Body Talk

It may go without saying, but if you want to live car-free, you have to take care of your body and do your best to avoid incapacitating injuries.

I’m still nursing a bad case of tendonitis in my knee (get out the little violins) that could have been avoided if I’d listened to my body. You’d think that after being a serious cyclist since around 1980 and having many, many opportunities to learn this lesson, I would have paid attention and taken a few days off when my knee started talking to me. But instead of doing the right thing, I attempted to “ride through” the oncoming injury, hoping it would magically go away (magical thinking is dangerous when it involves injuries). Of course, it only got worse until I woke up one morning and couldn’t bend my knee. It’s been 10 days and I’m still off the bike and hobbling around; this one’s going to take a while. I’m still pissed at myself.

None of this is to gain sympathy (I got what I deserved), but to remind everyone to take care of yourselves and pay attention to those little aches and pains before they turn into something that will pull you off your bike and shove you back into a car (screaming and kicking all the way).

9 Responses to “Body Talk”

  • bikesplosion says:

    I just did essentially the same thing to my knee, only my cause was not getting a proper bike fit before my first century. Now I’m hobbling around with a tendinitis knee too, and it is zero fun. Great blog. Count me as subscribed.

  • torrilin says:

    Good advice.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that biking does weird things to my leg muscles. If I *just* ride my bike, and don’t get enough walking time, it gets very easy for climbing stairs or walking a short distance to hurt. Keeping a balance between the two really helps. (isn’t much fun tho… if the weather is off, one or more of my joints is liable to decide that *now* is a great time to start telling me all about the bad weather to come)

  • Joel says:

    A buddy of mine (exercise physiologist, no less) pushed himself too hard trying to make a campsite on a bike tour and tweaked his knee for almost 6 months. He ended up having to cut out judo (his other main sport) entirely and cut back to nothing by slow, flatland biking. As you say, taking the time off (or just a little less push) to avoid the injury is a lot better than having to rehab it after the fact. Hope your recovery takes less time than his ;-)

  • andy parmentier says:

    my left knee hurts too. i’ve got alignment issues. right now i’m working a furniture moving job (!) but my upper body is decent strong. i am a big fan of “restful standing/active sitting” i saw an active sitting chair company website after getting a balans norwegian rocking chair at a thrift store. those cool inflatable fitness ball chairs are a common example.
    the reason i bring this up is that i heard a program that men are on average more needing to stand as oppose to sit. i’m sure culture plays into this..but in hindsight i myself have always felt the need to stand. that explains my choice of job positions (dishwashing for years and years) where your body is able to lean on something while standing. so i took this ball and ran with it, and got myself experimenting with a restful standing DESK..and what i found works well is a tv entertainment center about 3 to 3.5 ft. high. and one foot can rest where the tv would be. because i’m smarter than a dishsoap bubble. and bicycling i’d consider “active sitting”

  • Steve Fuller says:

    I had run into some of this as well. In opposition to what I normally would have done, when my body started to hurt, I backed off. It’s been tough (riding two days a week or so, and taking it somewhat easy), but I can definitely state that if I would have kept riding, I would have injured myself and been off the bike a lot longer. I don’t make my living riding a bike, so there’s no huge incentive for me to keep riding through an injury (other than the fact I like to ride).

  • Alan says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m glad to hear you had more sense than me – get well soon.

    I hadn’t seen your blog before ( – nice work. I added you to my blogroll under the “Blogs & Forums” heading.


  • Nate says:

    Sorry to hear that you aren’t
    up to speed. Hope you feel better


  • Gordon Inkeles says:

    Sorry to hear this, Alan. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    Could have been worse: some guys try to ride right though a heart attack. Indeed, any ER technician will tell you stories of ignored symptoms and patients who show up apologizing for “wasting everyone’s time.”

    The lucky ones live to tell about it.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Patience, Patience says:

    […] evening I took a short ride for the first time in two weeks, just to test the water and see what’s up with the knee. It went pretty well, but I’m not quite there yet. Patience, […]

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