Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

All,

In the last week, I have really been pushing it hard on the unicycle. Last Friday (the 15th) I rode to my mother’s house and back, which was tough for me for the first time. On Saturday, I rode all over the place, including up to the Wendy’s and back. There are a LOT of hills in my neighborhood. Pretty big ones, actually (unless you live in San Francisco). Also, I was facing lots of turning, cracked concrete, speed bumps and new stuff. On monday, I went off-roading on my street cycle. Two times this week I’ve taken other long excursions around my neighborhood.

I have reached the point where I am not experiencing any discomfort from riding … EXCEPT one.

It seems that when I do a lot of hills (up or down) or lots of turns combined with riding over cracks and the like (i.e. realistic street riding from point A to B), I must be over-using something. I don’t know if it is bad technique, bad seat height, or just inexperience.

The pain is in my left leg, about 2-3 inches above my ankle. It is on the left side of my leg. Occasionally it is a little bit forward of that, more often just a little back of that, but always basically on the left side of my left leg about 3 inches above the ankle.

What could that be?

It only hurts me when I start doing hills or a lot of power-maneuvering. If I go flat and easy, I have no problems. Once it really starts hurting, it stays sore, and my freemount (right pedal back and down, jump up with left foot onto pedal in a roll-back mount) will start hurting it too, once it starts hurting for other reasons. With rest, it gradually becomes less sore and won’t bother me. A 15 minute rest will mostly clear it up; a 1 or 2 minute rest is enough to let me ride on it again for 5 minutes. It never bothers me later on, and neither do my other muscle aches.

Actually, for all I know, it might be a tendon or ligament, but it feels more like a muscle thing, I think.

It isn’t too problematic, but it does hold me back a little. I know that it was the one thing that gave me the most trouble on my off-road ride with chris. Yeah, I got huffy and puffy from exertion some, but I can still keep-on keepin-on when I’m tired like that.

It is the spot on my leg that really makes me stop every hundred yards or so.

Should I just take 2 days off? I’m riding at least an hour and a half a day. Other than my lower left leg getting sore (and it stops within 15 minutes of me stopping), I have no problems with that schedule. It’s fun, I don’t even notice the time passing.

Advice please?

Lewis

Re: Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

Heh. :smiley:

Something I noticed on the ride, but did not mention because it would have added another element to a new situation: your foot might be a bit far back on the pedal, taking the weight on the toe and allowing the foot to flex alot at the ankel. This can be good for performance, in some situations- but an easly over exert an ankel that isn’t condition for it (I experienced LOTS of pain for the first couple months- and was fairly sore after our last ride [heh]). Shifting the foot forward will allow you to put more force into the pedal with less stress on the lower leg- it is also a bit less responsive and not good for all situations… maybe some balance…

Work calls,

Christopher

Chris,

Weird, that you say my foot is too far back. I find that moving it farther back makes it hurt less once it has started hurting.

I tend to ride with the pedal in the middle … that is probably why my arches are sore also. I think when I move my foot even farther back to where I am pedaling on my toe, I may be less tense.

I think what I may try to do is to lower the seat so that my legs can stay with the heel on the pedal for an entire revolution, instead of the middle of my arches.

Who knows?

More insight is welcome, but I may try lowering the seat.

Where do all of you place your foot on your pedals? Toe-on-pedal, middle of the foot, or the heel?

Lewis

Re: Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

I try to have the pedal in the middle; while my left foot (dominant foot) is
generally in the right place the right often ends up all over the place due
to my sometimes dubious free mounts. I find if my foot is too far back I get
the pain you describe; I put this down to having to pull your foot up at the
front to stop it slipping off the back.

I’m just getting the hang of being able to move my feet on the pedals
slightly now, so it’s becoming less of a problem; previously I’d generally
stop and re-mount to keep my legs from feeling like they were about to fall
off…

Phil, just me

“Animation” <Animation.fv2p@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:Animation.fv2p@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> Chris,
>
> Weird, that you say my foot is too far back. I find that moving it
> farther back makes it hurt less once it has started hurting.
>
> I tend to ride with the pedal in the middle … that is probably why my
> arches are sore also. I think when I move my foot even farther back to
> where I am pedaling on my toe, I may be less tense.
>
> I think what I may try to do is to lower the seat so that my legs can
> tay with the heel on the pedal for an entire revolution, instead of the
> middle of my arches.
>
> Who knows?
>
> More insight is welcome, but I may try lowering the seat.
>
> Where do all of you place your foot on your pedals? Toe-on-pedal, middle
> of the foot, or the heel?
>
> Lewis
>
>
> –
> Animation - I unicycle in Mississippi too.
>
> Lewis W Beard
> lewis@lwb.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Animation’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/615
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/16520
>

Cranks or pedals bent? How about shoes, any wear there. Just guessing. I dunno.

Hope you find out what’s causing it.:slight_smile:

Work the maze.

RE: Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

The default position for feet on pedals should be with the balls of your
feet directly over the pedal axle. Same as a bicycle. Any other foot
position on the pedal should be considered a variation away from this
position, usually for a specialized purpose.

Many mountain riders like to move their feet forward (middle of foot on
pedal) for long or hard climbs, for example. Also, people who use their
heels to help keep their feet on the pedals are riding on the middle part of
their feet. But this position reduces your ankle power.

But using the balls of your feet on the pedals you get the full use of your
ankle joints, same as walking. But on a unicycle you pedal a lot more than
on a bicycle, and if you’re a new rider your legs probably need time to
adjust.

For very long rides, like Unicycle Across Minnesota or Europe, one of the
common ailments of the riders was to have problems with the achilles
tendons. When this happens on a bike, it usually means the rider has the
seat too high. If it happens on a long unicycle ride, it’s probably just
your ankles telling you they weren’t designed for this… :slight_smile:

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“You’re not supposed to wash your Roach armor” - Nathan Hoover, on safety
equipment cleaning methods

John,

Is the ball of the foot the spot just under and behind the toes? That is what I prefer to have on the pedal, if so.

I took thursday and today off from riding just to let my body rest (tho I dont feel like I need to rest until I ride for about 5 minutes :)). Maybe then my discomfort will be less and I can stretch the abilities of my body.

Lewis

RE: Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

> Is the ball of the foot the spot just under and behind the
> toes? That is
> what I prefer to have on the pedal, if so.

Yes, the part you’re standing on if you lift your heels off the ground.

JF

Re: RE: Diagnose My Riding Pain Please?

Well sometimes I do that Michael Jackson thing where he stands on the ends of his toes for a second. But I know what you mean. :slight_smile:

I also took 2 days off from cycling (ah the agony) so that may help too. I’ll find out this afternoon.

Thanks, as always, for the info John!

Lewis

If it is any consolation, Bill, Hillary, and I feel your pain.

ankle probs

i took up spinning many moons ago
i developed a complaint very simmilar to yours within a couple of days
several expensive phisio sessions later, it was figured out that it was caused by over-flexing the ankle joint
sounds like a combination between chris’ comment ref your feet being too far back and john’s suggestions that it is natures way of telling u something should give u all the clues u need
rather take it a bit easier and keep an eye on it

i didn’t and had to lay off for three weeks while the inflamed tendon kept me in agony
a lil’ rest now (and some professional advice) could spare u a lot of hassle in the foreseeable future

have fun out there!
namaste

dave

All,

Thanks for the help. The pain is gone now, I just had a sore muscle and I let it rest. I keep the ball of my feet on the pedal now (I had been using my arches) and now everything is good again.

Lewis