Tag Archives: cycling

Do you have wrist pain or finger numbness while cycling?

Dealing with pain areas while cycling can be tough. This article is specific about dealing with pain in your wrist while cycling. Wrist pain while cycling is very common and most of the cyclists that I meet have gone through this at some point in time. Some like me also encounter handlebar palsy, which relates to your fingers going numb. The first time when my fingers got numb while cycling was actually funny. Never experienced it before. This was on my 300 KM brevet ride.

Let us get to the bottom of it.

This started happening to me when I got into brevet races. The 200 KM brevet was fine and was less tiring for my hands. However, in further races numbness crept in. Especially in my middle finger, ring finger, and pinky.

Now, this was new to me so I relaxed for a few minutes took a break, and then started again. Just because of this numbness that I was going through I took more breaks than usual in my brevet.

I knew about the saddle soreness and back pain while cycling, as I wrote about them and I knew how to counteract them. However, for this numbness, I had no clue how to make it go away.

So before we get to the ways to prevent this let us understand what exactly is this?

Handlebar palsy

Handlebar palsy causes a lot of discomfort when on long rides. PC: Trilok Provelo

For people who might be wondering what is the meaning of palsy, here is the definition.

Definition of “Palsy” as in Merriam Webster

This article has a lot of inputs from a lot of doctors as well from the cycling community, so here is what they have to say about handlebar palsy.

Fingers numb while cycling is a result of compression of Ulnar nerve, hence it is also called as Ulnar palsy.

This is caused due to compression or hyperextension of the Ulnar nerve which enervates  your fingers. This tends to cause a state of numbness in your fingers.

Ulnar nerve in your hand which causes this palsy

Hand pain while cycling is very common especially with cyclists riding long distances on the flat handlebar or on the drops.

If you have this quite often our team of doctors who are also cyclists would advise you to take immediate medical help.

This can cause problems in hand movement in the future if not taken care of and it does take a lot of time to get resolved.

However, we would be discussing few measures that you can take to counteract this while on your ride.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Let us look at the diagram that I shared earlier. If you notice there are two nerves that are mentioned. The one we talked about was the Ulnar nerve. The second one in discussion here is the Median nerve.

Median nerve just on the left of Ulnar nerve

The syndrome mentioned above in the heading is caused by compression of Median nerve which in turn leads to hand pain while cycling.

This is characterized by numbness or tingling in the fingers and with me it especially happens in the ring and middle finger.

If you encounter this please seek medical help. This palsy will not only put you in an uncomfortable position but also will have an effect on your performance.

Wrist pain while cycling? Not to worry. Let us look at the preventive measures

1. A good bike fit

I would be honest with you all. This is the cause of everything that happens bad when you are on a bike when it comes to pain and aches.

I wrote an article about back pain when your are cycling long distances, check this article out. I have explained in detail about the bit fit which needs to be done.

One of the prime reasons for wrist pain while cycling is putting too much weight of your body on the handlebar.

Just imagine the amount of weight that your hand can actually hold vs the weight that you are putting on your wrist due to poor bike fit.

So no more low handlebar, bad stem height, high saddle post and no smaller or larger frames. Get a proper bike fit done and then ride.

2. Wrist pain while cycling due to poor quality of bar tape

This does have a great effect on getting the pressure off your hands. It might sound a minor trick and you might think that it might not have that great effect in increasing the pain in hands while cycling, but it’s the other way around.

I rode on my bike with a cheap bar tape that was company fitted. Then I got it changed to expensive but very comfortable bar tape.

Yes, it made a lot of difference, my rides were more comfortable and pain in hands while cycling was almost gone.

I have seen some professional cyclists putting gel and double bar taping on handlebars, it does again makes a difference as per them. This is what a professional rider Trilok had to say.

3. Padded gloves are a must

New riders might not invest in gloves, however, gloves does help in reducing pain in hands while cycling.

The functionality of gloves is to protect your hands in case you fall from your bike.

However, the padded gloves reduce the pressure which comes directly on your Ulnar nerve. This in turns reduces the pain in hands while cycling.

Especially if you find your fingers getting numb while cycling a good quality padded glove will help you. So I would advise you to invest in getting good quality gloves and none of that cheap quality stuff.

