Home > About Me, Peregrination > What is it with me and bicycles? Updated April 20, 2013

What is it with me and bicycles? Updated April 20, 2013

For the second time in my life, I’m anticipating a major event centered around bicycling. And for the second time in my life, something has happened to my body that throws a monkey wrench into my plans!

It was the summer of 76. I was all of 15 years old, and traveling across country headed for Cambridge, MA where I was to join a group of teens for a 5 week tour of Maine by bicycle, with a 5 day canoe down the Allagash River and 5 days sailing Penobscot Bay thrown in.

I had two other things to do on the way. First was to visit my Grandfather in Chicago – he died while I was there, but that’s another story – then a visit with my childhood friend David, whose family had moved to New Jersey a couple of years earlier. I had a wonderful time with the family, visited NYC for my first time, and all was going well. Until running barefoot in the grass outside their home, I stepped on a bee.

And WOW did my foot swell! There was no way I was going to be bicycling with that foot until the swelling went away. Which it eventually did, but I joined the trip 4 days late in Southwest Maine.

So here I am in sunny Southern California. My new Bike Friday shipped two day ago and will beat me to San Diego – I don’t plan to arrive until late Saturday. And If I had to try to ride a bike – any bike – right now, I couldn’t do it! Huh? What happened?

I think I can trace the problem back two days. On Wednesday morning, I took a full 2 mile hike, on a hilly trail. Both legs were burning a bit at the end, but only a bit and only at the end. I took it as a sign that I’d pushed myself just a bit beyond what my body would accept without complaint. Hey! No pain? No gain. Right? I ended up walking about another mile at a brisk pace two hours later in downtown LA, but it didn’t bother be. Then, walking from the Universal City Red Line station to KPFK I got hit by cramps in my shins. Bad on the right. I managed to limp to KPFA where water, massage and slow stretching seemed to help. I was OK for the rest of the day.

Yesterday saw a slight discomfort on awakening, but worked itself out packing the car to head for Joshua Tree. Soreness appeared with the 4+ hour drive, but worked itself out again on a flat, 1 mile walk around Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree.

This morning? Ouch! I’m free of pain with my knee bent, but straighten the leg and watch out! I can’t put my full weight on that leg. I’m limping as I can only put SOME weight on that leg if I point my toes! I obviously can’t pedal a bike right now, so I’m throwing out my previous plan to revisit Joshua Tree enroute to the Palm Springs tram before bedding down in Moreno Valley. Instead, I’m getting myself post haste to Kaiser. Not sure which one yet – I’m out of my home area, but I am covered!

At Ta for now!

Update 4/20:

Spent 3 hours yesterday at Kaiser in Riverside, CA. Came away with a cane, Tramadol for pain, and a diagnosis: Severe strain of R Calf. Tramadol 3-4 times daily as needed for pain. Warm compress 3-4 times daily. No hikes nor biking until I’m pain free without the pills.

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