Post Ride Elbow Pain

Rough RoadRough road ahead.

Riding longer distances have been great fun on the weekends, but what I didn’t expect was having sharp elbow pain radiating out to my right hand; my three fingers (pinky, ring and middle fingers) were tingly and I know what nerve compression feels like because I’ve experience Carpal Tunnel before as a dental hygienist. I’ve had to reduce my hours of work, change my sleeping habits (I slept with wrists cocked downwards) and stopped windsurfing. I wanted to avoid surgery.

This particular pain feels different and it didn’t immediately appear during last Saturday’s ride, but after that jarring route through the farm lands I must have held my grip too tightly causing nerve compression. What could be causing this besides griping my handlebar too tightly? I am varying my hand positions but I’ve never had this elbow pain before.

Ulnar painSo, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, this Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by “repetitive or prolonged activities that require the elbow to be bent or flexed”.


I will try my best to rest and not ride my bike or bend my right arm, although it is difficult not to use the computer or mobile phone.

mummificationI am joking about this above image being a cure. Just a desperate attempt to help relieve some pain so I may ride this coming weekend. In the meanwhile, I hope you’ll leave a message and tell me what your rough experiences have been when riding long distances.






205K RUSA Permanent #1337 – Carmel Cruise

Carmel Cruise RUSA Permanent #1337 205K

Carmel Cruise RUSA Permanent #1337 205K

Completed the RUSA permanent #1337 Carmel Cruise on Saturday. Originally a planned 127 miles route but due to getting lost and adding a few miles to grab some food our adventure ended with a total of 129 miles and 6,300′ elevation.
Our ride started early, the first control point was the Scotts Valley Safeway at 7AM.

The ride started with a early morning chilly descent and I decided to wear only my vest and arm warmers knowing that the hills would keep me fairly warm. Once again, as my last 200k brevet, I forgot how chilly and windy it is by the ocean and so, once again, I will consider purchasing a light compact windbreaker.

Santa Cruz Bay

We descended down Glen Canyon Rd, sections of this road are washed out and becomes a single lane. Santa Cruz and Capitola were my old high school summer weekend haunts so it felt a bit nostalgic to be riding through there.


At the town of Aptos we rode a sectioned Beach Drive we rode down to Seacliff State Beach thinking we were going to ride along the beach but we made a mistake and had to turn back and take the high road and ride up Rio Del Mar hill (6.9% avg grade says Strava).

Our first mistake of the ride.

Could you blame us for being lost? Which road would you prefer to take, the Rio del Mar 7% grade or the flat Beach Drive?

Not so bad– in fact, most of the ride was very pleasant and scenic with panoramic ocean views.

As you enter Monterey most of the route was on the bike path — I will get back to the farm roads later. As you near the Cannery Row there are murals with characters possibly depicted from John Steinbeck featured novels (Trivia! Which famous actor featured in two of Steinbeck’s novels in 50’s?). The bike and pedestrian shared path becomes crowded with snorkels, visitors for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and various restaurants so we had to slow down and enjoy the stop and go along the path.

As we headed toward Carmel, enjoying the sights of Pacific Grove, on the opposite side of the street we saw a speedy tandem approaching. I was impressed by their coordination and smiled as we passed but a few beats later I heard my name called out!


We turned around and it was none other than fellow #BCC Ian Prowell and lovely stoker Cheryl Prowell!

Ian and Cheryl Prowell on their beautiful Calfee Tetra tandem

Ian and Cheryl Prowell on their beautiful Calfee Tetra tandem

We couldn’t be more surprised with the coincidence of meeting on the road and being far from home. We’ve chatted several times on Google+ but never met in real life. How incredibly cool is that! Take a look at Strava’s absolutely cool new feature called PlayBack. It will give you an animated flyby glance of your route as well as others who are roughly in the same area at the same time! Unexpected_G+_HIRL_from_Strava


CarmelChris and I continued on our way to Carmel’s famous 17 Mile Drive where the famous Pebble Beach, Cypress and Spyglass golf courses are but not being golf fans we didn’t feel the need to stop.

Here's my Yelp review:

Here’s my Yelp review of Island Taco:

The nice thing about not driving is that we didn’t have to pay an entry fee to ride through the 17 Mile Drive. As we descended into Carmel we went to the next open control point. We decided to go to the Crossroads Shopping Center and find some place to sit down, eat while watching our bikes. We found Island Taco; it wasn’t bad but for one burrito and a small fish taco with 2 sodas the total was 21 dollars! Gulp~ yeah, a little pricey but it serves as a motivator for me to start creating my own randonneur portable (aka the Allen Lim rice cake) lunches.

