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Why is it sooooo hard?

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Why is it sooooo hard?

Old 05-07-20, 07:16 PM
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Wanderer
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Why is it sooooo hard?

I have been off the bike for about a couple years, and it's finally getting nice around here.

Got my Sirrus out a few days ago, and went for a few rides with a friend..

After 3 rides, we are up to about 15 miles, gaining about 5 miles every day/

But, golleeee, it's harder than it used to be.............

We'll keep at it, to get back to our normal 30-40 miles per day.

And, darn, that Sirrus rides nice!
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Old 05-07-20, 07:53 PM
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right on man!
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Old 05-07-20, 08:30 PM
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Because getting old sucks.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:37 PM
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It's supposed to be hard. I tell my wife, "If it weren't hard, we wouldn't be doing it."
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Old 05-07-20, 08:45 PM
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After a couple years off, ramping up to 15 miles in three rides? I suppose if you're a runner that might be reasonable, but otherwise that's pretty aggressive.
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Old 05-07-20, 09:02 PM
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You can build up your fitness again, and it will get easier.
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Old 05-08-20, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Because getting old sucks.
But it sure beats "the alternative"!! I remember after passing a rider when he lost traction on a hill--when everyone got to the top of the climb, and had helmets off, he saw grey hair and asked how old I was--reply (then) was 50 y.o.-he said he hoped to still be riding at my age. That was 19 years ago, and still riding trails (admittedly not as "radical"--don't live around that area now, but wouldn't mind seeing that rider again, just to hear what he'd say now!

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Old 05-08-20, 07:57 AM
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I like my time In the Hurt Locker. Pain Is inevitable, lets me know I'm alive and doing fine

No Pain No Gain, Remember that one ?
It's true.
Interval training, cardio, strength, get after it asap because as time passes it gets harder to start,,,,~~~

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Old 05-08-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
But it sure beats "the alternative"!!
Yeah, there's that.
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Old 05-08-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
I like my time In the Hurt Locker. Pain Is inevitable, lets me know I'm alive and doing fine
Yeah ... but when my left knee feels like it is full of glass shards after a short hard push yesterday ... maybe I wouldn't mind feeling a little less "alive" and more "fine."

Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
No Pain No Gain, Remember that one ?
I find it a lot easier to overdo it (came back after almost a decade off the bike, at half again the weight, then had a few health issues .... ) and it takes a lot longer to recover. Now I try to overdo it in moderation .... otherwise whatever I gain through pain while riding is lost in the week i spend waiting for the pain to stop.

I know folks who never quit (check out Carbonfiberboy) and who are stronger at 70 than I was at 30 ... but it seems a lot of people who rode for a lot of years and then took time off and lost all their fitness ... need to work a lot more gradually to build up that deep base which used to support those peak efforts.

Just keep riding .... no matter what your goals are. If you can't get there by bike ... then it is material for some other forum.
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Old 05-08-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah ... but when my left knee feels like it is full of glass shards after a short hard push yesterday ... maybe I wouldn't mind feeling a little less "alive" and more "fine."

I find it a lot easier to overdo it (came back after almost a decade off the bike, at half again the weight, then had a few health issues .... ) and it takes a lot longer to recover. Now I try to overdo it in moderation .... otherwise whatever I gain through pain while riding is lost in the week i spend waiting for the pain to stop.

I know folks who never quit (check out Carbonfiberboy) and who are stronger at 70 than I was at 30 ... but it seems a lot of people who rode for a lot of years and then took time off and lost all their fitness ... need to work a lot more gradually to build up that deep base which used to support those peak efforts.

Just keep riding .... no matter what your goals are. If you can't get there by bike ... then it is material for some other forum.
Yeah, I did quit. I did career from ~22 on, and hadn't been on a bike since I was 18. All I did was work - I was self-employed, the usual 70 hour work week. Then one day when I was 50, I stumbled on the way to the mailbox. I thought, "I do not stumble." Not my self-image. The next day, my wife and I bought $100 steel 10-speeds. I did have a big advantage: my work was to be always on my feet, performing skilled manual labor, so I wasn't a couch potato. All the same, just going up a little hill on that bike had lung bits on my shoes. It was just a matter of doing a little more every week, like everyone else. I spent 2 years putting down that deep base. From that trip to the mailbox, I've never quit. Anyway, that's how I know what it takes to get going again. There are those first panting climbs and all those efforts to extend the point at which one becomes exhausted. I did get a set of resistance rollers pretty quickly, so I could have an hour's go on them every day after work. "After work" was a new policy my wife instituted, as was taking one day off a week. I was always a terrible employee but a good self-starter.

