Cycling After Being Sick

I spent most of last week being sick with sinus and allergy problems. So much so that I missed almost two full days from work and spent a lot of time in bed on meds. Because of that I didn’t get any time on the bike during the week. About Thursday I started to feel human again and was looking forward to getting a Saturday ride in. Saturday morning finally rolled around and I did get a ride in. The conditions weren’t ideal (see pic below), I was still a little weak from being sick, but I couldn’t resist the urge any longer. Out the door I went.

Surprise, Surprise, it was Windy

Looking at the weather report on Friday I knew I would face some wind no matter what time I rode. I’ve gotten used to it after being here in Dallas for just over a year now but it still makes me shake my head when I see weather reports like the one below. Maybe you can see the problem (it’s spelled WINDY):

Windy

Think it's windy?

The wind would actually get worse later in the evening and I saw one report of gusts up to 41 mph. Ridiculous. It was probably gusting to 20 mph when I rode. The problem though is that even though I’m riding a loop down at White Rock Lake, the wind swirls due to surrounding hills and you end up facing a headwind on most of the ride. So much fun.

Almost Bought the Farm

I was only about a half-mile from the house and came to a four-way stop intersection. As always I slowed to do a brief trackstand stop but saw a car rapidly approaching from my right. The guy driving was going VERY fast and I knew there was no way he could stop in time. Almost falling over I managed to get a foot unclipped and stood there as the guy almost ran down a cat and blew through the stop sign without even looking. He was oblivious to the fact he had run a stop sign. I yelled at him but knew he didn’t hear me. In retrospect, I should have gotten is tag number and sent it to the police.

The ride around White Rock Lake was pretty good. There weren’t too many people out but there were several groups of cyclists out riding in small groups. I really need to find out who some of these groups are and see if I can’t meet up with them at some point to ride.

The new bike is riding great and I’m enjoying it. It glides, accelerates, and stops so much better than my old one. I can easily cruise along several mph faster than on my old one and found myself going at 20 mph plus with no effort on a couple of sections of the loop. It was probably wind aided but it felt great. The only thing holding me back right now is my pathetic fitness level.

The Three Sisters

Because I can now ride to and from White Rock Lake directly from where I live, I have to ride up three hills on the way back to the house. I’ve dubbed them ‘The Three Sisters’. Why that you ask? Because back when I was driving ships in the Navy there were three buoys in the channel approach to Norfolk Naval base that marked a danger bearing and meant that the ship was heading into hazardous (shallow) water if you were on the wrong side of those three buoys. Those buoys were called The Three Sisters and with three hills marking my way back home I thought it was a good name.

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters


The first hill is up Flagpole Hill which you’ve heard me talk about here before. The other two are about a half-mile later and come in rapid succession. The three times I’ve ridden them previously have given me some trouble. During this ride I went up Flagpole Hill pretty good but faded quickly at the top. I had a guy pass me like I was standing still. He was just flying up the hill and wasn’t even out of the saddle. I hope to get to that kind of form someday. Sister #2 just about murdered me. It’s not quite as steep as Flagpole Hill but seems to go on forever. At the top of it I was totally spent. After getting down the backside of Sister #2, Sister #3 pitches up quickly. Thankfully it’s a short hill and doesn’t give me much trouble. I think I need to re-start my Hump Day Hill Repeats to get back into hill climbing shape.

Overall I think I had a good ride even though I was still tired from being sick. I really paid for it later in the afternoon as my sinuses really started to bother me. I think it was worth it though.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

I’m in the midst of several reviews right now including clothing, electrolyte and recovery drinks, and chamois cream. I rode in a new set of bibs yesterday that I thought were awesome. They’re actually just like an old set I have except the chamois has been updated. I’m going to ride in them a couple more times before I post a review. I’ve ridden in the chamois cream I’m currently using several times now and really like it too. A review on it will be coming soon. The electrolyte and recovery drink review is a ways off as I’m trying several different brands and will compare them all in one big review.

Cycling After Being Sick

Like I said, I had been sick for several days this past week and I do feel like it impacted my ride yesterday. I still felt tired and lethargic from being run down and believe that directly impacted my performance. My ride was OK but when you throw in the wind as well I think I suffered and that was really evident at the top of Sister #2 and during the afternoon. I had initially wanted to do two loops of White Rock Lake but knew after about 8 miles that it wasn’t going to be possible. It was probably better for me to not push it and risk getting sick again.

What about you guys/gals? Do you ride when your sick or do you hold off for a while? When you do eventually ride again how to you ease back into it?

Feature image courtesy of effekt!.

Author: Bryan

I'm developing a healthy lifestyle through cycling and invite you to join me in my journey. Comments are always welcome so feel free to share yours below.

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11 Comments

  1. Hi Bryan….good to hear that you're on the mend. Also good to see you posting. I think you did the right thing by just getting out and not pushing it too much. I find that if I'm down and out like you were, I try to round up all the energy I can so that I can get out riding. Sometimes I know I push it a little too early and it just prolongs me from getting better, but the next time around….there I am doing it again.
    Thanks for sharing your ride back from the dead. Good to see it.

    Darryl

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    • Thanks. I may have gone out a little earlier than I should have but it did feel good to ride.

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    • Wow, those are ugly. I do believe they look worse than my three sisters.

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  2. I know they say you can ride if the illness isn't below your neck. If I'm really hard up for a ride I have tried it, but usually I let my body fight the sickness instead. After all, that's one of the benefits of increased fitness is better immune response.

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    • Well, my illness was above the neck and I think I paid for it in the afternoon.

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  3. Bryan – Over the years I would push through my sickness thinking I would lose some on the bike strength if I took time off. In retrospect that was the worst thing I could do to myself. I felt crappy and then when I did my ride and saw how horrible I rode it bummed me out even more. Really all I was doing was prolonging my sickness.

    Now, when I get sick I make sure I'm 90% better before getting back on the bike. Yes, that means taking some time off, but I know that when I get back on the bike I'm ready. This past February I got some nasty stomach bug and took 7 days off the bike. You know what I'm glad I did. Each year I'll take a 10 day break from the bike just to relax and let my body heal. Doing this has made all the difference in my biking. One thing to remember about my cycling is that I ride year around here in SoCal. For someone who doesn't have this luxury I'm sure it's much different.

    Great post.

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    • As someone who lives up in the snowy North, it's good to take a week away from the trainer. I do that each January. That cursed machine can drive you nuts after a while.

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    • I can understand how getting back on the bike to early could prolong the illness. I've also heard that taking some dedicated time off the bike each year also helps for recovery. And with your year-round riding weather I'm sure you do have to take advantage of that.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Hi B,
    I went for a nice long ride today. Rode in the big wheel most of the way home. Haven't done that much. I find when my back is giving me trouble a ride on the bike fixes it right up. Don't know why but it works. I think I need the pressure washer to clean the bike.

    Post a Reply
  5. Hi B,
    I went for a nice long ride today. Rode in the big wheel most of the way home. Haven't done that much. I find when my back is giving me trouble a ride on the bike fixes it right up. Don't know why but it works. I think I need the pressure washer to clean the bike.

    Post a Reply

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