Saturday, November 1, 2008

SCOOTIE-POOTIN: Siatic Nerve Trail Ride

Three months from today I plan to depart San Diego for Saint Augustine, FL on my new Terra Trike. I need to be developing the ability to ride 55 miles each day. October has been the perfect riding month but I have not been able to ride due at first to a strained back and now because that strain has resulted in an inflamed siatic nerve. Trying to lower to or arise from a recumbent seat only nine inches from the ground with this condition is difficult, to say nothing of cranking the pedals. But "Tempus" really does "Fuget"and those three months will go fast.

What to do? The easiest thing to do was take the vicodin, stay in bed and sleep. That is precisely what I cannot do if I wish to get better. Recovery from this injury is strictly a no pain-no gain situation. I stopped taking the vicodin days ago. I have increased the stretches, hot showers and massages. Today, I decided "enough is enough", I'm going to ride. I did. It worked out fine.

In addition to getting into physical shape to ride 55 miles a day. I'm still learning about the trike, the steering, the brakes, the mirrors and certainly the gearing. I've learned other things too. It was a beautiful, but cool day today. I layered just about right but did not wear a wind breaker. My bad! I also learned first hand something I knew but had not personally experienced. Drivers are dangerous. Riding maybe 10 to 12 mph in the right lane of a four lane, nearly vacant street a woman whipped her car right in front of me and hit the brakes and stopped. I looked quickly to see if I could whip around her as I reacted and turned. Then, as I was about to pass her she opened the door right in front of me forcing a second sharp turn, almost into the oncoming lane. Like I said, the street was nearly vacant, much like this person's head.

I was reminded of a fact that I know only too well. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a pain in the behind. I figured out a route through alleys and empty side streets to a "bike & hike" path about a mile from home. It is touted to be a part of the future "lake to river" bike path. Todd and I rode the southern end of this path, the Lil' Miami River Bike Path. Today I was disapointed to see, as I started to ride from a well developed, cement paved, trail head, that the new, futuristic-looking portelets were "closed for the season". Uh, what season. It's bike and hike, people! I was further disapointed by the crushed, make that partially crushed, limestone surface of the path. Terrible! But I was riding. I was riding ignorant of the fact that a half mile down the bike path there awaited a locked gate reinforced with a hugh pile of dirt. The sign there said "closed for the season". Ignorance is not bliss!

All part of the training. I'm sure I'll experience this kind of thing time and again as I follow the Adventure Cycling maps across the country. Today I did what I trust I'll do when that time comes. I worked out the problem and had an enjoyable ride for about an hour and a half, probably 15-20 miles. I say probably 15-20 miles because I still havent' figured out the bike computer/heart monitor. I'll work on that some more. I received many compliments on the trike. I stopped where I could grab on to something when I needed to get up from my low recumbent seat. And, I can now just "snap" in and out of the clipless pedals. I don't feel any the worse for wear for riding. As the "little red engine" said, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

When "enuff is enuff", just "grab a root and growl". Do something even if it is wrong. Life all doped up ain't no life at all. A lesson yet to be learned by too many in today's world.

God Bless!

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