Urinary Incontinence; How Do I Ride Now?

by QAEngineer624   January 27, 2013  

Hi Everyone,

I recently had surgery that has left me with urinary incontinence. Hopefully, this will be a temporary issue.

Does anybody have any advice for me regarding management of this issue?

By the way, I do road cycling and typically wear lycra cycling shorts with a chamois.

Any advice would be helpful.

Kind Regards

12 user comments

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Really sorry to hear about your condition.

Really hope it is a temporary issue and that it doesn't last long.

My advice and I don't want to sound funny or anything because this is pretty serious, but avoid bumps.

Make sure you empty your bladder before riding, that way it should lead to less leakage, smaller rides where you take on less fluid might be advisable for a while until the issue is sorted.

Further than that, I have no clue, I don't want to suggest pads, but if you are one who does long rides or offroad, this might be your best bet, your local pharmacy would stock them.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
27th January 2013 - 8:30


Blimey that's awkward, I'm always nipping to the toilet a few times (and wondering whether that will be enough) before a ride to avoid being caught short. Is it worth either 1. taking a bike lock and riding a route near places where you can find a toilet at short notice, or 2. taking your own toilet roll if in remote areas?

Gkams advice also seems sensible.

I hope it is indeed temporary. Good luck.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
27th January 2013 - 10:45


Thanks for the advice "notfastenough" and "Gkam84".

I have about two to three months before I can start riding outside [1) I had surgery and it will take a while to recover, and 2) I live in Canada so freezing or significant chilling is a concern!) Hopefully, I can improve my control by April or May. In the meantime, I'll be testing out various 'techniques' on the indoor trainer that my brother is lending me.

If anybody else has advice, I'm all ears.


posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
27th January 2013 - 18:45


Just a thought, yoga could help build the muscles back up in that area? In the name of control and all that.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
27th January 2013 - 21:47


Yup. I guess that I've already started that in a way by doing my Kegel exercises.

They took my mojo! I still have my soul, although it's a bit ragged. Damned if they'll take my cycling away, too. Maybe I'll have to visit a Lululemon store for my new kit.

posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
28th January 2013 - 12:44


It's good to see you've not lost your sense of humour (or is it humor)?

You don't mention whether it's bladder or bowel related but I have issues related to ongoing investigations for prostatitis - I actually find the motion of cycling helps!

Let's hope you never have a 'Lemond's Bad Peach' experience, though...


Hope you get well soon

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [418 posts]
28th January 2013 - 13:48



In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
28th January 2013 - 14:09


Hi Andy,

Thanks for the heads-up re Lemond. These lips shall never touch a peach again! I've got enough problems.

I should have mentioned that it is urinary incontinence. I couldn't imagine riding if it was faecal.

Yes, it is humour; I'm from Canada, eh.


posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
28th January 2013 - 15:39


Sorry, I amended the title of the thread and clarified the details in my initial comments.

-QAEngineer624 aka Chris

posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
31st January 2013 - 0:57


As someone else said, ewww. Sounds pretty unpleasant, so you have my sympathy. Hopefully everything will be functioning again by the time you get back out on the road. On the off-chance that you are still having problems though:

I started a long race a few years back, and kept catching a flash of light of the leg of one of the guys in the bunch. At first I thought it was just bouncing off his deep tan, and then I realised that there was something attached to his leg. It was a very small diameter clear plastic tube, taped on at strategic intervals, leading all the way down to end just below the sole of his shoe, and all the way up to disappear up the leg of his knicks. When I say small diameter I mean it can't have been more than 2mm, and I did think at the time (once I figured out what it was for) "wow, that guy must have great control to avoid having the pressure just blow whatever attachment system he has up the top straight off."

I guess though if it was there for leakage rather than for actual deliberate urination (which it could have been, I didn't stop to ask) the flow is probably going to be much slower so the pressure would be much less. I should say that I quickly moved myself ahead of this guy, just in case, and then there was a split in the bunch and I never saw him again.

So that might be a solution for you. I must say though that you should make sure you have thick enough skin to not be offended if your riding mates send you to the back of the bunch at times, because it would probably still exit that tube at reasonable pressure. I can't imagine having a narrow stream of high pressure urine bouncing off the road right in front of you making for a particularly pleasant riding experience!

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

Tour Le Tour's picture

posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
31st January 2013 - 18:18


Many thanks, Tour Le Tour.

Great idea. Now I'll have a legitimate excuse to wheelsuck and/or ride without friends.

Honestly, thanks. I will look into it - it may be one of many techniques that I'll have to use.


posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
31st January 2013 - 19:10



Well, it's summer and I've had the opportunity to ride outside. With the aid of some 'protection', I am able to ride without much interference from my 'condition'.

My 'condition' has significantly improved but I still need a pad whether on or off the bike.

I'm writing to provide some encouragement to others who have the same issue as I have.

Now, if I can only find more time to get on the bike!

posted by QAEngineer624 [8 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:28