Blood in urine and unicycling

Blood in urine and unicycling.

I’ve been meaning to start a thread in this topic for some time- reading a question about blood in urine in long-distance unicycling here-

has prompted me to get round to it.

About a year ago, I found myself feeling generally unwell and having to urinate frequently.

On this particular day, I’d walked down to the laundrette, put washing in the machine and, was visiting the toilet before going into town.

Looking down, I saw the rather horrific site of large amounts of blood filling the bowl.

It wasn’t so much that there was some blood in my urine, but rather, there was some urine in my blood :slight_smile:

I can’t over emphasise the amount of blood there was, it was a genuine heart-stopping, shocking, ‘please let this be a bad dream’ moment.

Made worse perhaps, by the fact that my Dad had recently passed away, through cancer and, towards the end, blood in the urine was a symptom he was experiencing.

I quickly pulled myself together and, realising that I was only ten minutes from the local hospital, made my way over.

This was the start of a couple of months of appointments, tests and internet research.

I’m not a big one for hospitals or the medical system, only really using them when necessary, so when it came to some of the more invasive procedures, I declined them.

Many things can cause blood in the urine, the worst probably being cancer in various places.

Infection is another, and better, possibility: unfortunately, tests on the first day pretty much ruled out that as a possibility.

The best-case scenario, was that unicycling was somehow involved- two recent incidents made this a stronger possibility.

I’m accustomed to varying degrees of saddle issues, using a 24x3 with a home made air-seat, but, in the previous weeks, saddle soreness (not chaffing) had been a bigger problem, culminating in one ride that, pretty much as soon as it started, was very uncomfortable indeed.

Stupidly, I doggedly persisted, pushing through the pain and, though I made it a short ride, I rode the entire way.

Secondly, at the local park juggling meet, someone had brought along a giraffe- this is a type of unicycle that I never really have on with, partly cos I get scared at heights.

But, as a giraffe was available, and it was in a park with nice soft grass, I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity.

This uni had a ‘DM’ seat- a type of seat which I’ve always found to be profoundly uncomfortable even on a normal 20” uni- the front curves up in what, to me, is a quite stupid fashion, guaranteed to crush the parts you least want crushed.

Despite this, I persisted, climbing up to the seat, hanging on in a precarious fashion, riding a few turns before UPD-ing.

Until, the point came when, whilst sat on the saddle, the angle was just too wrong, and all my weight ended up putting pressure where it most hurts.

Basically, I got crushed- it hurt and, I gave up.

Could either of these two incidents have led, a couple of days later, to large amounts of blood in my urine?

Various doctors said ‘maybe, maybe not’.

Internet research indicated that, amongst bike riders, this sometimes seemed to occur- then again, internet research showed that blood in the urine was more common than I thought, even amongst non-bikers and, that some posters seemed to suffer from it intermittently for years, with no cause being found.

Then it occurred to me that I could ring Roger (of as he is a person who probably knows more unicyclists, of all types (long-distance, muni, freestyle etc) than anyone else.

Surely, if unicycling could cause blood-in-the-urine, Roger would have heard of several unicyclists this had happened to.

At this stage, I’d been going through several weeks of ‘not-knowing’ and, despite being good at not dwelling on things that I can’t do anything about, I have to admit that I wasn’t in the best of emotional states- having a symptom that could either be relatively minor, or alternatively, could mean a drawn out and painful death, takes its toll.

So, when Roger said that he’d not heard of a single instance of blood-in-the-urine from unicycling, it did not bode well for my hypothesis or give me cause for optimism.

However, a year has passed, the medical tests (basically an ultrasound scan cos I declined the more invasive stuff) showed nothing, there’s been no blood since.

Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong, but, if I had to say what I thought had caused it, I’d go for the unicycling- that’s just my instinct and, there’s no evidence to indicate otherwise.

It did put me off unicycling for a while- despite most of my rides being 1-1/12 hours long, I’d always had in the back of my mind, the possibility of long-distance riding in the future.

Realising that, if this blood thing happened on the first days of a long distance ride, it would be impossible to continue, kind of ruined the dream

It’s only very recently that I’ve started unicycling regularly again, sparked off by getting involved in the local unicycle hockey ream, which has led to me also going out riding regularly on my muni.

I’ve substituted a KH fusion saddle, with center cutaway and stopped using my old airseat.

It seems to work quite well, with the issues being chaffing ones, rather than pressure.

I’ve written this post for several reasons-

  1. So any unicyclists who’ve experienced this, can add to the thread. Silly as it may sound, I suspect that there is maybe some stigma to talking about things like this- the fact that it’s taken me a year to get round to writing this up may be a consequence of that.

So, I’m wondering if this has actually happened to other unicyclists, but, they just tend to not post about it

  1. For anyone who does experience something similar, I think it would be good if there is some kind of thread, cos, it is an upsetting thing when it first happens and, I think it would be useful to know that it’s happened to at least one other person.
  2. As I said at the start, reading captainwelch’s thread on the same thing happening after his 30-day distance ride, I wanted to write a reply and thought I may as well do a full write-up on what happened to me.

Of course, blood-in-the-urine is a potentially serious thing and, even if you do think it’s probably caused by unicycling, you should still, as a matter of urgency, get to a doctor to have it checked out.

But, be reassured, that, though it is potentially very serious, it most likely is not.

What’s the more invasive procedure? Considering the potential consequences, I’d do the tests.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of blood in the urine, but numbness and burning during urination are some things I’ve heard of by cyclists.

The one case where I heard how it turned out it was fixed by getting a seat w/ a cutout in the middle and some antibiotics for his urinary tract infection.

