Health Matters

We've assembled a team of medical professionals and experts -- all of them with a keen interest in our sport -- to address the issues in reader questions. Your health matters, and we'll do our best to provide information RBR readers can use to improve and enjoy cycling even more.

We use reader questions, and answers from our experts, in the weekly RBR Newsletter, and here in the Health Matters section.

To submit a question, click Health Matters Ideas.

What's Causing My Hoarseness and Lung Issues?

This is a two-part question. 1. After a hard-effort ride (for example, last weekend we rode 84 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing) I become hoarse, and it lasts for two or three days. I'm 67 and ride for health and race 8-10 times a year. The issue seems to be becoming more frequent.  2. This past winter I raced in three gravel grinder events with temperatures at the start around 35-45 degrees. The following day my lungs filled with fluid and that lasted for about 4 days. Doctor visits have not led to any improvement.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Tactical Tips for Riding in the Heat

I live in Boulder, Colorado, and love climbing in the Rocky Mountains. So far this season I’ve pedaled up 17 climbs totaling 33,700 feet! The highest to this point is Loveland Pass at 11,990 feet. Summer temps can be in the 90s in Boulder. While I don’t climb anywhere near as fast as the pros – in fact, my climbing these days reminds me of the loaded touring I did a couple decades ago in terms of my speed – I still get just as hot as the pros. And so do you! Even if you ride in moderate conditions, heat can be an issue.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Does Cycling Put me in Danger of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Question: I'm in my 50s, a lifelong cyclist doing 175 -200 miles per week. As a result of earlier trauma to the lower leg and varicose veins, three years ago I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that resulted in pulmonary embolisms (PE). Luckily the PEs were not big and I was soon back to riding while on Coumadin. Two weeks ago I got another DVT in the same leg, but caught it before it became a PE. I was doing a long, hard climbing ride on a hot day and was dehydrated, which might have contributed.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

How Do I Remedy Sit Bone Saddle Sores?

Question: I have been suffering from what I call saddle sores or pressure "lumps." I have changed saddles 3 times this season and just changed to some new shorts. I have also used a whole slew of chamois creams. In addition, I’ve had my fit checked, which was OK. While I have seen some improvement, beyond a few hours in the saddle I get pain in my sit bone area with associated redness and swelling that often keeps me off the bike for days. I really don’t know where to turn at this point. --  Rob P.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Detached Retinas in Distance Cyclists

Question: It seems from the relatively small population of distance cyclists I know that there are a disproportionate number of people who have experienced detached retinas. I wonder if there has been any correlation research or conclusions? I experienced a detachment in 2003 which prevented me from traveling to France for PBP that year, and have heard of 2-3 other Randonneurs who have had similar experiences. -- Tom K.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

What Should I Do for Post-Ride Recovery?

Question: I feel like I've gotten very contradictory advice about what to do at the end of a training ride. Nutritionists say the top priority is to prepare and eat a meal within 30 minutes, to get carbs and protein into the bloodstream before the glycogen window closes. Physicians advise that the first order of business is to get those shorts off and immediately hit the shower, to reduce any chance of bacterial infection and the resulting saddle sores.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

How to Avoid "Tail Bone" Discomfort or Pain

Question: My wife (age 75) is just starting to ride. She has a new hybrid bike, with a comfort bike-type seat. We want to ride the Katy Trail (250 miles) this October, about 40 miles per day. We have started a training program. She complains of "tail-bone" pain after about 5-6 miles. She thinks she needs more seat padding or a gel-seat cover. Suggestions, please. – Bruce R.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Wearing Sunscreen Under a Jersey

Question: My wife thinks that with the time we spend on our long rides (6-8 hours), always including the strongest sun of the day, we should be putting sunscreen on underneath our jerseys. There are very few cycling jerseys that explicitly list the ability to filter UVA/B rays. Should we be coating our upper backs before we do our next century and reduce our melanoma risk? -- Peter B.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

What Does "Athlete's Heart" Mean?

Question: I'm 65 and been at it hard for umteen years and competing in my age division with success until recently. Why the demise? I have a problem with the ticker -- arrhythmia. My cardiologist calls it 'athlete's heart.' With this arrhythmia there was no real symptom other than the workouts feel harder and the race results weren't as usual.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

New Collarbone Repair Device: Less-Invasive Surgery

It's no secret that clavicle fractures are one of the most common road cycling injuries. In fact, the injury is the most common sports trauma fracture, with over 500,000 clavicle fractures annually in the U.S. alone. Depending on the severity and type of fracture, and the time available for recovery, the typical treatments for a clavicle fracture range from the old-school figure-8 brace to surgery.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

The Latest VIDEOS & PODCASTS (check main navigation Categories at top of page for more videos)