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03-15-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
Trischolar
 
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To ride, or not to ride?

I was just wondering how others make decisions about when to exercise. For me it is 70 degrees and sunny in NC today and I really, really want to go out on my road bike. But, my joint pain has been flaring severely over the last few weeks. I know going for a ride will set me back considerably, as just walking a couple of miles did so for me last week.

My rheumatologist has in general encouraged me to keep active as it will be the best for my joints long term. But I don't know when to push through the pain and when to respect it and rest. Especially since, its not like if you rest a few days you are all better. If I rest I will still hurt, just maybe not as much.

I just started Humira about 2 months ago (on 6mp prior) and I felt great for the first time in a while. But over the last 3 weeks the joint pain is even worse than before starting. I know worsening joint pain can be a side effect of Humira and am going to talk to my rheumatologist when I see him in a couple of weeks. I am also on Sulfasalazine for the joint pain.
03-16-2015, 09:16 AM   #2
Cat-a-Tonic
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For me, walking has more potential to cause joint pain than bicycling does (I think because bicycling is more of a low-impact exercise?). I can usually go on a bike ride with little/no joint pain. I do have to make sure I stretch quite a bit afterwards, and using a foam roller can also help. Maybe if you just did a short ride, like 15-20 mins around your neighborhood and see how you feel afterwards? If that goes okay, you could build up to doing longer rides.

For me, when I'm deciding whether or not to exercise, I just need to listen very carefully to my body. I love to exercise, and if it were up to me I'd be in the gym every day. But there are definitely days (a lot of them lately) where my body is telling me it needs rest, not exercise. If you're questioning whether to exercise, I'd say either rest or take things very easy (a short bike ride with no hills) so that you don't make things feel even worse. Good luck! I hope your rheumatologist has some good ideas to help your joints feel better.
03-16-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
DEmberton
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I managed to get out on the bike Friday, and the Saturday before. I'm determined to get into it a lot more seriously this year as the last two years I was often too ill.

I also find a gentle walk can be worse than a couple of hours on the bike.
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03-21-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
Trischolar
 
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Thanks for your responses, I would have never thought about walking being worse for joint pain- but what you say makes sense. I recently converted an old mountain bike to a commuter bike (thinner tires, little tred) but haven't ridden it much, this might inspire me to take it out for quick rides when I am not up for longer rides.

I also decided to let myself push it more on Saturdays, when I have a recovery day before needing to be functional at work. Today is another nice day, so planning a ride this afternoon!
03-23-2015, 10:05 AM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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How did your ride go? I hope everything went fine and that you didn't need to utilize that recovery day on Sunday.

Yes, for me it was pretty easy to figure out that walking isn't great on my joints. I ended up developing arthritis in my right hip (now in both hips) right around the time that I got my dog. So I was suddenly walking more and I noticed a sharp uptick in the amount of hip pain that I was having, particularly during & after walks with my dog. Every so often I'd try jogging, and that was even worse - less than a half mile of jogging puts me in pain for days. But biking doesn't do that to me, I can ride for an hour or more and my hips feel just fine (a little tired, but no soreness nor pain) afterwards. So my husband is the primary dog-walker and I just do what I can. I try to keep my exercise as low-impact as possible.
03-23-2015, 10:34 AM   #6
Trischolar
 
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I got out on Saturday for a 22 mile ride in a fairly flat area (which is hard to achieve where I live, lots of hills!). It felt great! I had some pain in my shoulders and neck after riding- which is common for me but my legs/hips felt great.

Interestingly on Sunday we had a family dinner and my niece and nephew wanted to show off riding their bikes without training wheels so we walked to a nearby park where there was plenty of flat- we surely only walked 20-30 minutes total, though due to a bathroom emergency (not mine for once!) we power walked back. Today my hips are throbbing in pain.

Lesson learned.
Wheels rule!
04-20-2015, 06:50 AM   #7
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Last Sunday managed only a few miles before getting a puncture.But then with puncture repaired did 15 miles Monday, and 20 miles Tuesday which felt great, despite the hills (my legs were finished after the 20 miles).

Sunny again this week, so I'm going to see if I can get in an hour every evening after work.