I’ve read that some studies suggest cycling can increase the potential of prostate cancer. Saddle numbness and burning during urination were two early symptoms of potential problems down the road.

I go numb rather easily and the KH Fusion Freeride is much better than the Nimbus Gell, DX (older KH Freeride style), or air saddle IMO.

I’ve read the worst thing you can do is ride through the pain. To avoid having to get off for a few minutes regularly, you could ride standing for a few seconds at regular intervals. A guy here sets his countdown timer on his watch to go off every 2 min, he slows down a bit and stands until the beeping stops (around 20 sec.) See if that works:o

Also you cold get a SW saddle they are expensive but supposed to be the most comfortable seat you can get.

We unicyclists are not doctors, but doctors can only guess about unicycling. They are going to tend to err on the side of caution, which is a good thing. That said, I’m going to get in behind Roger Davies and mention that I haven’t heard of any instances of blood in urine being related to unicycle riding. And I rode 100k yesterday! Didn’t hear about any then either, and there were at least a dozen unicyclists on the ride.

Numbness and painful urination, however, are very real problems and I’ve experienced both. It’s been a very long time on the painful urination, and I think that’s mostly because I’ve learned to listen when things started to get numb. Now I’m doing lots of RTL training miles. I can basically ride as far as I want without stopping, but my body doesn’t agree. My toes can get numb (in my new FiveTen shoes), my crotch can get numb, and other areas experience problems if I don’t give them a break. The most important thing is to stop occasionally to allow circulation to flow. I was with Beau and Tom Holub yesterday when Beau suggested a “circulation break.” Yes! Very welcome.

If you have some nice challenging hills spaced frequently enough along your ride, these can take the place of most of what you get on a circulation break. Climbing gets you off your butt, and I think it even spurs the circulation in my feet as well.

Sounds like someone got a case-o-prostatitis.

I’ve had it, it sucks.

Ballpark guess:

Retrograde pyelogram - Catheterization, contrast injection, x-ray.

Or perhaps a kidney biopsy in the worst case.

I worked as a paediatric nurse for 10 years. During that time I saw two or three cases of ideopathic (no known cause) lots of blood in the urine lasting for about 12 -24 hours and then easing off never to be seen again. None of them unicycled.

That’s fair enough- one of the reasons I posted this was to put it out to the community in case it did happen, but just wasn’t talked about.

If, as I suspect will probably be the case, that it just isn’t something that happens to unicyclists, then it’s valuable to know that.

You’re right and, that’s very much something I follow now.

The pain I felt on that ride a year ago, was not like the normal saddle soreness I’d experienced before- it was intense and, I should have got off and walked home- that’s what I’d do now.

That’s something I do take advantage of- where I live very steep hills are commonplace and, despite being hard work, I do seek them out and climb them.

When my legs are burning with pain, the consolation is that I know it extends the ride cos it eases any saddle issues, as climbing hills requires you to be lifting up off the saddle.

I suspect that one thing that doesn’t help, is that I never go shorter than 150mm on my cranks- from what I understand, shorter cranks lead to less chaffing and are the choice of most long-distance riders.

However, in my case, I find that the local hills, for me, make anything shorter than 150’s impractical, whether on the 29-er or the 24x3.

My brother and a friend of mine have both had blood in the urine, both were kidney injuries. My bro in a gand fight, kicked in the kidneys. My friend bad crash on the beach while jumping a kite surfer. I’d get the tests on the kidneys. Just my 2 cents.

In the weeks following the bout of saddle pain and the bleeding etc, I took that to its logical conclusion and bought a 700c ‘ultimate wheel’.

Never did learn to ride the thing :slight_smile:


Blodd in piss sounds like CANCER:(

Kidney stones can cause blood in urine also…

Yes, kidney stones were one of the possibilities the doctors mentioned.

I was OK with most of the tests, it was just the ones that involved sticking objects into orifices that I declined- I had no problem with ultrasound, xrays, blood samples etc.

The blood samples showed no problems with kidneys etc.

I’ll point out again that this all happened a year ago and hasn’t re-occurred since.

So it’s not something that I’m worried about- I started the thread purely to see if this is something that maybe is more prevalent amongst unicyclists.

Strongly reconsider the sticking of objects into orifices. I had a friend who ended up at the hospital emergency room with really really bad back pain. He was diagnosed with a kidney stone which was removed through his … hmm … uh … orifice. From pain attack to cure was only a couple of hours but he said he thought he was going to die because he hurt so bad.

Speak for yourself!

My guess that it’s pretty hard to get macroscopic haematuria (blood that you can see with your naked eye) from unicycling, unless you sustained some pretty major urethral trauma.

It sounds like OWD’s account was fairly painless, if somewhat alarming.

I imagine they would have sent some urine for culture and microscopy (to check for a bladder infection), a blood test for his kidney function, and an ultrasound of his renal tract. It sounds like he might also need a cystoscopy (a little fibreoptic telescope looking in the bladder) to make sure there isn’t a cancer in the bladder. They’re often quite easy to burn off.

Dirty Women or Men?

Have you been with any unclean Women or Men in the past months? Could be an STD but that should have been picked up by the tests. I am not insinuating anything but only suggesting this because it has not been brought up yet.

If there are people who are jumping off roofs and other high obstacles with Unicycles I don’t think that unicycling is going to do internal damage that will cause massive amounts of blood during urination.


Correction: Very, very few unicyclists are doctors. Non-unicycling doctors have to guess.

We have a local doctor who is wife and mother to unicyclists, and has been to a couple of Unicons. And she’s a former Olympic athlete. I think she’d be pretty good too. Sue Hooten. She was Jess Riegel’s connection into the unicycling world, as she was his pediatrician, and she had a picture of her husband on a unicycle in her office. :slight_smile: