it's that time of year when there are daily soundbites from the so-called cream of the world's cycling commentators, paying tribute to riders' hurt lockers, suitcases of pain, facial grimaces and no end of alternative similes. very few of those refer to the injuries and strains that the professional cyclist has to bear in the course of a professional career. though daily massages, hot showers and frequent recovery rides are all designed to mitigate such eventualities, it only takes a moment's inattention by someone to bring down a sizeable portion of a speeding peloton.
while physical injuries such as road rash, broken bones and the like deserve appropriate medical attention, the uci's banned substance list makes navigating the bathroom cabinet all the harder for an injured rider. it may not be something as serious as those injuries mentioned above, but perhaps joint pain from what an office worker would refer to as repetitive strain injury, or maybe just over-reaching themselves once too often in an attempt not to lose the wheel in front.
though a term of rest and recuperation can often be the best medicine, not everyone has such luxury. you can't really see sir dave allowing a team sky domestique a few days off during a grand tour with the words "no problem. just join in when you know the words.". professional cycling isn't like that, and nor is it the place where they can pop into the pharmacy for some magic cream. the latter has a tendency to help fail a test just when it looked like next year's contract was safe and sound.
flexiseq sport is an ointment that can be applied to the body's joints in order to relieve pain, lubricate and protect. the suffix sport identifies it as a form of medication that, according to the packet contians no ingredients that appear of wada's banned substance list (world anti doping agency). therefore, the professional or even domestic rider experiencing joint pain that harbours a restriction in their cycling ability, can cheerfully purchase a 100g tube of flexiseq sport gel and apply directly.
the difficulty of reviewing such a product, even though i'm often prepared to suffer for my art, is similar to that of reviewing helmets. i can tell you about the weight, strap, fit and comfort of the latter, but i'm still not keen to throw myself into an islay ditch at speed to learn of its specific protection properties. and neither would i be willing to strain a knee or ankle joint just to see if this gel would make me better.
however, as luck would have it, i appear to have caused myself a minor level of discomfort on the knuckle of my right forefinger, probably due to attempting a similar ride cymbal pattern as that seen to great effect in the film whiplash. since that was my only physical niggle at the time of receiving my tube of flexiseq sport, it seemed only prudent to apply some of the gel to this admittedly less dramatic joint pain than that effected by twisting one's knee, for instance.
after less than a week of twice daily application, the pain is almost non-existent. i figure recovery time may have been alleviated somewhat had i not caused it further aggravation trying to lift my rather heavy taurus corinto from the back of the bike shed, unaware that the pedal had caught on a tyre. i can already hear the doubters professing that such discomfort would surely have simply disappeared on its own. however, in flexiseq's favour, i had borne this niggling pain for almost a month with no sign of it disappearing prior to applying the gel.
it makes little difference to me whether it contains anything that might upset wada or not, but there will be many who aren't in such a devil-may-care position. as far as i can see, flexiseq sport does exactly what it says on the tin (box), and that's good enough for me. for others adhering to a more rigorous medical regime, it may well be something of a godsend.
a 100g tube of flexiseq sport gel retails at £35. it can be purchased in the uk without prescription from superdrug, the co-op pharmacy and tretments direct.
monday 13 july 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................