Author Topic: Problem riding my bike.  (Read 2016 times)

Problem riding my bike.
« on: January 18, 2021, 08:29:36 pm »
Bit of a long one (and strange one)

I've been cycling for many years and Audaxing for last 10 or so. I average around 12,000 Km's a year commuting, Leisure and DIY's. I also ride the rollers indoors quite a bit during the spells of poor weather, but I ride in the safety of the hallway in case of mishaps, although i can ride clipped in for an hour or more without any issues.

Since Dec last year I've been having a very strange feeling like I'm about to fall off the bike! First time it happened i was on the foot of a climb I've done hundreds of times without issue. This time as I started on the main bit i had to unclip as I thought i was going to fall over to the left. I put it down to going slower than normal so went back down to the start and tried again, same thing happened, had to unclip then complete the rest of the climb with the arch of my left foot on the pedal (M520's).

I've been out once or twice since when the weather has allowed, It's been mostly icy and snow here for a while but when I did get out i just could not clip my left foot into the pedal at all, even on the flat roads! As soon as i tried to do it or had my foot in I immediately felt if i was going to fall over, this feeling is really bad if i'm on any sort of incline, even 2% ones! So the only way i feel even remotely comfortable on the bike is if I ride with right foot clipped in and using the the arch of left foot to pedal, not good!

I suffer from chronic and very severe ear infections and have 2 perforations of the right ear and I'm completely deaf in the left ear, but I've had this for a few years now with no effect to my riding. Paid a visit to the doc's who said it might be something similar to vertigo so he gave me a some tablets but all they've done is give me chest pains!

Then i bought some dual sided pedals, flat one side clip in the other, Went out today wearing my MTB shoes with a flat sole and recessed cleats, right foot clipped in and left on the flat pedal surface and i just couldn't put the ball of my left foot on the pedal without this fear of falling over, This was really bad at slow speed or starting from lights etc. Just completely gripped by a fear of falling off or over. I had to get off and walk up a small hill less than a mile from home, despite my foot not being clipped in I just felt that i wasn't going to make it so came to a complete stop and couldn't get going again. Got home set the rollers up and using the same bike and gear managed half an hour with both feet clipped in!

I'm now beginning to wonder if it's psychological problem? or riding indoors to long? or if it is indeed an inner ear problem.

(and i don't want a trike!)




Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 08:51:36 pm »
In Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis there is an amazing chapter, "Inner Ear, Voodo and Vertigo" about BPPV, benign paroxsymal positional vertigo and something called an Epley manoeuvre  <-- (I missed that word originally.)  If you want to read it, I'll give my copy to my missus, you can pick it up from her tomorrow if you want.

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 09:19:10 pm »
In Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis there is an amazing chapter, "Inner Ear, Voodo and Vertigo" about BPPV, benign paroxsymal positional vertigo and something called an Epley . If you want to read it, I'll give my copy my missus, you can pick it up from her tomorrow if you want.

Thanks, I’m off this week though, chronic ear problems again! I’ll maybe get it next week?
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 09:31:38 pm »
Paging barakta.  Barakta to the three-wheeled courtesy textphone, please...

The Epley manoeuvre's certainly worth trying, as it's basically harmless, and astoundingly effective if is BPPV.  Not something that's easy to do yourself without practice, thobut.

Beware of medications for vertigo (Stemetil and the like).  If the vertigo's something that you're going to have to live with, they can impede the rehabilitation.

I'm astounded that you can ride on rollers but not on the road, though.   :o
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2021, 09:38:48 pm »
*waves*

I'm not sure what I can contribute to this other than agreeing with Kim that most balance meds are evil and actually slow down your body's rehabilitation to balance issues.

I would go back to the GP and talk about it more, if the meds aren't helping and you're having specific issues the GP can either try and Epley manoeuvre or refer you to ENT for advice.

My balance issues are complicated, basically malformed inner ear, visual oddities and my hips are wonky, so none of the 3 balance systems for me work at all. So I ride a trike; which I see you didn't want to resort to.

I like www.vestibular.org as a website for balance stuff as they have lots of info, there's also some evil-FB groups which might know more than I do about the type of balance issues you're describing, they aren't doctors, but being able to look at likely symptoms with options may help.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2021, 09:43:00 pm »
This has got me intrigued, though I have nothing useful to contribute.

