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I would love to start a discussion amongst keen cyclists. I was diagnosed in Jan of this year and I am lucky that my symptoms are mild although walking for any longer than 45 minutes is still a problem and leaves me with very heavy legs. I have always enjoyed cycling and have treated myself to a new road bike as I have really got the bug now! I have recently joined a cycling club and we do 50/60 mile runs at average speed of 15mph over mixed terrain. At times it is terrifying! I am probably the least experienced cyclist amongst them and it is really challenging but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am sure that I would not have had the same urgency to pursue this had it not been for my diagnosis.

My left leg is weaker than my right and I can feel the fatigue at times but somehow I can keep going even up hill when I feel that all strength has completely gone and I know if I got off the bike I wouldn't be able to walk. I have to dig deep into myself to find the determination and strength to keep going and at times I do start dreaming about being at home in a lovely hot bath and having a cup of tea! My new bike had clipless pedals but I felt that my leg wasn't reliable enough and I struggled to unclip it when it was tired so I have gone back to toeclips for now - I didn't want to get stuck!

I feel so grateful that despite the ms affecting me I am still able to push my body and enjoy an exhilirating sport even though I need to manage things at times. I feel that I drink a ton of water and am constantly munching on naked bars. Does anyone else out there have any cycling experiences they could share? I would love to hear how you manage your symptoms and if/when they affect you when your body is pushed to its limits. Maybe you have some tips on how to position the cleats and/or manage the clipless pedals with unpredictable legs as it is all so new to me!

I have entered for the Caledonia Etape next May....fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading
Take care
Hilary x
Hi there

I'm a keen cyclist too : ) prior to kids and diagnosis I would do long cycles and triathlons etc. my favourite thing is hill riding and I love the challenge of hill ascents.

After my first attack I stopped cycling. After nine months the numbness in my feet disappeared. I got back out there and slowly increased the pace and hills. After a while I suggested that to celebrate my friends birthday we cycle up our favourite mountain. It had an 8 percent incline at the start and the is undulating to the top. We made it up like the good old days and I felt great!

Next day I suffered a huge attack and am still numb in the feet 10 months related. So was the stress on my body (this hill is only for experienced riders), the heat, the exertion what caused it ? My neuro and others say no but my acupuncturist who is all about energy says yes! Will I ever cycle my fav hill again? No way!

But I am pleased to say that I am back out there, clipped in and all. I just am sticking to flat cruise rides on my own so no one to keep up with. My feet feel more numb after but I understand that it's normal. I will build up to hills again but just the starter baby ones!

All the best with your cycling. Such a great sport. Just listen to your body, don't overdo it and stay cool!

Love cycling myself like going a big off road so got a mtb really started to do more after just like you really strugle to walk for long time. I used to run a lot too but I find that that exerts my body a bit to much at time and can do it while I'm doing it but the after effects of pushing to hard are really not worth it I just love to exercise it's slwsys been my passion can still do it but really have to watch I don't push to hard just wipes me out for days think we all have to find are level as long as I can still go to the gym and do a bit and cycle I'm good it might be the only thing I do that day but it's well worth it keeps me mentally sane.
Hi surfergirl and Delb thank you so much for your replies! Sounds like you have had your share of challenges. It is so difficult when, like you say Delb, exercising keeps you sane! I know that feeling! Thanks for the reminder to listen to my body and stay cool surfergirl! I guess we can just keep taking one day at a time.

Enjoy your cycling
Take good care
Hilary x
Hey Hilary, love cycling!!! I cycle to work and back ( 14 miles) although sometimes this can be a round trip of 23 miles depending on which hospital I am working at! My symptoms are pretty mild so I still run as well. been on OMS for 2 years and so far so good.

Hope you are well

Take Care

Phil XXX
http://www.justgiving.com/phil-king5. OMS 2012
"Don't Cry - Laugh" - Roy Castle ( TV Personality and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation)
"If you are bored you must be a boring person!" Ina Sansom (My Gran)
UK based... winter I road cycle circa. 50-80 miles a week - summer lots more.
Hi Phil and AP

It's great to hear how much cycling you do! Really encouraging thankyou.

Take care
Hilary x
Has anyone any advice/tips on hydration packs? I know they are usually used by mountain bikers but I am seriously thinking of getting one as any build up of heat has a direct impact on my leg and I drink so much water when I am out. As soon as I drink my leg feels stronger again.

Thanks everyone
Hilary x
I started cycling again last year after being diagnosed in 2013. I'd been a keen but not serious cyclist up until then. This year I'm hoping to cycle up Mont Ventoux on World MS day, partly to raise money for OMS but also for myself. I'm fortunate to have only mild physical symptoms, My husband is going to cycle with me but I'd be really happy if anyone else wants to join me on May 27th.

I'm training quite hard as its becoming more daunting as the time approaches, but I love being out on my bike, in the fresh air and it helps a lot with the emotional difficulties associated with MS.
SarahAJ, how was Mont Ventoux?
High on bucket list todo.

I cycle through summer months. Mountain bike and flappy clothing so speeds kept low and work high. Round here the roads are even more dangerous and mucky in winter, though visibility is better when leaves are down.
Typical circuit is 27k through the narrowest lanes and trails that thread up the steepest hills in the area.
A convenient midday blast, full gas. Over 95% HRmax on the toughest climbs, 80% average.
Each year trying to get back below 60 minutes (circuit includes wiggling through town, etc).
The increased wind resistance is to keep speeds down as traffic can be so dangerous, have been knocked off several times.
Weekend long meanders used to be up to 200k, but these days 50k seems a long way.
Mulling the idea of procuring a cyclocross bike (a full suspension mountain bike can feel hard work on long runs). But back problems make riding long on flats painful.
Love the hills.
Each late spring, thigh muscles are so weak that I can't even get tired. Just slow. Then aches in the thigh "outrigger" muscles can be challenging.
But by mid summer, a bouncy spring in the legs that just ask to be allowed to light the afterburners.
Have never overheated on 2 wheels (touch wood, but this is in never hot Blighty), but after a buildup and burn, when stopping there's usually a short wobbling session when standing. I assume the buildup of super heat in muscles, when stopped and no cooling wind, causes a shot of overheated blood up to the head. Hence dizzies for a few minutes.
Hands, neck, etc get super chilled these days in cold and wet. Assume that's due to having morphed into super sleek form on OMS.
The big thing, IMHO, about exercise is that first impressions are generally idiotically askew. And that most fitness, technique, stamina, fun, comes over a long time. Any thoughts of a quick nice experience are doomed to earn disappointment and a downer.
But taking the long term approach, cycling can be a huge source of health (barring falls), stress relief, and fun.
I understand that gentle cycling on the flat is less exercise than walking. But better than sitting on the sofa fiddling with social media.
My addiction, for my midday burn is to challenge myself to race split times over various stretches (â„… Garmin).
Tip: if you meekly pull towards the verge as a car approaches, they (usually being clueless about their own vehicle dimensions, let alone the vulnerability of cyclists) they will interpret your moving over to mean that there is enough room to push through. This regardless of whether there is or not. On impact, even with only a wing mirror, cyclist always loses. Conclusion, brave up and be a road hog, don't move over just because a vehicle approaches. But of course go to every length to be the least intrusion on other road users where possible.
Only after effects for me are when I forget to drink loads before bed, so invite cramps. Never experienced any downers after rides. Just get exact opposite of fatigue (so more and more vim and energy).
For me, every time is excitement and fun. A general manic blast. And afterwards a feel good glow.
Cycling's highly recommended for free spirits, a low impact, outdoors, all round pick-me-up..
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