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Ronin

2016 Bicycling - A New Hope

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raffi

Rick, sorry to hear about the crash. Seems like no matter how little you trust others on the road, they can still catch you by surprise. Heal quickly.

 

While this last month was my second highest mileage month ever, with my slow start at the beginning of the year, I'm not sure I will catch last years miles. It is within reach, but it means I can't be a slacker.

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Kit

 

Monday afternoon, while doing my normal, week day, 21ish mile, ride I had a wreck. A 10-12 year old turned right in front of me while I was passing through one of the larger parks in Springfield. I was told that I missed him although I don't know how.

 

I have to comment on this.  From your posts I suspect you are in my old stomping grounds many years ago.  In actuality, unless things have changed which is entirely possible, that may be the same park I biked through when I was a teenager.  There was one particular hill I adored to go down.  Sadly it meant I was going the wrong way and people always got mad of me, but build up speed before you hit the downward slope and it was so much fun.  I think I posted a picture of the area from my visit back last year.

 

My condolences on your fall however.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Rick, bummer, heal quickly! (and get PT if you need it, or even if you think you don't ... )

Raffi, thanks for the pics. Nice!

 

My off-griddedness continues. A bit under the weather, and knee deep in work have kept me mostly off-bike since getting back from vacation. August is going to look like January (or worse - I haven't checked), mileage wise. But it is what it is ....

 

Should be able to get out for a couple of rides over the long weekend, and my plan is to do one final metric next weekend (it's either the 10th or 11th, need to confirm). It's a ride I've only done one time before, but it covers largely familiar territory, and isn't too long of a drive to get to ...

 

I *may* be done commuting for the year - sun up's getting a bit late, and work schedule is pretty harsh right now. We'll see.

 

I've decided on a bit of a change to the commuter bike, once I really am done with commuting for the year. It's currenly got 32mm Gator Hardshells, front and rear. Bomb-proof, and the big tires are great for stability with the load I carry.  But they are dog slow for 'pleasure' riding, and I tend to go to this bike for late fall to early spring riding. So, I've ordered 28mm Conti GP4000s for the front, and a 28mm Gatorskin for the back - this is the same mix of tires (albeit in 23mm) on the road bike.  I expect an improvement is 'liveliness' setup ... will post an update once I swap over.

 

I've also had a bit of an epiphany on the last metric that I did - I'll post about that sometime soon, but I'm out of time right now.

 

Have a great (long) weekend

 

And stay safe!!!

 

--JT

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

JT: Congratulations on the century. Team Wells did one, and that was the first and last for us.

 

Rick: Sad to read about the FDGB and the  AC separation.  What degree of separation? I'm living with a first and Linda had a fourth that was repaired by surgery. Personally, I hate riding around kids - they don't pay attention and take too many risks.

 

Raffi: Awesome vacation rides and great pictures.

 

Now about me: I've just managed to be off the bike for three days without felling crippled. The arthritis is obviously still there but the rest of the injuries are now fully healed. I'm also learning my new limits because pushing too hard just makes the arthritis hurt more.  Most days now it's the 16 with an occasional 22. Enough to stay fit and manage the BG levels but not so much that the hips get inflamed. We're not riding with our tandem club simply because the rides are too long, intense and there really isn't a way to get my post-ride routine done while socializing with the members of the club. We do still socialize and everyone understands where we are at.

 

Enjoy labor day.

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rwallen

Hi all!

 

Thanks for the kind thoughts!  I finally had my visit with the Ortho Dr.  I am on the border line for surgery/no surgery. Based on my responses to questions it was recommended that I have surgery.  I don't HAVE to but the end result will ultimately be better with surgery, I hope.  The time off of the bike is about the same but it looks as though I may be done for the year, at least for riding outside.  I will be optimistic and when I'm able to, start riding the spin bike.  I am bummed in the fact that I was trying to beat some total miles from previous years and that I was trying to push my limits as far as miles ridden during a single day.  I had a new seat bag waiting on me when I got home on the day of the accident.  All I can do is look at it. :(  I will either have a friend ride my bike or take it into the LBS to make sure that it hasn't sustained some hidden damage.  One thing I have learned, I will be a lot more sympathetic to those who are off of the bike due to injuries.

