30 Days of Biking, Day 21: Aches

Okay, so, aches. I get it — not the most positive word I could choose. Sufficient unto each day is the biking therein, or something like that, and today I noticed yet again a couple of twinges that have been hanging around for a bit. Maybe writing about them will exorcise these tiny demons.

But first, a quick note on enjoyable aches. These aches show up when I’ve exerted myself in a way that makes me feel strong. I’ve enjoyed various forms of ache-inducing activities over the years, from weight-lifting (got an A in a college PE class) to dragon boat racing in Spokane to yoga practice including doing 108 Sun Salutations for a winter solstice celebration.

Bicycling has provided many enjoyable aches, all of these representing bike dates with my sweetheart:

And now, for the less enjoyable aches, which fortunately are few and far between.

Ache #1: Tailbone. I mentioned this as a possibility for the word of the day over a week ago, thanks to a tumble I took onto a cement floor setting up for the Spokane Bike Swap. That’s what can happen when you back up to get a better look at your booth layout and don’t realize someone has set boxes behind you.

Biking relevance for today: The early feedback from my body was that with a bruised tailbone, biking was a much better idea than walking because the impact of my foot striking the ground hurt quite a bit. Every day I’ve ridden any distance, however, I’ve noticed the tailbone bruise yet again when I dug a bit deeper in muscular exertion to get up a hill or start from a dead stop on an incline or come out of a light in downtown with a lot of cars behind me, which motivates me to move quickly.

Today I had those climbing elements plus a little bit of walking as part of my ride. I scouted a new way to climb the ridge out of my neighborhood last night, but misremembered the turns this morning and found myself facing a longer rather than a shorter hill. Not ideal and I ended up getting off and pushing, thus experiencing tailbone walking impact plus climbing effort all in one package.

Ache #2: Calf muscle. This little hangover lingers courtesy of a really bad leg cramp that struck Friday night. While not as bad as the punishing ones I experienced when I tried to boost my mileage too far, too quickly, it was still a monster. The fact that my muscle is still sore if I rub it 3 days later is my proof.

I’ve been prone to charlie horses all my life; I even get them in my feet after wearing the wrong shoes on a long day. I add Nuun tablets to my water bottle every time I ride 10 miles or more, which seems to help but doesn’t entirely eliminate the problem.

On a related note, I just learned that kiwis are higher in potassium than bananas.

At any rate, today’s bicycling, while beautiful and springlike and enjoyable and a lot of other fun words, also represented a few aches.

No picture of my tailbone or calf shall accompany this post.

Day 21 in the 30 Days of Biking, 30 Words, 30 Pictures-except-for-today series

Related Reading

30 Days of Biking

Your Turn

  • Do you like to ride ’til it hurts on purpose?
  • What do you do about leg cramps?
  • Even if you’re not riding every single day, is 30 Days of Biking inspiring you to ride more often than you would otherwise?


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One Comment

  1. Posted April 22, 2014 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Great post. I empathize with you. Calves, sit bones, knees all barking after our 60 miler.