Close X

Shop All Models

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round
Community

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round
Community

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round

January 19 — 2024

Words // Aneela McKenna

What has bikes got to do with the perimenopause you ask? Well… EVERYTHING! 

If it wasn’t for bike ride chats, I would never have known about the perimenopause. 

I am 49 years old (nearly 50!) and I am perimenopausal. It’s a huge transition women experience as their hormone levels change, when our bodies make the natural shift towards the menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years. It typically begins in your 40s, even earlier for some women and can be accompanied by a range of often-debilitating symptoms.

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round
Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round

My symptoms started when I was 47. These include (in no particular order): lack of sleep, irritability, irregularity of periods, achy joints, fatigue, and increased body temperature.I didn’t feel altogether myself. My relationship with mountain biking changed. The love had gone. I was feeling less motivated to jump on my bike. My joints ached as I turned the pedals and I felt like I was pushing myself much harder on the climbs. My periods were out of control and getting caught out on long rides was not a pleasant experience. I knew something wasn’t right. 

It was only on the trail when I found out that my riding buddies were going through the same experiences as me and referred to it as the ‘perimenopause’. ‘Get yourself on HRT’ I was told, a treatment used to relieve symptoms of perimenopause that replaces the hormones you lose the closer you get to menopause.

Luckily for me, I got the support I needed from the local health centre. Starting HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) got my energy levels back and removed many of the symptoms. I don’t take for granted how fortunate I am to be in this situation, as many women struggle to get HRT prescribed. There is still a lack of awareness and stigma around this key stage of life. 

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round
Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round

It’s not been an easy process to find out what works best for me. Everyone reacts differently to HRT. I have tried different types of HRT and changed the doses, but I have found that making some lifestyle changes has helped me along the way.  

I lift heavy shit. If I build and maintain my muscles through the perimenopause I can keep riding well. Additionally, eating well, being kind to my body (I have changed body shape) and showing compassion for myself has been a big lesson for me. And I am much more in tune with how much heat my body generates through riding - it’s all about the layering that works!

Perimenopause is one hell of a ride but I’ll keep on talking with my trail buddies. Trail therapy is the best therapy. I can go for a ride with my mates, share my problems and come out of a ride with them sorted. It’s helped me to embrace this significant change in my life. So keep riding, keep talking - it’s the best medicine we can ever have.

Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round
Tales from the Trail: The Perimenopause Merry Go Round