Monday 06 January 1997
I was hoping to pick up some tips on interesting routes or places to get deals on cycle gear. But some of the busiest discussions were on medical matters.
"How to prevent haemorrhoidal discomfort?" was the first posting I came across. The anonymous American writer sounded desperate. "Please give me some suggestions on how to gain relief from this problem. I am in my twenties, single, male and had no prior problems until I started to race competitively. Thanks for the help; I wear some of the best cycling shorts available and I have a Vetta saddle. I mainly road-race." But he had yet to get a response.
"Does anyone have any experience with cycling while suffering from sciatica?" Tim wanted to know. This obviously touched a nerve (couldn't resist that one), as riders suffering with the condition wrote in from all over the world.
"I have a touch of it now and again but relate it to a fall from a bicycle a couple of years ago," replied a doctor from Ireland. "Most very localised sciaticas (in a particular part of the leg) are due to slipped disc," he continued. "Whether you should or should not cycle with this is impossible to say. The chances are statistically that it will settle down eventually. Exercise is recommended but if it's making it worse then maybe you should try a substitute for a while, like walking or swimming."
Ray from Australia agreed with the doctor's advice, but added his own. "I wonder if you have tried 'hanging'. (No, not by the neck ... although this would probably alleviate the symptoms!)" He suggested fixing brackets on to the wall, from which you suspend yourself, resting on your elbows. "OK ... so it sounds crazy. But I personally have 'fixed' my back when I have had similar symptoms to those described."
Henry from Glasgow had found yet another technique for dealing with his sciatica. It sounded difficult. "What I had to do was lie face down on the floor and raise my shoulders off the ground, keeping my pelvis in contact with the floor. I had to do this for 30 seconds about 12 times a day."
Where else but the newsgroups can you get such a variety of detailed advice for free? But after all that sciatica, I couldn't face the request from an American woman for advice on something she called "Pelvis Tilt".
To be fair, the cycle forums are not all about medical complaints.
In addition to the many equipment questions and cycle campaign news, there was also an alarming discussion on the growing threat cyclists face from muggers. One cycle route in Wales has become notorious for such incidents.
A British cyclist visiting South Africa reported that he had been robbed by four youths when he wheeled his bike across a pavement in Johannesburg. It brought home how vulnerable cyclists are when they are not actually pedalling.
But a South African writer was not sympathetic. "You are extremely lucky and, dare I say it, a bit foolhardy ... I wouldn't recommend anyone taking a cycling holiday in South Africa - unless in a very large group. Mugging is a certainty"n
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Paris Fashion Week: Skirting the issue for the stylish boys' brigade
'Stiff upper lip stoicism' keeps people with cancer symptoms away from GP
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'Cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Chargehand to join ...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...