Some strange things that happen to your body while riding.

There are many benefits to cycling. Cycling is good for your heart, your muscles, waistline, lifespan, mental health and even your immune system. However, some weird things can happen to your body while cycling.

Racer Cough: You cross the line of a crit or cyclocross race and walk around with a nagging cough for several minutes afterward. Blame bronchoconstriction: It’s similar to what happens in people with asthma, but it can happen to anyone.

Metallic Taste: You’re hammering up the final roller to the town line sprint and you taste blood in the back of your throat.

Runny Nose: Your nasal passages get irritated and mucus production ensues. Interestingly, some scientists believe that air pollution, particularly the nitrogen dioxide found in car exhaust, is a big trigger—which explains why you may find yourself dripping like a faucet when you bike outside, but not during spin class.

You need a bathroom… NOW: The sudden, urgent need to poop is more common in runners because of the inner jarring mechanics involved in running, but cyclists are not immune—especially on long rides where we’re throwing back a lot of sugary foods and there’s not a lot of blood flow through the gut to manage digestion.

Tingly fingers: Your hands play a pretty important role in controlling your bike. So it can be disconcerting when your hands start tingling—or worse, when they go numb.

Mad itching: Three minutes into a ride, your thighs start itching like crazy. In some cases it’s just dry skin or a natural response to warming up as your capillaries and arteries rapidly expand and stimulate nearby nerves.

Brain fog: You wrap up a hard metric century and can’t figure out where you parked the car… or what your car looks like… or whether you even drove there in the first place.

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