I've been "lucky" never to have had any serious physical problems, but I always kept myself somewhat fit, skiing, hiking, and backpacking. My wife provided an excellent diet. When I met her, she couldn't walk between 1st and 2nd Avenue in Seattle without stopping to catch her breath a couple times, for those locals who know what that means. In 2015, we rode RAMROD, 154 miles, 10,000' gain on our tandem, team age 136. Not many tandems to be seen on RAMROD. Yeah, it was hard. For the last 4 miles on Cayuse Pass, the last big climb, we rode for 15', stopped for 1 minute, repeated 4 times. The last 45 miles were easy, tandem time! We were 15 hours elapsed time. My wife says, "Never again!" We'll get out for 60, 2200', on the tandem this Sunday.
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Old 05-08-20, 11:43 AM
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Well, it's like they say . . . It is was easy, anyone could do it!
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Old 05-08-20, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yeah, I did quit. I did career from ~22 on, and hadn't been on a bike since I was 18.
...said the bionic man ....

I might not be able to imitate you but I admire you.
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Old 05-08-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah ... but when my left knee feels like it is full of glass shards after a short hard push yesterday ... maybe I wouldn't mind feeling a little less "alive" and more "fine."
My Bad I wrongly assumed you had a good healthy set of engines,,, maybe a proper bike fit would help,, are you doing a proper cadence or mashing ?? I don't know..
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Old 05-08-20, 06:14 PM
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I just started riding again after a 20 years, my knees put me out of commission and I couldn't do it anymore. But that's all behind me now and I got a 2nd chance so I took it. My first ride was 12 miles on a well groomed bike path and it kicked my butt, but I got it done. Since then I rode it 3 times and it's getting much easier and a lot more fun, Im glad I started riding again and looking for more challenges. I have no plans on riding on the roads as it's a mess with the drivers these days, most people are understanding but I'm not taking any chances and sticking to trails and bike paths. Also bikes have came a long way since my return and I'm researching every aspect of my reentry into this sport. I'm leaning towards a gravel/do everything well bike for all types of riding, just not sure if I want a flat bar or drops yet.

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Old 05-08-20, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
My Bad I wrongly assumed you had a good healthy set of engines,,, maybe a proper bike fit would help,, are you doing a proper cadence or mashing ?? I don't know..
Sorry if I seemed contentious ... I recognize the value of your approach ... I am sort of more in this school ("Just Enjoying The Ride" AKA "Moderation"(something to consider)) but the knee thing .... I strained it doing other things, then forgot about it and tried to push a little .... and it let me know (It has been an on-and-off issue for quite a few years, and if I don't keep my legs strong (support from the surrounding muscles) I can make ti angry.

Comically enough, it felt a little better this morning, but I was pretty sure i couldn't ride this evening ... but i did a half-hour meditation, did some work, and took the bike out anyway---and the crunchy, overcompressed feeling went away. I am not sure if it si good luck or a miracle or positive thought ... add who cares? I got a few slow miles in before sundown ....

So anyway ... I am actually quite jealous of people like yourself and Carbonfiber boy .... which is stupid, but I am honest .... We all have our own paths, and for me athletics was never in the cards ... but if I hadn't thrown away decades of fitness training in my early forties, I might be able to do the kind of riding you describe .... so it is sort of my childish "Sour grapes" attitude .... along with the comedic aspect that I just happened to tweak my knee a couple days ago, just in time to make some smart-mouthed remarks in this thread ....
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Old 05-08-20, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah ... but when my left knee feels like it is full of glass shards after a short hard push yesterday ... maybe I wouldn't mind feeling a little less "alive" and more "fine."
I'm sorry to hear of your knee problem. I had the impression you were a big mileage rider. Is there a chance it could be cleaned up with arthroscopic surgery?
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Old 05-08-20, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I'm sorry to hear of your knee problem. I had the impression you were a big mileage rider. Is there a chance it could be cleaned up with arthroscopic surgery?
I am unwilling to get surgery until it cannot be avoided. I know I have abused the knee (mostly through twisting, and then through pushing it when it hurt) but it is not replacement-ready just yet. It is more being sensible. I was young and stupid well into middle age, and now i have to pay the price.

