I had finished a rather lengthy ride in some pretty brutal wind, got off the bike, and carried on with business as usual. The next morning, I couldn’t bend my leg without feeling some rather intense pain. Stairs were a problem. Kneeling to tie my shoes was not fun. I couldn’t understand what I had done that was causing me so much discomfort. It’s not like I haven’t ridden a bike long-distance before.
After a couple days of the pain persisting, I thought I’d attempt to get on my bicycle. Surprisingly, the range of motion while pedaling did not affect me in the slightest. Dismounting and everything else however, yup—still hurts.
A full week elapsed with no lessening of the pain, so I decided that I’d see a doctor about it. Then, mysteriously, the pain went away. I had no problem bending my leg, which was great, if not a little awkward to explain to the doctor. I expected him to tell me it was all in my head or to stretch more and send me home. But instead, he prescribed me a few sessions of physical therapy. “Hmm.” I thought to myself. “Not really what I had in mind.”
But I indulged the doc and went to physical therapy. The prognosis was something about the kneecap not being well enough supported, and thusly causing discomfort as it jostled all around in there. To put it one way, I was writing checks my knees couldn’t cash.
Thankfully, the physical therapist suggested that in addition to some light leg work to strengthen the area, I should also look into riding a bike. “Convenient”, I say. “I rode one to this appointment!”
And now all is well again. The moral of the story is, if you’re like me and your primary source of fitness is riding a bike, make sure to throw some squats or lunges in for good measure.* Your knees may thank you.
- Bicyclist Abroad
* I am not a medical professional and my advice should not be taken as such. Please consult your own primary care physician.