Bad back bikepacking!

We all love making plans and love it even more when they work out for the good. However sometimes things don’t go as planned and that’s a real bummer!

Last weekend saw me have a couple of spare days to go out bikepacking in some fine weather here in Snowdonia. I had a route in mind in which I’ve pedalled on many times before. I even had an idea of where I wanted to bivvy for the night.

A bridge too far…?

So a leisurely ride saw me ride on double tracks through the forestry in glorious sunshine. My sleeping bag and some spare clothes were in my front dray bag with the rest of the kit in the rear panniers. I’m really liking this set up as it suits me so much, its simple!

As the short miles ticked by the views became even better with the local mountains in fine form.


As the late afternoon went by I felt a little twinge in my lower back. At first I wasn’t worried by it, but it wasn’t getting any better. Within the space of an hour I was in agony! It was hurting when I pedalled up a slight incline and was uncomfortable when walking with the bike. Any lifting the bike at this stage was a big no no. I knew there were a few places where I’d need to lift the bike so I was soon turning to plan B. Thing is I didn’t have a plan B!

I wayed up my options as the evening sun dipped behind the nearby hills. It would have been too much of a gamble to keep going. I knew the pain was getting worse and the last thing I wanted to do was be foolish and carry on. So I had to make the decision to bail.

Waiting in pain for my lift home!

It turned out I was right in my decision-making as the next morning I was in agony! Even now I don’t know how I injured myself. There was only a couple of places where I had to lift my bike and there wasn’t much pushing either. So was it wear and tear on my behalf or have I awakened some hidden injury?

Either way, I’ll be resting for a while before my next outing….

*UPDATE* I finally managed to see my Doctor who has diagnosed it is the sciatica nerve that has been ‘playing up’. Anyone else managing to keep riding with this condition?

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6 Responses to Bad back bikepacking!

  1. Gomez August 9, 2021 at 8:42 am #

    I’ve had back issues that kept me off the bike when I was younger. Had two bulging discs that were surgically trimmed. Spent time in the care of a few different Chiropractors. Back nerve pain can be excruciating. It’s something that’s with me till this day like a constant companion. Wishing you a speedy recovery amigo!

    • summittoppler August 9, 2021 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks G, I appreciate the healing vibes.

  2. Smk August 14, 2021 at 8:48 am #

    I had sciatic issues in the past. Being on a bike and yoga helped me. Have you tried yoga?

    • summittoppler August 15, 2021 at 10:31 am #

      Thanks, I’ve heard yoga being mentioned quite a bit recently so might have to see if it works for me. I’m feeling much better after some meds but can’t rely on them.

  3. Erv Spanks August 26, 2021 at 10:09 am #

    I got sciatica in college throwing clay on a potters wheel for 4-5 years. A chiropractor set me straight with some adjustments, stretches, and told me to stop carrying a wallet in my back pocket.

    Get well my friend!

    • summittoppler August 29, 2021 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks bud. Feeling much better atm. Yeah I need a chiropractor to straighten me out a bit!

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