Worse still, I have been a streak rider .... a few years with big tours and high mileage, then a few years with lung infections, mental stress form job loss, broken (and twice rebroken--did I mention I could be stupid?) collarbone .... the past two years (prior to 2020, which we all know has been a truly super year ) were pretty low mileage---coupled with less gym time---which has really set me back and made me vulnerable to my own stupidity.

This month has been okay, with frequent if short and slow rides .... but I twisted my knee again, then rode it a little hard (it was fun at the time) and it felt pretty bad the next morning. I don't think I did Serious harm-- I see it more as a warning, with my body getting sick and tired or being abused.

I did pretty well today, and even did a couple short but (for me) steep climbs (what most folks call "barely noticeable gradual inclines") and I was really careful to spin with utmost care and push hard with my right leg. I actually felt better after the ride than before .... my knee muscles hurt, but the joint isn't complaining much.

I appreciate the concern everyone has shown. And I sincerely hope that my life allows me to get back to the kind of riding I used to love.

I was talking with a friend Friday morning who was telling me about his new friend, who is way into cycling, doing 60-mile rides weekly .... and he suggested I connect with the guy. I am not sure if this was the universe mocking me, or the universe encouraging me to stay the course, build slowly, be Careful with my aging joints, and eventually get back to where I was.

I almost cred (well, that is a gross exaggeration) when my friend said "he rides like, 60 miles at a time---you used to do that, didn't you?"

Yes, son .... back in what we now call "The Good Old Days," a few years ago.

That's why I over-react to posts here sometimes ... What used to be a healthy urge to go a little farther and faster each week, and log a minimum of 300 miles each month, has devolved to making it through a few 15-mile rides a week. I am actually slower now than when I first got back on the bike after eight straight years of intense overeating and sedentary living. I am slower now than when I got out of heart surgery.

Bitter? Only when I am awake.

LOL .... never take me seriously ... i don't.

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Old 05-09-20, 07:11 AM
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For the OP's (Wanderer) question?...increasing distance by 5 miles per ride when the first ride was 5 miles means you doubled and then tripled the distance in the first 3 rides...that alone is a daunting way to begin your season but at the same time?...

Great Job!...You sure are Fast-Tracking Things! LOL!

For some of the others here?...I can not express strongly enough just how important "SET-UP" is and also?..."PROPER BIKE SELECTION" (re: best suited for both you and the terrain)

While we're all roughly in the same age bracket?...we still have differing body shapes and sizes and?..."ABILITIES & DISABILITIES"

We need to embrace these facts of life and play to our remaining strengths...for instance?...while I'd love to romance the idea of me eventually logging century after century with me tucking into the drops on an aggressive road bike?...the reality for me is that attempting such would be self-defeating at best and once again put an abrupt end to my bicycling.

As such?...I've accepted that casual touring on a flat-bar hybrid is about as aggressive as I'm ever going to get and my rides will be gauged by quality & logging saddle time rather than the quantity of miles and how fast I peddled them.

There's a lot of great into, books and vids on "Proper Bike Set-up" but I've concluded that these are just good starting places and set-up should be a program of continual comfort improvement with great attention paid to saddle height & position with no hesitation given to making continual small incremental adjustments because it is the refining of those saddle adjustments that will both increase the comfort and quality of your ride and?...preserve those knee joints.

Hope I helped somebody and L8R, Bill.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I am unwilling to get surgery until it cannot be avoided. I know I have abused the knee (mostly through twisting, and then through pushing it when it hurt) but it is not replacement-ready just yet. It is more being sensible. I was young and stupid well into middle age, and now i have to pay the price.
I was thinking of minor surgery hoping you didn't need replacement. My ex had a roller skating injury and her knee would just lock up. She had the clean/reshape thing done which took about 45 minutes and it was great after that. But you've probably had it all checked out and know what you're dealing with more than I do.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:15 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Sorry if I seemed contentious ... I recognize the value of your approach ... I am sort of more in this school ("Just Enjoying The Ride" AKA "Moderation"(something to consider)) but the knee thing .... I strained it doing other things, then forgot about it and tried to push a little .... and it let me know (It has been an on-and-off issue for quite a few years, and if I don't keep my legs strong (support from the surrounding muscles) I can make ti angry.