4 .Keep shifting your hand position

I always do this and it helps. Sometime I don’t even grab the handle bar when riding I just tuck my hands in my jersey and just pedal.

With practice I am sure a lot of cyclists might be riding without even need to grab the handle bar on an empty straight road.

When talking about road bikes, I usually change my hand positions to drops, or hood or top. Sometimes changing the hand position also depends on the kind of track/road you are riding.

So just keep changing your hand positions and you will be fine.

5. Relax your hands and body

I have seen some cyclists holding the handlebar and drop as if they are taking out their frustration. I know at inclines you might grip your handlebars a little too tight but a nice way of climbing incline would be resting your hands on the handle or bar top.

This reduces the extra pressure on your wrist.

Do not grip the handle hard rather keep the grip relax. Also, try to keep your upper body relax too.

Reducing wrist pain while cycling in a nutshell

Handlebar palsy or numbness can really be annoying when riding long distances. However, if you keep in mind the above mentioned 5 tricks you would enjoy your ride without hiccups.

If still your fingers are getting numb while cycling I would recommend to seek immediate medical help. If you have any questions related to this article please drop them in the comments below.

I will try to answer and attend your comment as soon as possible. Happy riding folks!

Tips to Get Back into Cycling After a Long Break

Getting Back to Cycling Routine

God, it’s been a while since I was on the saddle. I stopped cycling post the 400 KM’s brevet which I had to quit as a result of the strained ligament. I have been on rest ever since the event. Cycling routine is fun, no doubt about it, however, once you take a break it is abundantly difficult to get back on your cycling schedule. I rode my bike after a gap of a month today. I immediately knew what was I missing in the first few Km’s. Here is what I figured outpost riding after a month’s time. I am also going to be posting a Vlog for this, check out my YouTube Channel.

Stop Giving Excuses, Start Your Cycling Routine

There have been a few Monday’s gone by when I told my self that I am going to start riding my bike. While getting back on the saddle won’t be easy, it’s certainly possible. The first step in the process is to get rid of any of the excuses as to why you haven’t started riding the bike. Concentrate on what you can do right now. If you can only ride two days a week for 30 minutes at a time, then that’s your starting point. Try not to focus on speed or mileage at first. Pump up your tires, oil your chain and focus on having fun again. You’ll get back into the swing of things soon enough. I rode for 3 hours for a damn 50 km ride today. I got my bike services and now ready to rock again.

Make a List

I started riding the bike because I wanted to lose weight. Since then quite a few pointers added in my list of why I wanted to cycle. I wanted to save money commuting to the office, losing weight, having fun or challenging yourself with brevet rides, etc. Thinking about these things reminds you of all the great things about the sport and serves as motivation during those days when you don’t feel like riding. I like did not make a list, although I thought about all these things which got me back on my bike.

Call Your Ride Buddies

Riding solo is tough, I know this because I have done a lot of solo rides last year. Check out my STRAVA. A better way of getting back to cycling routine is to go out with your ride buddies or join group rides of your local cycling clubs. Socializing on the bike with friends or like-minded cyclists at a local club is a great way to have fun and take your mind off the difficulty. You’ll have good conversations, challenge your friends to a few good-spirited sprints and get to hang out afterward at your favorite local “Chai” shop. This not only can make it easy to slip back into the cycling routine, but you’ll also get fit more quickly by forcing yourself to hold that wheel of the guy or gal in front of you.

Set Realistic Goals

You do not have to go for a century ride the day you start riding after a long break. That is never going to happen, and will also elongate your resting period. Keep your goals simple. It could be something as simple as riding three days per week. Commuting to work one way by bike or tackling a long weekend ride with a friend. Once you accomplish these goals, set a few that are more difficult to conquer. Furthermore, will motivate you to ride a little further. Before you know it, you’ll be aiming for a Gran Fondo.

Reward Yourself

When was the last time you had a chilled beer after your bike ride? Don’t just keep on packing carbs without cycling. Go for a ride and then pack carbs, you will feel good and the beer will be worth it. Rewarding yourself for your hard work can help with that initial motivation. Buy cycling stuff that you always wanted to buy, but stopped your self from getting it.