What happens when you ride rollers without the visual cues from having walls on both sides? Do you get nervous with a wall on one side only?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 09:48:20 pm »
I'm wondering if it's possible to un-learn to ride a bike if you use rollers enough?  Like if you ride a bike with reverse steering for long enough...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2021, 09:51:24 pm »
I don’t think so. Rollers are hyper-sensitive to leaning and steering. The more time I spent on rollers, the straighter I could ride on the road. Riding along a white line became quite easy.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 09:51:43 pm »
This has got me intrigued, though I have nothing useful to contribute.

What happens when you ride rollers without the visual cues from having walls on both sides? Do you get nervous with a wall on one side only?

No I can still ride but as long as I have at least one side to act as a safety net.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2021, 09:54:04 pm »
Does it matter which side the wall is? What about if you ride rollers without a wall beside you at all? Just a table or chair perhaps?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 09:58:54 pm »
Paging barakta.  Barakta to the three-wheeled courtesy textphone, please...

The Epley manoeuvre's certainly worth trying, as it's basically harmless, and astoundingly effective if is BPPV.  Not something that's easy to do yourself without practice, thobut.

Beware of medications for vertigo (Stemetil and the like).  If the vertigo's something that you're going to have to live with, they can impede the rehabilitation.

I'm astounded that you can ride on rollers but not on the road, though.   :o

Yes it was Stemetil that was prescribed but the chest pains  :hand:
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 10:02:18 pm »
Does it matter which side the wall is? What about if you ride rollers without a wall beside you at all? Just a table or chair perhaps?

It’s best if the wall is on right side but still ride ok if on left.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2021, 10:07:42 pm »
You are in an interesting situation. I hope somebody knows what might be going on.

Do you have any odd patches in your vision? Do you sit crooked on the bike (though that should show up more on the rollers than on the road)? Do you walk lopsided?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2021, 10:23:55 pm »
You are in an interesting situation. I hope somebody knows what might be going on.

Do you have any odd patches in your vision? Do you sit crooked on the bike (though that should show up more on the rollers than on the road)? Do you walk lopsided?

No eye problems, wear prescription glasses from Optilabs for a year or two. Sit ok on the bike, got the missus to record me on the rollers. No issues with walking.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2021, 11:49:32 pm »
How about standing on one leg with your eyes closed?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2021, 08:25:32 am »
How about standing on one leg with your eyes closed?

Had a load of balance tests when I was at the docs, all normal.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2021, 08:38:39 am »
My other half has Menieurs disease.  It first manifest itself as lack of balance, world spinning, but also overwhelming nausea for hours on end. And tinnetus.  Sudden and totally flattened him.  It took a lot of tests, but once diagnosed, meds have controlled it really well. The consultant did tell him that as he became increasingly deaf, the menieurs would be less of a problem, and that has proved correct.
TBH, your symptoms don't really sound like his, but it is something you might get your GP to check out.
Certainly hope you find the cause, and a solution, quickly.

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2021, 08:42:07 am »
I wonder if it is the wall on the rollers that is the problem?  Has it given you a mental wall on that side?  What happens outside if you shut your left eye or tape something like a horses blinker to your helmet.  what about riding downhill?

Can you ride the rollers at low speed?

I think it is very unlikely to be a standard inner ear problem if you can ride rollers.  Therefore it is either an inner ear problem caused by cold air affecting one ear or possibly a learnt reaction to a lot of riding inside on the rollers.

I would suggest riding outside up a small incline with some cotton wool in one ear and the a hat to keep the ear really warm.  Then swap ears, it may well be the opposite ear to the immediately obvious one.

If none of that helps I am totally stumped.

Good luck

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2021, 09:20:19 am »
I wonder if it is the wall on the rollers that is the problem?  Has it given you a mental wall on that side?  What happens outside if you shut your left eye or tape something like a horses blinker to your helmet.  what about riding downhill?

Can you ride the rollers at low speed?

I think it is very unlikely to be a standard inner ear problem if you can ride rollers.  Therefore it is either an inner ear problem caused by cold air affecting one ear or possibly a learnt reaction to a lot of riding inside on the rollers.

I would suggest riding outside up a small incline with some cotton wool in one ear and the a hat to keep the ear really warm.  Then swap ears, it may well be the opposite ear to the immediately obvious one.