 

I DO hope that you all can ride when the mood hits...and please...be careful out there!

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Ronin

Rick, et al.,

 

The decision to have surgery is probably right for you. I live with a first degree separation and there are a few limits that don't bother me which is why I declined the surgery. Most of my limitations are about dealing with really heavy lifting which I neither do, or want to do.

 

Having supported Linda through her post-surgical repair of a third degree separation I can tell you that, being an athlete, helps. Do what the therapists tell you to do and you will fully recover. You will be back on the bike faster than you anticipated.  Also, as miserable as it sounds, you can be riding on a stationary trainer right now and through the recovery so that you don't lose the fitness you developed. Yeah, it is boring but maintaining the fitness will help your mood.

 

Hopefully, the repair will not be life-changing but a brief interruption.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Rick - indeed, best wishes for a speedy recovery (regardless of the path you end up taking).

 

As for me, got in my last commute for the year last week; we've lost too much morning light (as confirmed by my drive in this morning).

 

Got in my last 'event' ride for the year as well - one final metric Century.  A nice ride, one I've only done one time before. The payoff? - A nice piece of peach pie at the end.  Weather was really nice, more sun than clouds, temp ending up in the low 70's. It felt like a good 2/3 of the ride was either into a head wind, or had a crossing headwind. Just a notch under 'character builder', but some of the turns going more into the wind resulted in a blue streak or two ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

We've been off the tandem for three days due to ultra busy schedules.  The 12th we managed to squeeze in a quick 16 mile ride amidst the busy schedule. Other than that everything is "normal."

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raffi

The mornings are darker and colder, but the afternoons are nicer. It's time to start thinking about winter gear and riding in the cold. Both sets of my studded tires will need replacing this year.

 

Now that I've finished with my big ride for the year, I'm finding the motivation to commute is back to the lower levels before we started planning our trip. I'm still managing to commute two  or three times a week, but it is easy to talk myself out of it if the weather is not perfect.

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rwallen

Ok, through a weird chain of events I didn't have surgery.  I went in early yesterday morning, had an IV put in, and was talking with the anesthesiologist when the surgeon came in and said that he thought that I wasn't a very good canidate for surgery.  I mean, I was all set to go!  The choice was still mine but he explained the pros and cons a lot better than the initial doctor had.  The doctor stepped out of the room and I discussed it with my wife and mom and decided not to have the surgery.  Cycling did not enter into my decision.  The surgeon explained, that for me, the end result would essentially be the same.  The only difference would be that I would have a slightly more pronounced "bump" on my shoulder than if I opted for surgery.  So, the only plus was a cosmetic one.  However, there were several cons.  Now put cycling into the picture.  I am already 3 weeks into recovery.  Surgery would have taken cycling out of the picture for probably 6 weeks.  I was willing to not be able to cycle for the sake of being put back "right" again but not if that's not going to happen or at least, the difference will only be a slight cosmetic one.  He also said that I could opt to have the surgery at anytime, whether it was in 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years.

 

So, in regard to cycling.  I got on my bike almost 2 weeks after the wreck and rode almost 13 miles.  It felt great to be on the bike.  It didn't hurt my shoulder, and it was a beautiful morning.  I got on the bike a second time Sunday and rode 16 miles with about the same result.  After my appt. yesterday, and being told that I could do anything I wanted with the exception of lifting too much with my left hand, I went for a "normal" daily ride.  The doctor had told me to let my pain guide how much I do.  So, I rode slightly over 21 miles and my shoulder ached a bit by the time I got back home.  I have discovered that the most comfortable position to ride in is on the aerobars.  Clipping in and taking off from a dead stop and trying to ride out of the saddle causes the most pain.

 

Anyway, I would say that I am pretty much back.  I will ease back into a regular regime.  I am going try to add a few extra miles in on Sunday.  While I am not going to be too concerned about my yearly total or number of missed riding days I am going to work towards pursuing getting back on track for riding longer daily distances.  With the daylight hours shrinking, and me trying to recover, that will be harder to do but that is the direction I am going to try to head towards.  On the plus side, I should be healed completely when it comes time to get out during the winter.