Only problem is I don't think my road bike's seat is that compatible with the anal pain and itching I get with Crohn's.
04-20-2015, 09:17 AM   #8
Cat-a-Tonic
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DEmberton, I have a gel seat for my bike which is wonderful. You can also get a gel seat cover to go over your existing seat, or you can get cushioned bike shorts (they aren't very attractive but I've heard good things about them). Also, I always put a bit of barrier cream (I use Calmoseptine) on my backside before a bike ride to prevent chafing (I have had issues with hemorrhoids and itching myself lately, and a cream helps a lot).
04-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #9
DEmberton
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Thanks for that. Looked on line and ordered a gel seat.
04-20-2015, 09:39 PM   #10
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I used the gel seat for a while. Now, I use a regular seat and padded bike shorts.
04-21-2015, 07:36 AM   #11
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DEmberton- glad you have been able to get out on the bike. I always feel so much better biking- not always physically but emotionally- it is my release. I got in 50 miles last week over two rides, with no ill effects.

I always use cycling shorts (padded shorts) and cream to prevent chafing.

Flats on the road are always hard, I have a tough time if I have one where I have to replace the tube due to arthritis in my hands, it can be really tough to get the tire off and back on especially on the side of the road. Glad a patch got you back on the road!
04-21-2015, 08:13 AM   #12
DEmberton
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Actually I walked home with the puncture; wasn't too far. Patched the hole, then discovered a second one so threw it away and bought a new inner tube. Then discovered a hole in that too. As that was my first attempt at fitting a tube on this bike maybe I screwed it up and pinched it or something. After that I went to a different shop and bought two new tubes to be sure.

Did 10 miles in about 45 minutes last night, racing against the sunset. Should be home a bit earlier tonight so I'll go a bit further. I know exactly what you mean: logically I must be getting physically fitter, though I don't really feel it, but every time I do get out on the bike I feel completely relaxed and forget about all the stresses and strains of life. Going to a gym never has that effect, so it's more than just the exercise.
04-21-2015, 03:31 PM   #13
Cat-a-Tonic
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For those that have the padded bike shorts, are they better in your opinion than a gel seat or are they about the same? I have a gel seat on my comfort (similar to a cruiser style) bike and that's been great. I'm getting a road bike, and I'm trying to figure out my best option there as far as gel seat or padded shorts. I've never actually done the padded shorts so I'm not sure how exactly they compare to the gel seats or seat covers. Any opinions?
04-21-2015, 03:46 PM   #14
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The padded shorts aren't as comfortable as the gel seat. I used to use both. But, I get a better ride without the gel seat. By the way, tomorrow is my first since my resection surgery exactly one year ago from tomorrow.
04-21-2015, 04:43 PM   #15
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Thanks, that's good to know. I'll probably stick with my tried & true gel seat then rather than seek out padded shorts (I may still try padded shorts if I can find some for cheap). Congrats on your first ride and happy resection-iversary!
04-21-2015, 05:11 PM   #16
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Thanks. I'm excited for so many reasons.

You are missing much without the padded shorts.
04-22-2015, 04:20 AM   #17
buttER
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So happy to see other people excited about cycling!
I have a cargo bike to cycle the children around (if you are interested: babboe.nl, the two wheeler version). A great invention but very heavy, my arm joints suffer if I use it too much.
And then when it is just me or me + 1 child I am on my normal bike and I love it!!!

But yes, a proper cycle ride knocks me out for a day or two, even if it does make me feel great at the time.

Cat-a-Tonic I cannot ride on the road racing bikes, the sitting position makes my stomach very uncomfortable. On the other hand it is great for people with lower back problems. I agree on a road bike you would benefit from the padded shorts.

Today: lovely temperature, slight cloud covering, no wind, no rain = perfect cycling conditions again.
04-22-2015, 10:06 AM   #18
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King of Orange, that does looks like a very heavy bike! I would be exhausted! I imagine it's probably a huge effort to get that thing up a hill, too.

I actually don't know how my stomach is going to respond to being on a road bike. I currently have a comfort bike (similar to a cruiser style but more upright) so that my stomach isn't squished or crunched over at all. I'm in remission so hopefully my guts will be okay with a road bike. My GERD does get angry if I use my abdominal muscles too much, but as long as I'm fairly upright then I'm okay-ish. So I'm hoping my GERD won't bother me too much on the road bike.