Comically enough, it felt a little better this morning, but I was pretty sure i couldn't ride this evening ... but i did a half-hour meditation, did some work, and took the bike out anyway---and the crunchy, overcompressed feeling went away. I am not sure if it si good luck or a miracle or positive thought ... add who cares? I got a few slow miles in before sundown ....

So anyway ... I am actually quite jealous of people like yourself and Carbonfiber boy .... which is stupid, but I am honest .... We all have our own paths, and for me athletics was never in the cards ... but if I hadn't thrown away decades of fitness training in my early forties, I might be able to do the kind of riding you describe .... so it is sort of my childish "Sour grapes" attitude .... along with the comedic aspect that I just happened to tweak my knee a couple days ago, just in time to make some smart-mouthed remarks in this thread ....
I've had a lot of things go wrong on my journey. No major injuries other than a ruptured Achilles tendon. The usual knee pain, plus chondromalacia, bursitis, PMR, arthritic facets, lumbar stenosis, a saddle sore that I've had for years, an undiagnosed pain on my left foot, probably a displaced bone. But it goes on. I research and fix, one by one - except for that saddle sore but I'm actively working on that one and it's getting better. I'm not complaining, I'm celebrating!

You could try:
Glucosamine sulfate (the sulfate only), 1000mg 2Xday, MSM 1000mg 1 in evening. Takes at least 6 weeks to make any difference. Ignore the nay-sayers, just do it.
These stretches every morning: IT Band pain (during ride)
Squats. Start with a chair behind you. Go down until you touch the chair, arms straight out in front of you, reps until you feel that's enough already. Work up to that slowly, slowly. When that's easy, remove the chair and work on going down until your hams bottom out against your calves, say twice a week for these exercises.
Hope this helps. Report back.

Edit: I forgot to include a meniscus tear from doing something stupid in the gym, and then the orthopod doing a meniscus snip and the 8 or so weeks of active recovery from that. I had to kind of hold up my doctor to get the MRI necessary for diagnosis. Funny how a diagnosis is often the hardest thing to come by. As suggested by big john, above, a scoping is something worth looking into.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:02 AM
  #22  
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I am really touched by the concern ... and really glad fro the advice.

I guess it is time for me to start taking better care of myself beside just more down time.

Stretching and exercise .... the first two things that went away when i got busy and the stretching I never started again, and the support exercises ... spotty at best, which means when I do pick up some dumbbells I hurt myself as often as help. But stretching .... for some reason i went form loving it to hasting it, and I need to man up and try those squats and some of the yoga I practiced for years and then also quit (man do i feel stupid ... )

To all you people still ot there riding and still working at it ... Thank you. I know i will never be forty again .... but I also don't need to think 70 will be a lot worse than 60. The mind is the most powerful muscle and I need to get a little more positive.

Sincere thanks.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I am really touched by the concern ... and really glad fro the advice.

I guess it is time for me to start taking better care of myself beside just more down time.

Stretching and exercise .... the first two things that went away when i got busy and the stretching I never started again, and the support exercises ... spotty at best, which means when I do pick up some dumbbells I hurt myself as often as help. But stretching .... for some reason i went form loving it to hasting it, and I need to man up and try those squats and some of the yoga I practiced for years and then also quit (man do i feel stupid ... )

To all you people still ot there riding and still working at it ... Thank you. I know i will never be forty again .... but I also don't need to think 70 will be a lot worse than 60. The mind is the most powerful muscle and I need to get a little more positive.

Sincere thanks.
Uh, sorry. It will be a lot worse. I had a drop at 63 and another at 70 - nothing I did different, just a noticeable drop. I'll never again be able to touch the stuff I did at 60. Those drop-offs might put an end to athletic attempts to pretend we are younger if we aren't already fit and ready for them. I've also constantly had to change my training in response to the slow drip drip drip of loss of ability. This corona thing forced some additional changes which I thought at first were unwelcome, but maybe the workarounds are even better. Change is good, right? "How it differs from the rocks" as the song goes. We all need to get after it while we have it.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:37 AM
  #24  
Maelochs
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Not to be overly melodramatic … but sometimes people go through phases of life where they keep thinking, “I need to turn things around … I need to reboot, to kickstart my life … I need to tsart getting going again.”

