is very hard for me to go to a LBS - to get one that has much in the way of supplies requires jumping on a plane and a 5 hour flight. I do have some here - but they don't have as much as I would like in the way of stuff so I have to make do. I have had my bike checked repeatedly for fit - seems fine.

The issue is after about 2 hours on a bike my left shoulder tends to start to cramp up. A little background, about 7 years ago I ripped it out of the socket while playing football with my son. Lesson learned, no more football. I did rock climbing for years after that which helped alot - the shoulder is strong, but obviously the worse for wear.

No issue at all with the right shoulder, so I suspect it is something to do with the injury. Legs, lungs, heart, back are just fine. Hands do fine too with gloves, without, they can get a bit numb.

I want to start doing some tours around Costa Rica - this includes pavement, but I really enjoy the rocky dirt roads more (less traffic)

Any ideas? Should I start doing some kind of excercise to build up the shoulder? Perhaps breaks every hour might help...

By the way, if anyone is looking to do a tour in Costa Rica, I could probably give you some local advice.

thanks
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Old 12-05-06, 09:43 AM
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You are asking for a pretty complex medical analysis and recommendations. I don't know that anyone can give you sensible advice based on the info in your post. I would either seek out some local medical advice where you can show them your position on the bike and they can assess your injury or do it yourself on a trial and error basis using an adjustable stem and moving your stem and seat around.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:12 AM
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I went through all the medical stuff and the adjustments before we left the USA - I have made all the adjustments I probably can. The shoulder was pretty well trashed so I am not sure what more I can do with it - probably just strengthing. I am not that young anymore (47) so I suspect I just have to take it a little easier.

I did once work up to about 5 to 6 hours before without much pain - so I suspect I just need to work up to it again.

I won't take anything anyone says too seriously - just looking for ideas to try.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:29 AM
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My left shoulder is pretty much wrecked, so I prolly have a good idea of what you are experiencing. You need to try a different riding position...either more, or less, upright, with more, or less, reach. Hopefully you can find an adjustable stem locally, or order one online, and do some experimenting to see if a new stem, and what size/angle, might work better for you. Of course, even if you get improvement by doing this, you are still going to get some pain if you stay in the same position too long...so move around on the bars as you ride, don't stay in the same position for too long. I move between the hoods, the curve of bar and the bar tops...and points in between, mostly. I go down into the drops sometimes too, but that's usually were my shoulder is less tolerant.
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Old 12-05-06, 12:14 PM
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If your bike fit is in-fact correct and it sounds like it is, you may need to go over to the dark side. That's right, a recumbent, Oooooh, sends chills down my spine just to type it. No weight on your shoulders, but may not be very good for the off-road trails you described. If you do have to go to the dark side, resist the overwhelming urge to become a "Bent - Fanatic" where everything you do centers around the fact that your bike is a little bit different shape, you know the type.
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Old 12-05-06, 12:40 PM
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a 'bent! Forget everything I just wrote...it was all a dream. Did I say pain...I meant train...WOOO WOOO...see? I'm fine, no problems....please mister, don't make me ride a hammock!
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Old 12-05-06, 01:10 PM
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I would have reservations about riding a bent in CR. They tend to attract way too much attention, and practially speaking are not as terrain adaptible. Personal decision I guess.

On thing on the obvious list you may not have worked on is getting the right technique on the bike. I'm the same age as you, and it takes me several days to get comfortable on the bike and not overuse the arms. Make sure you have a supple position on the bike without locked out elbows. There isn't really a ton of weight up there and the postion isn't one where you lean on the bars heavily, but you ballance your leg forces also, and remain flexible for stearing and shifting. Look at some fit racers. You don't want to go deep like them, but look at the way they use their arms.

Another thing would be to experiment with bars since flat bars and drops create different arm/shoulder angles.

Beyond that, massage.
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Old 12-05-06, 01:27 PM
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Not really a problem standing out here - let's see - average Tico 5'4" 130 lbs (maybe, probably less) - I am 6'2"and about 195 lbs - mainly muscle - oh, white hair, blue eyes, really good tan.

I have about as much chance not attracting attention as Herman Munster - which is what I look like down here.

However, I like off-road and I don't think that will work well - unless bents do well off road.

I bet the being supple is it - flexible is not exactly my middle name.

Now, massage sounds pretty good too. Sounds like there is no secret - and Chipcom, thanks for the reminder about the different hand positions, I need to add some bars back on the bike it seems.
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Old 12-08-06, 02:31 PM
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My big surprise problem was my achilles (sp?) tendons. I developed tendonitis, or paritontis, in both ib the third day of a twenty day ride. I am going to find some way to prevent that frm happening before next springs tour. Also by midway I had crushed the Uhlner nerves in both hands, and lost a lot of the funtion of fingers of both hands. The good news is that everthing is back to normal.
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Old 12-08-06, 02:39 PM
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Just an update - I wasn't planning on it, but I did a 80 kilometer ride Wednesday. I had a little problem with my shoulder, but not much. I just made sure to rest enough. It seems like up to about an hour and half - no problem at all - more than that, the shoulder starts to act up.

Which is not a problem. I am not a racer - unless someone gets in front of me of course...

Thanks for all the hints, they helped.
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Old 12-08-06, 02:56 PM
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Somewhat off topic, but I have to tell someone. I'm typing one handed today. I tried out snowboarding as a winter hobby. First lesson last week, I thought I cracked some ribs, or at least it felt that way. Second day was yesterday, & I showed definite progress. Four broken ribs with the emergency room x-rays to confirm it! I had no idea how much broken rib hurt!
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Old 12-08-06, 04:58 PM
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Yikes tomn! Hope you heal fast.

crtreedude, try some yoga for your shoulder.
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Old 12-08-06, 05:26 PM
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By supple, I mostly just meant keep the arms bent, don't overgrip. Anyway I have serious leg problems, basically no ankle or knee in one leg, really I shouldn't be able to ride at all, but I get away with it. I just try not to overdo it on the early part of a tour, and my body seems to like riding a bike better than my otherwise sendentary lifestyle.
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Old 12-11-06, 06:46 AM
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Not a bad idea, being flexible and stretching it out is important. I used to rock climb for that very reason. I also tend to have less pain (overall) in the shoulder when it is being used a lot.
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Old 12-11-06, 10:22 AM
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Do exercises for the stomach and back muscles, so you dont have to take your weight through your shoulders.
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