I just finished my cross-country tour (also my first tour)! Hurray, feeling accomplished, excited to do more touring in the future, but I'm having hand issues.
On the tour, my left hand pinky and ring finger went numb, and stayed numb for the duration of the tour. I did some research online and found out that people call this cyclist's palsy and that it usually goes away, but sometimes takes weeks to fully fade. This is scaring me, because I study classical guitar at a conservatory, and I need my hands when I go back to school.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out if there are any ways to speed up the recovery and get my fingers back to fully functional. I'm currently wearing a sling, trying not to use the hand/arm unless absolutely necessary, and trying to stretch it regularly, but I don't know if it's better to rest it or try to strengthen the muscles by using it.
As for future tours, I know that I need better padding on my bars, as well as to raise my bars so my hands are above my pelvis, but if anyone has other advice for preventing numbness in the future, that would also be appreciated. This tour made my certain that I want to do other tours in the future, but I can't risk losing feeling in my hands like this again.