I had a job from which I figured I would never retire …. I would just slowly pare down my hours and be pickier about assignments and do stuff I loved for a small paycheck forever (as opposed to paying to do it.)

That all went sideways … “Hello, I am Life … oh, did you Not want me to kick you in the groin? Sorry, I am not real good at that …”

I then found a job organizing cycling tours around the world …. while still possibly doing the old job part-time. I thought I had actually improved what I had previously thought would be the perfect future.

Yeah, did I mention Life?

Then right after I learned that the company had folded, I broke my collarbone repeatedly.

I got rehired, started riding again, joined a local club, I was doing okay … then my job went away for good.

I don’t think I ever completely came back from that. I lost motivation, I lowered my expectations, and I sort of settled for a slow downward spiral.

I seriously only did like six rides in January, and six more in February.

Just a couple months ago I got a new job, for even less pay, but a challenging job which is forcing me to learn nrw things and work with difficult but very talented people. I also tried to start riding more and exercising more, which brought mixed results …. But in general, things were maybe starting to rebound.

When I started thinking about this thread, and about my attitude as I saw it revealed in this thread … I realize that it is about time I grabbed a hold of myself and lifted.

I couldn’t a couple months ago, I was still falling … but I think I hit bottom, and now is the time …

It is not that these few posts “turned my life around …” but they were what I needed to read and write to give me a fresh perspective.

So … I am actually looking forward to 13 or 15 miles this evening …. I might even hit 15 mph! And I will be really careful with my knee, while still trying to do some work ….

LOL … and then @Carbonfiberboy comes along and says it will get worse.

That’s okay …. I have been ready for “a lot worse.” I am thinking now that I might at least slow the “slow drip drip drip of loss of ability.” I might not every be forty again … but maybe 55?

Last edited by BillyD; 05-15-20 at 10:36 AM. Reason: No covid19 talk please
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Old 05-09-20, 04:49 PM
  #25  
Wanderer
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Up until a few years ago, I did 40-42 miles at least six days a week, and felt pretty good doing them. By the way, I am 74 years old, 6', 190#, and going down.

Then, one winter day, while shovelling snow, I wanted to lay down on the driveway and take a nap - no kidding.

Went in the house an called the Doc - he said come here right now - so in to the car we went. 10 minutes later, I was in his office, and then shuttled into the Cardiac Specialists office, to the Emergency room, to the Cardiac interventionist to insert 4 stents into the left side of my heart............. so that slowed me down! Then a torn and surgically repaired rotator cuff - it was just piling on!

Then when I was getting back on the bike, I developed a pinched nerve in my neck that has caused me all kinds of grief, and a lot of Pain Specialist intervention. Lots of meds, lots of spinal injections, and lots of physical therapy and exercise.

And, I have a number of other medical and disability issues.... But that's a non issue. LOL

Present day, feeling "pretty good" so why not get back on the bike,

It was a nice day, and five miles didn't seem very long - so off I went.

The next day, pushed it to five miles out, and five miles back - other than a tired and sore neck ---- not baddddd!

The third day, decided to go to the other side of that 5 mile town, which stretched it to fifteen miles, with no wind....... hey, I might be able to do this!

After a couple rainy cold days at home, the next one dawned warmish, but windy - so my buddy and I did a six and a half mile neighborhood ride, kinda late in the afternoon, after we both got done mowing yards, doing some yard/garden work, and went and planted the tomato's..

Today was pretty cold, and windy, so opted to not ride - and tomorrow looks like rain all day; which the tomato's will like. Soooo, it just might be grocery day.

But, I'm pretty sure the next one will be twenty miles - and more to follow, trying to get back to thirty by the time the days are warm.

Then, FORTY by the first of June, maybe Memorial Day, to represent my brothers............

Wish me luck, as, it hopefully, gets easier! No doubt, it will!

Last edited by Wanderer; 05-09-20 at 04:56 PM. Reason: forgot
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