Author Topic: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?  (Read 3437 times)

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Offline CraftGeek

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Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« on: June 23, 2010, 12:38:12 am »
Background:
At 53, I have only been cycling regularly for 2 years. I’ve not been on tour yet but I will as soon as I’m able. (at least that’s the plan)

Today I had planned to cycle to work and back, an 80 mile round trip. I’ve been working up to it and was confident that I could do it.

Then I got sick, several days of fever and a wracking cough.

As I convalesce and more synapses reconnect to their neighbors, I wonder...

What should I do if I got this sick in the middle of a tour?

Has anyone out there been in that situation?

What did you do?

How did it work out?

What would you have done differently?

Thanks in advance,
Sean

Offline David85

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 02:09:17 am »
I've only gone on one long distance ride and I too found myself under the weather.  I attributed it to not eating right and over working myself.  I just got a hotel and a big meal and took the day to recuperate.  I felt much better the next day.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 09:23:19 am »

What should I do if I got this sick in the middle of a tour?

Has anyone out there been in that situation?

What did you do?

How did it work out?

What you should do is seek the proper treatment.  That could be as simple as a couple tabs of Imodium A.D. (worked for me one year on Cycle Oregon) or as complicated as a trip to the hospital, which I needed when I cut my palm making a repair.  (Ended up getting 3 stiches put in by a doctor wearing cowboy boots.)  Unless the latter is obviously needed, I would try a day of rest and any appropirate OTC meds.

I got a sinus infection while touring in southern Spain due to the climate change.  I took a day off in a hotel, rested and started a course of prescription antibiotics I had gotten from my doctor "just in case."

If you are too sick to ride and are nowhere near anything, you can try hitching.  On my group X-country trip a guy had to do that early on when he took ill just before the Cascades.  (The consensus among the group was that be blew himself up trying to impress everyone during the early days of the trip.)  He ended up getting a series of rides until he reached a town where we would be taking a day off, making an ER visit along the way.  That afforded him several days to rest in a motel.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 12:59:34 pm »
Hi - depends where you are planning to ride.  I feel confident here in USA that help is just about always just a cell phone call away.  Not an emergency take time off in a motel.  As for minor ailments wow I've never seen so many pharmacies, you feel you are never more than a day away from one at the most.  OK OK I've been through some isolated places here so just make sure you take precautions.

Yes I have got sick and very ill once in Egypt stuck in my tent miles from any where, you just have to get through it, every step is a bit closer to help you have to convince yourself. 

Planning is the key, as above eat properly and don't overdo the mileage as fatigue will leave you open to illness.  I would guess that 80 miles a day and working full time is a pretty strenuous way to start. 

My motto "Enjoy don't endure" good luck

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 03:12:58 pm »
I managed to get Giardasis (Giardia) while in NW Russia. May have drank too much water from the "radiks" (natural springs) but more likely was a result of brushing my teeth in St. Petersburg using tap water. Hint: DON'T! This is not the best way to loose that 10 pounds or more you always wanted to get rid of. Outside of the US and western Europe, or anywhere in the backcountry, use a filter or bottled water...even to brush your teeth.

Ride safe,
Hans
The Two-Wheeled Explorer: Ride the River
www.twowheeledexplorer.org
"Every person has a river to ride...you are to Ride the River."--Pr. Larry Christenson

Offline litespeed

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 02:36:23 pm »
I have pushed myself too hard many times. Besides exhaustion this has resulted in the following: diarrhea (Keep a roll of toilet paper in the handlebar pack), heart arrythmia (Drink plenty of water), double vision (stop and rest until it goes away), very painful feet (Loosen shoes, adjust cleats back), general crankiness (Get food and rest), constipation (get your fruit and veggies).

Sometimes you just have to stop and take a rest day. You'll know when this is necessary.

Offline CraftGeek

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Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 03:04:33 pm »
Thanks all.

I guess I just have to...
...stop worrying and go.
...not think that I need to cover a certain distance and peddle only as long as it still feels good.
...smell the roses.

Sean

Offline bogiesan

Couple of things to avoid
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 12:04:56 am »
Do not ever eat the ice. Ice everywhere is made from tap water. If you're drinking bottled water and pour it over ice, you might as well not spend the money on the bottled water. The bucket of cans of soda on ice contains hand sanitizer, sunscreen, dust, chain lube, and soap. Don't eat the ice.

Keep your hands clean, avoid touching the pathways into your face with dirty hands.