Since you posted a link to your bike, here are links to the bikes I'm taking about. This is the comfort bike that I currently have - this has been my primary bike for 2 or 3 years now:
http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Presti...ct_top?ie=UTF8

And this is the road bike that I'm getting (it's so pretty! Blue tires!):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BD45U8E/...ter_B004W8LG1S
04-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #19
DEmberton
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That cargo bike looks like a beast, though I assume hills aren't too much of an issue in NL. My friend who lives near Amsterdam was telling me what they call Oma bikes (Grandma bikes) were very common.

Cat: fixed gear?

This is what I bought recently:

http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike...road-bike-2015

Two years ago I was trying to ride (on my old mountain bike), but my stomach was becoming a big problem then (I didn't know it but I had a stricture). I remember trying to go for a ride and giving up after 5 minutes as I felt so sick. That was it for over a year until about 2 months after surgery when I dared try again, and was perfectly okay. The position on the road bike is much more hunched over, but hasn't caused me any issue so far except the one I mentioned.
04-22-2015, 10:55 AM   #20
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Yes, fixed gear. I'm hoping it'll be okay. I am essentially getting the bike free through my workplace (if we do a good job at work, we are rewarded with points which can then be redeemed for prizes - I got some points but my options of prizes were mainly junk I don't need/want, like ugly handbags or jewelry - and that road bike was by far the best of the options). So I guess I can't look a gift horse in the mouth, it's free and I've been wanting a road bike. I read some reviews on amazon and most people on there are saying it's a good bike for a novice/beginner road biker, which I am. I am slightly concerned that going up hills is going to be slightly awful, but hopefully it's not too too bad. If it's awful then I guess worst-case scenario I can sell it and put the money towards a different road bike. And in the meantime, I still have my comfort bike which has 7 gears and is fairly decent at hills, so even if I do sell the road bike, I won't be bike-less. It'll all work out one way or another!
04-22-2015, 02:04 PM   #21
buttER
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Go for it Cat-a-Tonic. What a great idea, I would choose a bike over a handbag every time, blue wheels of not.

Yep, not many hills in this part of the Netherlands. The strong winds and bridges make up for it.

DEmberton is the UK getting more cycle friendly?

I think when I am older I will be riding a 3-wheeler, I can't imagine not being able to ride a bike.
04-22-2015, 02:59 PM   #22
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Yeah, don't get me wrong, I like clothes and accessories and jewelry - but if I'm given the option of a bike or a handbag, that's a no-brainer. I would choose bike every time! And I've wanted a road bike for awhile, literally been daydreaming about it, but I don't think there's ever been a time in my life where I was daydreaming about getting a new handbag. A bike can bring me on adventures and help me get fitter and healthier and can be so much fun - a handbag, well... it can hold my stuff. Not nearly as awesome as a new bike.

A 3-wheeler would be fun! I have had some vertigo/balance issues in the recent past, so I would switch to a 3-wheeler myself if those issues got worse for me. My grandpa used to have a 3-wheeled bicycle and he let me try it out. It was fun! I think it was a fixed gear as well, so it was a bit hard to get going especially up a hill (it was a pretty heavy bike too). My grandpa used to just ride it around his neighborhood though and it was a great bike for that purpose.
04-24-2015, 03:20 AM   #23
DEmberton
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DEmberton is the UK getting more cycle friendly?
Yes and no. There's lots of talk about putting in more cycle infrastructure but it mainly focusses on London, and there's not really a good solution for a city with narrow streets hundreds of years old.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than cycling through a city. From where I live I can get out into the countryside quite quickly via a cycle path through the park, and less fortunately an industrial estate, but it's all sign posted as a cycle route. The downside is that by avoiding the main roads and traffic, as I always do, the roads are pretty poor condition - lots of pot holes.

But cycling is growing quite rapidly here.