I know it’s tough to ride back again after a long pause. However, if I can start, so can you. Read the points and follow exactly what I wrote, it’s all coming through my experience. I am sure you are going to post your cycling pictures soon.

Let me know in case you have a different perspective when going back to your cycling routine. I would love to include your inputs in this article.

In case you love showing off your cycling picture, read my article on cycling hashtags that you can use to get more people to like and watch your picture.

Tips for cycling during the night.

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5 Things That Cyclists Do And Normal People Don’t

Cyclists Are Crazy Yo!

If you are a cyclist, then you must know that there are a few things which other non-cyclist find weird. We, cyclists, know that we have a lot of unusual habits and traits that normal people just don’t understand. Cycling is not just a hobby, it’s more of a passion that fuels your adrenaline level.

I have compiled a list of my favorite odd things that cyclists do, which other find a bit strange. Read for yourself.

1. Cyclists Buy Expensive Bike But Cheap Car

Seriously dude!

Let’s face it, for cyclists, a car is just transportation but a bike is their life. Besides, bicycles rank right up there as one of mankind’s greatest inventions. They, promote health, happiness, and that awesome feeling of wind in your face. Priceless, right? And you certainly can’t say that about a car.

2. Forget cargo shorts, cyclists have perfected the cargo shirt.

Cyclists upgraded the stodgy cargo short into a high-performance cargo shirt, i.e. the cycling jersey. Where else are they supposed to keep all those riding essentials like snacks, tools, tubes, and extra layers? Not to mention a phone, keys, cash, and anything else you can’t live without.

Sure, you could wear it on the bus or the subway, but expect a few funny looks if you pull a sandwich or a banana out of your shirt.

Checkout Trilok’s MTB Himalayan feat.

3. Cyclists have imaginary friends and they love racing against them.

Over the past seven years since Strava was introduced, it’s become a strange new addiction among cyclists. Part fitness tracker, part social network, the Strava feed brings out the crazy in serious riders and weekenders alike. Recognize these addictive behaviors in someone you know?

Taking a few laps around the block after your ride because you need 0.4 miles to hit 50 for the day.
Going KOM hunting on a segment you’ve targeted—you’re super-fresh, jacked up on Tailwinds, and you just drill it.
Slipping your Garmin on a faster rider for a day—what’s a little Strava doping among friends?
If that sounds like you, you may need an intervention.

4. A cyclist’s first words after a spill (even if he’s writhing in pain): “How’s my bike?!?!”

When you’re passionate about riding, you’re going to challenge yourself—and spills are just part of the sport, especially if you’re doing an epic ride. The difference between cyclists and everyone else, however, is that a cyclist’s first concern is always his bike, not his broken bones or bloody road rash.

Remember the immortal words of cycling legend Tom Simpson after he lost control and fell off his bike on Mont Ventoux during the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France: “Put me back on my bloody bike!” Although he was dreadfully ill at that point, he managed to ride another 500 yards before he wobbled, fell unconscious, and died.

Yeah, cyclists are like that.

5. Cyclists do obsess about weight—not their own, but their bike’s.

Cyclists obsess about weight because being lighter means you can go faster and ride longer, especially up hills. There are two choices when you’re chasing that high-performance weight: A lighter bike or a lighter you. And the great thing about choosing a lighter bike is that the weight stays off.

But for regular riders, obsessing over a few grams probably won’t affect your ride. Jim Gourley, a triathlete and aerospace engineer, wrote a book about cycling speed; his research showed that a one-pound difference only shaved 2.5 seconds off a one-mile climb and that four pounds only saved 7.5 seconds. That might matter if you’re a Tour rider, but for the rest of us, not so much.

Read more cycling related articles here

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Best Cycling App Of 2020

A cycling app is a great way of setting goals and tracking progress. Unlike good bike computers which few people might find difficult to afford, these apps do a splendid job for them. In fact, these cycling apps have been so accurate, I sometimes wonder if I really require a bike computer. Even though I have a bike computer which I do not use, I prefer to use my mobile to track my cycling stats and performance. Applications like Strava, Zwift, Endomondo, Map my Ride, etc helps a lot. 

What does Cycling app measure?

These cycling apps measure data points like speed, distance, and pace, and help with tasks such as route planning, goal setting, community building, coaching, or other bike-related objectives. The app stores of Android and iOS are flooded with cycling apps, the one you choose depends on what you want to use it for. To help make the decision process easier, here are the best cycling apps for each type of function.