Sinus irrigation can prevent or diminish allergic reactions, colds, sore throats, sinus infections, other rhino-bugs.

Incubation for most flu-like ailments is 24-72 hours. Anything that comes on faster is probably a form of food poisoning from bacteria or toxins from killed bacteria.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Tourista829

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 12:34:29 am »
I agree with the others especially Tony T. who is a pretty savvy tourer. Start slow, build up, and if very hot, start early. Most cyclist push beyond their endurance and their bodies and immune systems breakdown. Immodium is a must. Be careful eating salads and unwashed vegetables. Eating dairy products, for some people, in the heat, is a not advisable. I keep a little first aid kit & a roll of TP with me. I once felt really ill, high fever, after riding in a cold rain, most of the day. I saw a physician and stayed in a motel for several days. When I felt a little better, I began to ride but felt worse, after a while. Although I was disappointed, I had an upper respiratory infection and my attitude was, not this time, there is always another day. So I rented a car, and drove home.  The only other time I had difficulty was after the first day of intense heat and 75 miles, I cramped severely in my quads. Some fluids and backing off the mileage, for the next day, was all I needed. If you plan ahead, for such an emergencies, a lot some funds for it, you should be ok. 

Offline tonythomson

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 08:19:30 am »
Great advice above
Become extra vigilant about cleanliness I always carry baby wet wipes, for obvious reasons but especially after going to the toilet - helps you to stop getting sore especially when sat on a saddle for hours.  Sorry if your having breakfast. 

Also I always use anti fungal foot powder every morning & often mid ride.

And Dave b is right about salads & raw veggies, I think you are OK in USA but I remember once in Thailand  so desperate for fresh veggies I gave into a wonderful looking cauliflower, raw, boy was I ill, serves me right.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline CraftGeek

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Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 11:35:33 am »
Thanks again. I hadn't even thought of the bad water and raw veg angles... :-\

I'm going to get some Imodium AD for my med kit and foot powder & hand sanitizer to my toiletries kit before my upcoming shake-down ride.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2010, 02:54:16 pm »
I got sick as a dog cycling through eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in 1994. It was either unintended food poisoning or deliberate. There was a horrific war going on. Some called it a massacre and a slaughter and ethnic cleansing, in the former Yugoslavia at the time. Quite a few rough characters were moving through the area then to get into the war and out of it, e.g. Islamic fighters from north Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, al-Qaeda, etc. One afternoon I had to lie down flat on my stomach for about thirty minutes while hand grenades, artillery, mortars, and automatic weapons fire let loose where I was. Right about then I started having stabbing pain and flashes through my head. Next morning I was really quite ill. I had brought antibiotics with me, but they did not do much good, I carried on after that.

You can get diarrhea eating in restaurants in the USA. Every time I ate in restaurants in Van Horn, Texas I left that town with a case of the trots. And it is not just myself. I have been an avid reader of cycling journals for years. Others had the same problem after eating in Van Horn on the southern tier.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 08:25:36 pm by Westinghouse »

jacquasfernandez

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Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 08:08:23 am »
Thanks  good post

Offline Shane

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 06:41:01 am »
Hi,

Getting sick on tour can happen anytime, it can be a real nightmare especially if your alone in a country where people dont speak much english. This happened to me a while back in Thailand see  "the day of hell".

Scary stuff, but like most people I lived to tell the tale, The hardest part of your first big trip is getting out of the front door, just do it!!

Shane

Offline staehpj1

Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 08:29:34 am »
Hi - depends where you are planning to ride.  I feel confident here in USA that help is just about always just a cell phone call away.  Not an emergency take time off in a motel.  As for minor ailments wow I've never seen so many pharmacies, you feel you are never more than a day away from one at the most.  OK OK I've been through some isolated places here so just make sure you take precautions.
Regarding that...  I would have to say that is a bit misleading.  In parts of the US I found fairly long stretches without a cell signal (at least a full day of riding at times, maybe more) and long stretches without much in the way of services.  At least once it was 80 miles between any kind of services, with not even a place to get water.  I certainly went several days without passing a pharmacy on more than one occasion.  That said I agree that there is no need to worry much in the US because in an emergency you can always flag down a passing motorist.

To the original question...
Yes I was pretty sick on my Santa Fe Trail tour.  I just got a room and pretty much slept for 36 hours straight.  I figured I'd try to tough it out and abort the tour only if my illness lasted more than a few days or became a real emergency.  I felt much better after 36 hours of mostly sleep and continued the tour.