Rough RoadThis route was beautiful so I don’t want to discourage anyone from riding it but I would give the warning that the roads in the farm areas are scenic but very rough, I felt exhausted from absorbing all the road vibration in the back of my arms, and hands.

Coming back from the strawberry and artichoke fields and back to Santa Cruz was tiring. The combination of traffic, rough road and winds began to wear me down & I needed a mental break.We found a Quiznos sandwich shop and shared a half sub and soda and felt better. All that was left was the climb back.farmland Climbing out of Glen Canyon wasn’t difficult in % grade but at this point I just wanted this ride to be over and was getting hungry. My forearms and fingers were getting numb and I also noticed my right baby toe was getting numb too — how odd is that?

We finally reached Safeway again, our final control point. While Chris purchased water for our recovery drinks (powder was prepared earlier and waiting in the car!) I bought my favorite salty potato chips! I love the feeling of removing cycling shoes and replacing them with sneakers; I love the taste and the crunch of chips on the drive home after a long ride!

Randonneurs have to travel with brevet cards where date/time/location are documented as proof of arrival.

Randonneurs have to travel with brevet cards where date/time/location are documented as proof of arrival.

The (Not Quite) Petaluma Loop – 70 mile with 4,000′ elevation

I  decided to ride with the Western Wheelers (WW), a mid-Peninsula cycling club, and try their Long Distance Training (LDT) ride which meets each Saturday; this time they met at the Marin County Civic Center for a Petaluma ride which would accommodate all cyclists to choose different paces and appropriate distances and elevation gains. You can find all Western Wheeler rides posted here on their Meet-Up calendar. Most of the rides have a route sheet or gpx file posted on Ride With GPS, just look under keywords: Western Wheelers: This is convenient because you can download a sync a file into your Garmin and it will give you turn-by-turn directions and will let you know what the elevation profile looks like of your intended route (it’s good to be mentally prepared!).

WW LDT Petaluma 70 mile ride

Unfortunately I didn’t download WW’s pre-made route, as it turns out I didn’t need to because the ride leader decided to do something different, instead of riding up and back to Petaluma (avoiding hills because… well, that wouldn’t be much fun now would it!) our new route would go up Marshall Wall and ride on Shoreline Hwy, along Tomales Bay to Point Reyes Station and back.

WW_LDT_Petaluma elevation



Intro to Racing (Part 2)

Meet the Teams ride and Intro to Women’s Racing ended last Sunday. What a blast and inspiration to meet so many women who enjoy riding and having fun on the bike. This is a photo with Gina Kavesh, Team, as she explains the formation of a double pace line. Team Group Health assists in the demonstration at the Leschi parking lot across the street from Starbucks. Great time & a beautiful counter clockwise ride on the south end of Lake Washington & Mercer Island.

The double paceline formation

The double paceline formation


Introduction to Racing

Bicycling is experiencing a growth in the United States but probably not in the demographic which you’d expect! According to a recent article in The Economist the total numbers of annual bike trips, between 1977 and 2009, more than tripled and more cities want to be known as cycle-friendly communities (IE: Washington, DC, Boulder, CO, Portland, OR) but surprisingly all growth in cycling has come from men between the ages of 25 to 64. Doesn’t this seem surprising? Where are the ladies and children? And there’s even a smaller pool of women in racing. Have you ever wondered why there is no Tour de France for women? It may have something to do with lack of cultivation in the women’s field. I’ve been an active member of the Cascade Bike Club and enjoy the many Free Daily Rides (If you live in the Greater Seattle Area I would strongly recommend you try a ride, it’s a lot of fun and an easy way to make new friends and tour Seattle). Unfortunately there’s not a whole lot of options for women who seek more advance training for bike handling and speed training. I had to look else where.

Gina KaveshI was fortunate enough to find Gina Kavesh, a women’s cycling veteran who promotes women’s racing and held three day Intro to Racing rides this fall. I had the chance to attend two Sundays and learned how it feels to ride in a double pace line and cruise quickly as a pack. It felt exhilarating and a bit dangerous but after the second Sunday riding with these ladies I knew this was the direction for my growth as a cyclist.