STRAVA Application

You just can’t beat STRAVA can you? This is exactly why this app tops the list. It’s like a social networking site with no-nonsense and only people from the sports domain around.

Desktop Version Of STRAVA

This app is quick, comprehensive and extremely accurate as compared to its counterparts. This cycling app offers a deeper suite of features while also performing them faster. You can use the app to track or calculate your time, distance, average pace, speed, and estimated power output. You’re even able to record your routes live.

STRAVA Mobile Version

Strava is straightforward and intuitive, allowing you to add descriptions post-ride to remember what you liked or didn’t like about it. Furthermore, it pairs with plenty of external devices like heart rate monitors, power meters, cadence sensors, and foot pods. You can share your stats on leaderboards and connect with friends via its deep social offering. You can make an account or join with the help of a Facebook credential. This is something that STRAVA does better than any other app on the market. The last and the most amazing part is the KOM and QOM. Yeah right, love fighting for it, don’t we?

Now since we have talked so much about STRAVA, why don’t you check our my STRAVA profile and follow me for a follow back. Click the Strava Icon Below.

Zwift Cycling Application

I have not used the Zwift app, however, I did saw a lot of riders using the app. So I started digging about the specs of zwift cycling app. This is basically an app that is used by a lot of people doing indoor training. I mean just take a look at it, looks like something coming straight out of Xbox or PS.

Zwift Training App

Zwift cycling app, which works with any turbo trainer, features crystal clear graphics that even show your avatar rising out of your saddle when you’re pumping hard or tucking on fast downhills. You can decide at the beginning whether you prefer to race against others or compete against yourself. Although the mobile app works as its own game, the full experience is enhanced by connecting to a desktop version and using the mobile app as a remote control. I would recommend everyone to try this, this is fun.

Map My Ride 

I would say that this i.e. map my ride app does not have an advantage when it comes to social amalgamation like STRAVA. However, this is the best app when it comes to creating custom routes. The user interface is too easy to understand. Although again there are numerous apps in the market which allow you to create a route, none matches map my ride. This app has been in existence for a long time and they are surely using their experience to the fullest potential.

Map My RIde App

MapMyRide also lets you peruse other users’ favorite routes and shuffle through previous rides you’ve cycled to decide if you want to do them again with audio prompting. Although the app doesn’t showcase as many social features as Strava, it’s the clear winner in terms of simple map creation.

Endomondo Cycling App

This app is amazing. It’s like your personal trainer who can speak from the mobile and pump you up. Your friends can also send you motivational messages while you are live on your activity.

Endomondo App

Endomondo provides easy ways to set goals, devise training programs, and monitor your progress. If your motivation begins to wane en route to achieving them (halfway up a 12 percent gradient, for example), Endomondo offers you that little voice of encouragement.

Its audio coaching delivers feedback about your distance, duration, calories, lap time, pace, heart rate, and more. Plus, it even has an amazing feature called “Pep Talks” where you can have a friend send a personalized message while tracking you live, offering fully customized motivation. Isn’t this amazing, imagine you are running with Endomondo and suddenly you hear “Pedal fast bro”.

Garmin Connect Cycling App

People who use a fitness tracker use this app. This app is much more user-friendly than some of its competitors. The user interface is simply outstanding. If you own the Garmin Edge cycling computer, you can log everything in a comprehensive daily calendar that breaks down your average speeds, elevations, durations, distances, and other cycling metrics.

Garmin Connect Cycling App

Garmin Connect works seamlessly with your Garmin device.

Relive Cycling App

This is the era of visual representation of people. Once you’ve sweated, grunted, and suffered through a long and tough ride, there’s nothing as rewarding as being able to recap your ride through high-resolution moving images. Images are everything, we all love showing off our activities on our social profiles. This app is stunning when it comes to the amalgamation of sports and visual representation of your activities.

Relive Cycling App

This app created a video representation of the route which you covered. The visual grace and smooth aesthetic of this cycling app are breathtaking. The videos even look similar to the 3D satellite maps commentators often use during TV coverage of big cycling events. This app works in conjunction with Strava or Garmin Connect. Furthermore, it creates a compelling, impressively realistic simulation of the ride you just completed.

