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Getting back on the bike after kidney cancer ‘all-clear’

Today was significant milestone for me ... it was the first time that I was able to get on a bike since being given the all-clear from kidney cancer. I had my left kidney removed in January. 

Although it was my mountain bike and not a road bike, it felt absolutely brilliant to back on 2 wheels. It was a very gentle pace over 7 miles, just to get a feel for how my body would cope. 

I have a few road bikes that I will be selling as I want to get something more comfortable. A Giant Defy is on the shopping list (potentially, depending on me being able to sell the others!). I am aiming to give myself a few months of just getting back out on the road before going back to club riding.

I would love to hear about other people's experiences about returning to cycling after cancer. I want to use cycling to help with my physical and mental health, but I need to be sensible and 'listen' to my body (and mind). Of course, every individual impacted by cancer has a journey that is there own, but it would be great to learn from the wisdom of the community here. 

I'm not aiming to go back to any form of competitive action ... I just want to cycle for the love of it and the physical/mental health benefits. My first goal is to be fit and confident enough to ride 40 or 50 miles so that I could join the leisure ride at a cycling club.

Many thanks,


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Nat Jas Moe | 1 year ago

My advise is to enjoy the ride. Great to hear that you have the all clear. I had to have some enforced non-cycling time after a full depth rupture of my achillies. Getting back on the bike was a major milestone for me as my mental health suffered off it and I gained weight as well. The obvious statement was I lost a load of fitness. Once back on the bike I just took it easy and enjoyed just getting out for short rides to begin with. Then built up my fitness, still not back to my best but getting there and that some 15 months after the rupture. 

So take it easy, go with the flow and enjoy the rides; nothing too hard but still pushing gently.

Welsh boy | 1 year ago

First and foremost, I hope that you stay safe and well and enjoy riding your bike again. I use an e-bike for health reasons (a heart condition, regular cardiac arrests means that I have a defibrillator fitted) and horrible meds which stop my heart rate increasing which makes anything more than a railway bridge hard work. I was getting fed up with very short flat rides so could see two options, either stop riding (not an option really) or go electric. The e-bike allowed me to continue getting out with my friends and do 50 lumpy miles which I missed tremendously. Get an e-bike, no hesitation in recommending them.

Steve K | 1 year ago

No advice, sorry - but I just wanted to say that this was a lovely post to read on a Monday morning.  May your recovery continue apace!

perce | 1 year ago

Best wishes with your recovery.

Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

A friend recovering from colon cancer found an ebike an enormous aid to getting back on the road: when she started back out she could only do a few miles and quickly got bored of pootling round her neighbourhood, she said the ebike was priceless for letting her get further afield knowing that she had the assistance to get home when needed. If you're buying a new bike and looking to get back into club riding you may not want to invest in a full-on ebike but a good conversion kit only costs a few hundred pounds and is very easy to fit and remove – literally drop in a new wheel and fix the battery to the water bottle cage and that's pretty much it – and you could probably make most of your money back by selling it once you no longer needed it if you wished.

Best of luck with your recovery and rehabilitation.

duncanap replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

I used an ebike as part of recovery from a much less serious falling off like an idiot event. The great thing about e-bikes is that you still have to put effort in. The better ones have torque sensors so the harder you pedal the more they boost you. It gave me confidence to go further and do more, and the fitness recovery was noticeable. There are studies out there showing how much they help people with compromised fitness to do more. Maybe you can rent one for a while? Tr it out and see if it suits.

HoldingOn | 1 year ago

Apologies - I don't have any useful advice to give you, I just wanted to say congratulations on your all clear.

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