If none of that helps I am totally stumped.

Good luck

Yes i can ride the rollers at low speed but i find that i can't ride up any incline at all. I also ride with my ears covered at all times to protect them from the cold, moisture etc. Due the constant infections that i get I'm not allowed to put anything in my ears as it only makes it worse.

I may lay off the rollers for a time to see if it has any effect, I'll try anything to get back on the bike again.
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2021, 10:51:07 am »
I suppose an interesting experiment would be to try riding an upright trike and see if it goes straight for the nearest hedge as they do for most experienced bicycle riders.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2021, 03:55:07 pm »
Update,

I’ve been out on a short 28km ride today using the flat pedals I nicked from the missus shopping bike. I used flat soled Adidas training shoes I had lying around. It felt great!! No issues with balance or feeling as if I’m falling over. There was quite a bit of slippage but felt in control and confident to make it up the small gradients i was walking up a day or 2 ago. The shoes were obviously unsuitable as the sole was very soft and it was cold too but I was just happy to be riding sort of normally again!

So, why have I developed a fear of being clipped in after more than 10 years riding this way or  why are the shoes/pedals making me feel unbalanced?? does anyone use flat shoes/pedal combo for audaxing or longer rides comfortably?
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2021, 04:01:50 pm »
I know of one older bloke who used one clipless and one flat pedal. It seemed weird to me but kept him happy.

If nothing else, using flat pedals on the road is becoming more fashionable, so if you grow a funny beard and put on skinny jeans, you might join the hipster dude collective.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2021, 04:17:56 pm »
does anyone use flat shoes/pedal combo for audaxing or longer rides comfortably?

that would be me.  I've never got on with anything cleated (I tried one pair, it was going to get expensive so I stopt trying).  Feet died after 100 miles or so, so relegated to commute-to-work to wear them out, except that bike got nicked so I only have platform pedals now.

thus I variously ride in
- DMs when pootling round town in winter, I used to have Kickers for spring/autumn but didn't replace when they wore out. 
- Lake mtb cycling shoes without any cleat for autumn/winter/spring audaxes (bought around 2006 at Mildenhall iirc, old stock)
- previously very tired desert boots for spring/autumn, the old pair expired and the replacements fell to pieces (cracked across the sole) too soon for my liking, so I didn't replace again (applied duck tape to the original pair, not ideal)
- cheapo french supermarket sandals in summer, inc LEL and PBP, then they died. 
- sandals upgraded to Merrill hiking sandals, now use them in summer for pretty much everything

and woolly socks, hand knitted unless I'm wearing sandals and it's daylight
plus overshoes when really wet/cold, unless I forget them
In the dark, all views are the same.

bairn again

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2021, 09:44:41 pm »
Hope you get this resolved WCTD.

I have on occasion felt distinctly wobbly when using road pedals (shimano) and wearing shoes with cleats that float (yellow ones in Shimano land) and as a result I now use the red ones that are (more) fixed, and in winter I will ride with mtb style cleats. 

I first thought it was a problem that would be resolved by tightening up the tension on the road pedals.  It was but only a small bit, and it was the change of cleats that made a big difference.  Ive never used any other pedals or cleats so cant comment, but im sure somebody will be along in a minute to tell us that campag is better. 

Id class “distinctly wobbly” as a similar sounding falling / floating sensation, enough to notice but not enough to make me stop.

Ps - love the idea of you as a hipster dude.  Maybe catch you in Rab Ha’s, West or Shilling after the lockdowns over. 

Seriously hope you can beat this.   

Re: Problem riding my bike.
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2021, 10:18:07 pm »
Thanks Bairn  :thumbsup:

I’ve been looking up some flat shoes tonight as I don’t yet know if I’ll be able to ride with SPD’s again.  The feeling of falling/fear and unbalance is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’ve always had an aversion to climbing but having to walk up local streets with 2% gradients is the strangest and scariest of all!

I’ve got a visit to ENT booked this week so hopefully they might be able to come up with ideas as to why this is going on.

Me a hipster! I’ve been called some things in my time but that’s too far  ;D and you would never get me in West after the way they treated their staff during the lockdown  :hand:
Mind of a cyclist, body of a dart player.