12.5 miles in an hour last night, and according to Google Maps that's ascending 381ft. I saw three other cyclists out; two of whom passed me like I was standing still. I thought I was doing well too.
04-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #24
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Goodness, after reading about the bicycling conditions in the UK, I realize I'm lucky to live where I do! My city is VERY bicycle-friendly. We have a lot of bike paths here including bicycle bridges that go over highways and busy roads. There are tons of bicyclists here and you can ride your bike on any city street (just not on the highways). And places like the city arboretum, you can only drive your car all the way from one end to the other on Sundays (they block the road to cars the rest of the week), but bicyclists are allowed to ride through it every day. On a day with nice weather, you're guaranteed to see hundreds of bicyclists out and about in my city. Everyone here is bike-crazy and I love it!
04-26-2015, 03:52 PM   #25
buttER
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Just to tell you we have the national day here tomorrow. My local suburb is having a kind of village fete with a dutch twist: a bicycle procession! Plus there are prizes for the best decorated bicycles! I am turning the cargo bike into a giant cat tray, a bit of a play on words.

Speaking of cats......

Cat-a-Tonic that sounds great. I am a bit wary of cycling through treelined avenues, especially in autumn ever since I cycled through an alley of chestnut trees on a windy day and got quite bruised from all the chestnuts thrown down.

The funniest sign I ever saw on a cycle path was in Austria: beware falling pears!

DEmberton did you notice if the cyclists whizzing past were on electric bikes Anyway, don't compare your efforts to anyone else, just enjoy the experience, unless of course you are in the Tour de something.
04-27-2015, 01:06 PM   #26
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Oh my goodness, falling pears! I fortunately haven't had anything fall on me from trees while riding my bike (yet). I've had a few bugs fly in my mouth/nose but that's about it. And I do wear a helmet when I ride my bike, so hopefully that will give me some protection from falling objects.

I hope you win the prize for best decorated bicycle! A cat litter box sounds hilarious, will you and your kids be dressed as cats?

My new road bike should arrive today. I'm SO EXCITED! I hope my hubby is able to put it together tonight so that I can go for a ride tomorrow.
04-29-2015, 04:32 PM   #27
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Did the bike arrive yet, Cat-a-Tonic?
04-29-2015, 05:20 PM   #28
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Yes, it arrived and I was able to take it out for a ride yesterday. It still needs a few tweaks (namely the brakes aren't very tight so I asked my hubby if he can tighten those up). It was good for the most part, hills were a bit challenging since it's a fixed gear, but it's definitely faster than my cruiser bike by a lot! On my cruiser, I feel like I'm the slowest person out there. On the road bike I'm bumped up to maybe being the 3rd or 5th slowest. Ha ha. It is definitely fun to ride, I felt like I could ride it all day if I could just avoid hills for the most part. And the bright colors of the bike got noticed right away - the little kids next door were like, "Wow, pretty!" I put a photo of it on facebook and right away my mom was commenting on how much she likes the color too (it's neon green and her favorite color is green).

I don't know that it did such good things for my guts, though. But that's typical of bike rides sometimes for me, sadly - I need to use my core muscles a lot for balance and steering and so on, so sometimes after a ride my guts are not happy from how much I've been using my abs (my GI even told me not to ride my bike anymore, but I told him no - I can't jog due to hip arthritis, but biking is so easy on my joints and it feels good and I only sometimes have tummy troubles after a bike ride, so it's still worth it to me to ride - plus, my hope is that the more I ride, the stronger my core muscles will get and the more used to riding my tummy will get, and hopefully in theory the less bike-related tummy troubles I'll have over time). Last night after my ride and this morning too, I was definitely having some tummy symptoms. I had some episodes of d and some cramping and not a lot of appetite, and my abdominal muscles felt very sore (getting better now). I will say, it's the start of my "time of the month" so that could be a contributing factor for sure too (at least as far as the d and cramping goes), so I'm not too discouraged and I will be taking the road bike out again soon once things calm down a bit more.
04-29-2015, 08:13 PM   #29
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I love seeing so many interested in cycling and figuring out how to make it work for us!

Timing rides around bouts of D (while staying hydrated!) and good days vs bad days can be challenging. Most of the people I ride with are perfectly healthy and it can be frustrating on days I can't keep up as well or have to back out at the last minute.

I recently signed up for a ride to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis: http://igotguts.org/. I am excited to ride with others who understand how challenging it can be to cycle with Crohn's. The idea of a cycling jersey with guts on it also makes me smile
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