Thursday, March 29, 2007

Century Ride Update #3: Hand Watch Continues

No. My hand still isn't working.

I went to an acupuncturist...and she worked on the wrong hand. You might wonder how both she and I didn't know she was working on the wrong hand. For me: I didn't know if she was doing some East-Asian-Working-on-the-Right-Hand-Really-Helps-the-Left-Hand BS. For her: she's just an idiot.

Today, I got a left arm massage. That didn't help. I was told by the masseuse to see another masseuse. Does this ever happen? I don't tell students to go see another teacher...even if they are really, really dumb. And believe me...some of them are.

The thing I notice most about this training is the oddity of it. When I trained for the legs always hurt. Always. When I was done with a Saturday long run, I could barely walk up the stairs to my house.

With this bike ride thing...even though I use my legs for much longer periods of time, my legs haven't hurt. Not once. But my fricken arm and hand haven't felt good for weeks.

Yes I understand the impact difference between running and biking. But I am still under the assumption that biking, although annoyingly difficult, is for pussies. Yeah, I said it. Now don't get me wrong...Lance Armstrong is the man. But when you're running, there are no periods of time where you can "coast" or "get off your bike and stretch your legs outs." When you go for a run...there are two are running or you are walking. Riding 100 miles is/will be hard...but at this point I still think running a marathon is harder. Of course, this is me not having ridden over 60 miles yet.

I must say, though. Not at any point during the marathon training did it feel like I was giving birth to a baby elephant out of my ass. Biking has a way of making me feel like an expectant mother.

If I do give birth...I'm going to name it Baby Darron.

Just a little FYI.


Bill said...

So the first thought that comes to mind in your discussion of your hand issue is that you really need to cut out the 'one handed web surfing'.

But onto a bit more information. In short unlike running where your body comes into contact with the world only on the soles of your feet, there are several (3) pressure points when biking. Your feet on the pedals, your butt on the seat (which you've also whined about) and of course your hands on the bar.

"When too much weight is forward, bicycle control, handling, and safety may be a problem, especially on descents. The chance of hand numbness, tired arms and shoulders, neck, shoulder, and upper-back pain is increased."

In reality a sore hand isn't an uncommon complaint for a new rider and there are a few potential problems and solutions. For starters hopefully you spent some money on some decent padded gloves (fingerless).

Next up and the easiest is to make certain you move your hands to different positions on the bars, frequently. During some of those less intense sections take your hand(s) off the bar and shake them out a little. Get a little blood flow.

Also beware beware of sort of centering the base of your hand on the bar so that it rides in between the 'raised areas'. There are a bunch of nerves there that you don't want to mess with.

Next up is that you need to review your position on the bike. Another cause for a problem on the bike is that you can put too much weight on your hands (perhaps trying to keep your tender behind from resting on that saddle). To avoid this consider moving your seat back a little bit and avoid tilting your saddle down,

As for equipment - ensure your handlebars are wide enough, generally review your position and adjust your position on the bike to reduce pressure on your hands and keep from bending your wrists back while riding - keep those wrists straight. (

At the extreme - Carpal Tunnel syndrome. You'll need to do the same treatment and potentially even going as far as surgery. However, in reviewing your earlier entry "electric Boogaloo" you describe your pain as being centered on the left pinky and ring fingers. This sounds much more like what Dr. Arnie Baker describes as "Cyclist's Palsy" - Ulnar Neuropathy.

The main things he points out - the condition is temporary unless ignored to the point of causing permanent damage. Keep pressure off of the base/heel of your hand. Causes include - rough terrain; jarring of the hands while gripping the handlebars. Improper Hand position; too much time on the tops with the heel of hte hand pressed against the bar. Too much pressure. Weight distribution too far forward puts more pressure on the hands, wrists and arms.

Hope this helps - btw, when riding a century - you won't notice much of a challenge beyond what you face during your 40-60 mile training rides until about mile 80. The last 10 miles hurt, I tend to have more discomfort in my feet then anywhere else.

Finally as for a real challenge - well you have to go beyond 100 miles - do a Double Century - in California doing 3 double-century rides entitles you to a special Triple Crown jersey. (no I don't have one.) (

prez said...

Bill, please leave a massively long and intensely informative comment on my blog as well!

Tauni said...

Damn, Bill stole my comment idea - I was all set with my research.

McNastabator said...

Bill, I can't tell if you are a godsend, or just an ass.

I will go with a god ass....for now.

Bill said...

'god ass' - the worshipers get their brains blown out on the first fart.

Lali said...

I think I'm in love...

McNastabator said...

Don't worry,'re still an ass, too.