I’m off for one last ride this afternoon. At least the last ride for a while. It is a quite balmy low 90’s day here with low humidity…mild for a Texas summer. Thanks are in order to my friends here in this forum because you have kept me challenged and interested in pushing ahead for the last year.
You may recall from one of my threads that I have had some shoulder pain. That is an understatement. Last November I was at Copper Canyon SP in N.Texas on my mountain bike when I managed to get the front wheel turned sideways and, Newton’s laws being what they are, I kept going forward, bike and all still clipped to my feet. I didn’t go off the 30’ drop but I did have a sharp pain in the shoulder when I stopped sliding. The pain got worse and worse. Cortisone injections did the trick for a few months, but then wore off. An MRI and X-rays revealed a torn ligament within the rotator cuff. There is also a good deal of loose material and rough bone (“Ah, you played baseball did you?” said the orthopedic surgeon.) in the shoulder. Years of baseball, and then 15 years of Little League with four boys didn’t help, but the bike flip did me in.
It is ironic that I had planned to leave tomorrow for a week on the Katy Trail and my wife was providing the SAG wagon. Last week we cancelled all reservations. So, instead of starting my ride across Missouri I’ll be having surgery on my shoulder. Bummer.
It’s been good year for me, and I am ahead of my goals, but this is a set back. Last year I rode probably 800 miles. Most of it was 5 to 10 mile treks around town, some rail trail riding, and a couple of very short tours to the state park. My goals for this year were three tours, and at least 2400 miles. As of yesterday, I had over 1400 miles for the year with only one short tour included in that total, for only 120 miles. About 900 miles have been on my Schwinn hybrid-touring bike, nearly all at average speed of less than 12 mph. Probably 200 miles have been on the mountain bike on dirt roads and trails.
Having joined Stapfam on the dark side, I now have about 300 miles on my three week old Fuji flat bar road bike, which has been a renewed riding experience. The road bike has added a whole new dimension. Average speed for a 30 mile in this hilly country are nearing 15 mph for me. It is a treat to pedal for miles at 20+ mph when I have some flat ground, and to hit the high teens going into the wind. I plan to go run the the Fuji for 40 or 50 miles before dark. But I can't get out of the saddle because it hurts too much.
Though I’ve only lost 5 pounds this year, my resting heart rate has dropped over 10 bpm, I sleep better than I have in years, and have muscle patterns in my legs I haven’t seen since I was in the service. I also have these funny “tan dots” on the back of my hands.
There are several goals I still hope to meet.. I was hoping to ride my first century this summer before the HHH in Wichita Falls. A lot of my riding has consisted of getting in a couple of 15 to 20+ rides during the week, particularly as the weather got warmer, and then doing 40 to 60 miles on Saturday morning, so I should be able to do the century all right. I was also planning the Katy trail, plus one unsupported tour across most of Texas. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on the bike before long.
I’m not sure how long I’ll be off but hopefully within a few weeks I’ll be back riding. Things like this, and how slow we heal, remind me that I’m not 18 anymore. Maybe I can ride the hybrid without putting weight on my arms if I used a set of those “ape hanger” handlebars with a wide seat.
I’ll catch up with you guys in a few days.