Wonder which all application can be synced with smart watches, read this article.

Summing Up

So these were the top cycling apps of the year 2018. Every app is different each of them having an edge on a certain factor(s). Which one do you use? Feel free to comment below and tell us which cycling app you use and why?

Cycling At High Temperature

Cycling In Extreme Heat – Beat the Heat!

I live in Jaipur, proudly known as “The Pink City”. This is the place of extreme temperature. In winters the mercury drops to 6 degrees, and in summers it rises up to 48 degrees. It’s summertime right now. Temperature is soaring above 40 degrees. Even early mornings are hot as hell. However, the love of cycling never let us relax in the closed air-conditioning environment. Let us take a look at things to keep in mind while cycling at high temperature.

PC: Ajay Jain

In this article, I would take you through my journey of beating the heat in warm Jaipur summers while cycling.

Cycling in extreme heat is tough but you can make it fun too by keeping few things in your mind.

I take care of few things daily before starting and on my ride which helps me in cycling at this extreme temperature.

Riding In The Heat

Cycling in heat – PC: Ajay Jain

Riding in hot conditions is a little trickier to get right than riding in the cold. Mainly because you can only take off so many clothes to regulate your heat. 

Once your core temperature goes past a certain level, your brain will choose survival over performance.

Your output will start to decrease as your body redirects your blood to perform cooling duties. 

With this in mind, there has been a lot of research on what you can do to minimize the effect.

Heat adaptation

Spending a period of 10 to 14 days in hot environments sees a change in your blood plasma levels, which helps core temperature regulation.

Saunas are becoming a popular method to acclimatize to hot and humid conditions

In recent years, it’s become common for elite athletes to use a sauna in the training process as they come into the summer races to get the athletes acquainted to cycling in extreme heat.

Stressing the body in this manner is similar to how you might train out on the road.

Your body is challenged so it adapts to become stronger and more efficient at handling the heat. I usually hit the sauna twice a week in summers.

“The difference betweena sauna and a steam room can be summed up as simply dry vs. wet. Saunas provide dry heat, whilesteam rooms generate moist heat. Both can open up your pores, loosen up your muscles and help you relax”

Clothing

Jersey to wear in heat while cycling!

What you wear plays a part and it’s obvious in this scenario that you want the lightest clothing possible.

It’s is a matter of balance between covering up to keep the sun off and keeping your garments light and breathable.

Arm and leg sleeves to wonders, however, some prefer to get their arms and legs tanned.

Sunscreen

Use Suns cream

When your skin burns, your core temperature rises and you can overheat. Use sunscreen to stop this from happening.

Hydration

Hydration support while cycling!

Keeping your fluids up, and ideally with an electrolyte solution, keeps your motor running cooler.

As you become dehydrated, your core temperature will once again go up. On very hot days, it is impossible to ingest enough fluid to maintain hydration when you’re exercising, so it needs to be a 24/7 effort.

“Dont drink to fill your stomach, sip the water just to get your throat wet”

Observe your urine and don’t be afraid of alternating between the electrolyte solution and water. If what you’re drinking is passing straight through you, increase your sports drink intake. It not, keep up both water and the sports drink.

Homemade Lemonade Ice Slurpee

Slurpee is tough to get in India. it’s not like a lot of 7/11 store which exists in India. I make a lemonade mix in the night and keep it in the refrigerator overnight in a bottle.

The frozen lemonade is my partner for the ride. Since it is a mix of sugar salt and lemon, which is needed by the body in extreme heat.

I keep on sipping it when I am on my ride. Slurpee is basically the life-saving solution with lots of crushed ice.

 

Summing Up

Heat in summers can be unforgiving. However, that doesn’t mean we would not be riding. I mean even an apocalypse will not stop us from riding. If I was to put up this article in one sentence it would be!

“Enjoy the sauna or steam, drink plenty, wear light, sunscream helps and keep riding”

I hope this article will help you in planning your rides more effectively in summers. Suggestions from pro riders are welcome. Please feel free to add anything that I may have missed.

Preparing for brevets? Check out this article

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Check out my Video log on my cycling expedition to Manali.

Read my article on vegetarian cyclist diet.