Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: CraftGeek on June 23, 2010, 12:38:12 am

 
Title: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: CraftGeek 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
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: David85 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: indyfabz 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: tonythomson 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

Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer 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
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: litespeed 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: CraftGeek 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
Title: Couple of things to avoid
Post by: bogiesan 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
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: Tourista829 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. 
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: tonythomson 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: CraftGeek 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: Westinghouse 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: jacquasfernandez on July 08, 2010, 08:08:23 am
Thanks  good post
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: Shane 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" (http://www.shanecycles.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=32).

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
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: johnsondasw on August 27, 2010, 02:44:56 pm
Thanks all.

I guess I just have to...
...stop worrying and go.



Yup, that's the best plan.  Deal with it if it happens.  Common sense will allow you to figure out most of these kinds of problems.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: cyclocamping on August 29, 2010, 11:16:56 pm
During our 5-year tour, my wife and I got sick a few times including one Giardiasis in Cambodia (my wife). I just wanted to add something about gastroenteritis also called food poisoning or Turista. I have a diploma of tropical medicine and travel medicine (as a RN I figured it might get handy to get this diploma before going on a trip around the world  ;)), so I figured I could share some of what I was taught - mostly according to the guidelines of the W.H.O. (World Health Organization).

What to do when you get sick: The first thing is to rest in a quiet environment and make sure you drink a lot of water. This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing DRINK A LOT OF FLUIDS - dehydration is the killer. If the diarrhea becomes severe (> 5-6/24h) with persistent vomiting, you should drink drinks with sugar, salt and minerals (potassium, sodium are the most important). Flat coke is sometimes recommended. Check for signs of severe dehydration like: dark smelly urine, unstoppable thirst. Difficulty to think, agitation, confusion are serious signs of dehydration and one should find a hospital immediately. Seek for a doctor after 72 hours if diarrhea persists or at any time if you have any signs of: severe diarrhea, severe inexplicable pain, or more than just strikes of blood, or pus in the vomit or diarrhea (sorry for the details). Start to re-introduce food slowly. Start with rice and unripe bananas, then pasta, bread, dry fruits, nuts, and yogurt. When food starts to be well tolerated, reintroduce slowly your regular diet. NO fatty food, no hearty sauce, no vegetables, no spices, no fresh fruits, no red meat. Eat small, frequent meals. W.H.O. DO NOT recommend to take Imodium to treat diarrhea in case of Turista unless you really have to (important business meeting, exam, athletes etc.). There is a reason for the body to react that way. The body is trying to evacuate the toxins produced by whatever the germ is, so you should try to suck it up as long as you can. You can take ibuprofen or paracetamol to bring the pain and fever down (if any). Rest a few more days after the symptoms are gone.

How to prevent Turista: In developing countries, when tourists get the Turista, they often blame it on the water or ice but numerous studies shown that the food is very often involved. It is close to impossible to get sick from brushing your teeth or by drinking a few drops while taking a shower. One advice often given by doctors is "Boil it, Cook it, Peel it or forget it; rather simplistic but this is a good one as it summarizes everything quite well. Anything that was just cooked (not rewarmed) is usually safe to eat. Some studies have shown that people get more sick eating at the buffet in fancy restaurants for tourists than in local street-restaurants. This is due to the turnover of the food at the local restaurant compare to food sitting for hours at the buffet and served again the next day in touristic hotel. Of course do not drink tap water unless boiled or filtered. Buy sealed water bottle (check the seal) or filter your own water with a travel water filters and purifiers (http://www.cyclocamping.com/products.asp?cat=67). Eat fruits that can be peeled in case they were picked from the ground or washed with bad water (I personally don't always follow that recommendation). Eating salad is usually not recommended although I also did it hundred of times in India and never got sick (it's hard to resist the slices of tomato, fresh jalapenos, and cucumber served with their daal!)

In any case, being in a bed, staring at a fan and literally feel like s&@$% for days, is everything but fun. Make sure you have someone to keep an eye on you, drink a lot of water, follow the right diet and you should feel better pretty soon.

Hope this helps. Happy tailwind

Stephane
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: Shane on August 30, 2010, 07:44:28 am
Good tips from cyclocamping  ;) I once had to take imodium to survive the bus trip 100km to the hospital.......that stuff just gives the illness more time te develop instead of just shitting it out ::)  only use in emergencies.....!!!
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: cyclocamping on August 30, 2010, 08:36:46 am
Yes, spending hours in a bus can be a reason for taking immodium  ;D
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: RatchanonWS on February 20, 2020, 01:53:47 am
You should be extra careful about cleanliness. I always carry wet wipes for obvious reasons. But especially after going to the bathroom - helps you stop the pain, especially when sitting on the saddle
หลักการแทงมวยออนไลน์ที่ดีที่สุด 2020 (https://sempregilles.com/หลักการแทงมวยออนไลน์/)
for many hours Sorry if you have breakfast In addition, I tend to use foot powder to prevent mold every morning and usually sit in the middle. And Dave B is correct about fresh salads and
หลักการแทงมวยระดับมืออาชืพ (https://sempregilles.com/หลักการแทงมวยออนไลน์/)
vegetables. I think you're OK in the United States. But I remember one time in Thailand, because the fresh vegetables that I gave cauliflower look very good. Raw, sick children, I served me right.
หลักการแทงมวยแบบเด็ดๆ (https://sempregilles.com/หลักการแทงมวยออนไลน์/)
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: BikePacker on February 20, 2020, 07:53:24 am
I pack BC Powder which I like cause it contains caffeine to allay ill feelings .... of course, it does not address anything beyond a malaise.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: bobbys beard on February 22, 2020, 05:40:22 am
I never tour without a small first aid kit. Bandages, plasters, tea tree oil, imodium and ibuprofen gel and paracetamol.

Exhaustion is always a danger on longer tours. I tend to book into a cheap motel for a night or two with a bottle (or 2; this accounts for the above paracetamol) of wine and some nice food, to recharge.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: hikerjer on February 26, 2020, 10:35:28 pm
I got sick of the head winds in Kansas once.  Other than that, no problems.
Title: Re: Have any of you gotten sick on tour?
Post by: froze on March 23, 2020, 11:27:04 am
As others have said you could get sick or hurt for one reason or another, so you need to bring stuff to protect you from that; stuff like Imodium A.D., Sinus congestion and headache pills, allergy pills, regular headache pills, Ibuprofen (for swelling and fever, this stuff does nothing for me in regards to headaches), hydrocortisone cream, and Benadryl cream, and of course adequate first aid to take care of most minor injuries. 

I either buy the small travel tube shape with the pills already inside, then I put more inside because those little tubes aren't even half full when new.  I don't carry the boxes around, some pills go into a small ziplock bag, I just mix them together since I know what each one does.  Since pills take up such little space I take more than I might need especially Imodium AD, Ibuprofen and sinus congestion headache stuff as well as a couple of tubes of hydrocortisone cream and Benadryl cream because bug bites are a very real problem when touring.  I take enough pills and cream to last me 3 days just in case I'm that far out from civilization to get what I need, better safe than sorry. 

Again this stuff takes up very little space on your bike and sometimes riding to the nearest Walmart or some such place that might have that stuff could be at least a couple of hours ride away, and when your sick, especially with diarrhea, those miles will take a huge toll on your body, not to mention the hassle of pulling over to the side of the road every 15 minutes or so with the runs and not having enough TP with you, and that will tire you out a lot which could lay you up for an extra day you didn't account for.  Not a good way to be in.