 

I do appreciate your comments made in regard to my crash. Thank you!

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raffi

Rick, good news! I'm glad you are back on the bike.

 

Our weather is starting to turn, and we are currently seeing below average temps. The commutes are going well enough, but soon I will have to worry about cold toes and ice.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Raffi: When the weather gets colder it is harder to get on the bike.

 

Rick: Sounds like you have a first-degree separation and you can live with that with minimal consequences. You will be back on the bike sooner. I was back on the bike pretty fast after my first degree separation. You will get some aches as your muscles adjust. Work on your range-of-motion and do some strength training for your shoulder muscles and you should be good-to-go.

 

We've finally finished the projects associated with getting the youth orchestras started for the fall/winter season. Now we can get back to more regular tandeming schedule. Of course the weather isn't as cold as where Raffi lives but it is going to get too cold for Linda (<40-F) then the single till it is too cold for me (<35-F) and then starts the indoor season.

 

I'd dealing with the arthritis.  The meloxicam helps but tends to wear off around 0300.  On the recommendation of a friend I took some Turmeric (0.5g) before bed and, as strange as it sounds, I didn't have the 0300 aches this morning.  Of course one day doesn't say anything conclusive but I'll continue this to see if it keeps working. And if turmeric works, I'll use that over meloxicam. 

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

RIck: that's great news!

Raffi: I hear ya ...

Ronin: let us know how the turmeric goes.

 

As for me - out for 21 miles last Sunday. As noted earlier (up thread) commuting's definitely done for the year. I need to update my mileage log, and re-set whatever my expectation is for the year - I'm quite sure I'm down compared to last year, but with all the scheduling conflicts (and PT with the sudden onset of the knee arthritis this spring), I'm not stressing..

 

In general, I'm kinda looking forward to the fall weather and scenery; I think I've got my cooler-weather kit dialed in so that I'm comfortable down to the upper 40's without having to go 'polar bear mode'. (And it's not so much dealing with colder-than-that, per se, it's the time it takes to pull on (then off!) a good three layers of clothes to go out and get in a 45 minute ride.)

 

Hang in there, and stay safe!

 

-JT

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raffi

You'd think in a college town that riding your bike through the drive through pharmacy wouldn't get a second glance. On the plus side, they did serve me and I didn't have to lock up my bike.

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Hammer

A quick question to those of you who know about bikes.  I just bought a recumbent style exercise bike to replace my old one.  This new bike's pedals have a smaller diameter thread on them than the old bike did.  I tried measuring it, but I'm not sure if it's ½ inch threads or 7/16 inch threads.  It seems that most pedals are 9/16 inch threads, so is there a pedal that anyone knows of that has the smaller threads on it....preferable with a strap?  I have been searching, but most of the pedals I see advertised don't tell you the thread size.

 

The reason I'm asking is because this new exercise bike that I got has a "thump" in the right pedal when I dial up the resistance, and it made me wonder why I only feel it in the right pedal.  I figured it must be a problem with the right pedal and not the bike, since if it was a problem with the sprocket that both pedals attach to, I would feel it in both pedals, not just the right one.  I figured I'd buy another set of pedals to see if thumping continued.  If it didn't, then the problem would be the pedal.  Any help would be appreciated.

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ORjt

Hi all

 

Hammer: welcome to the thread (or at least, I don't think I've seen you here before  :) ).  Yeah, the pedals on your excercise bike will be 1/2" (vs, as you noted, 9/16" for standard bikes). I've been down this road (pun intended!) before.  Depending on what exactly you're looking for, you might have luck at an exercise store. You can also try ebay or amazon, but there's generally not a lot of choice in 1/2", and I doubt you'd find anything at either a local bike shop, or even Wal-mart (or the like).  If you're just looking for a replacement pedal to debug the 'thump', you might contact the manufacturer ...

 

As for me, just a bit of riding here and there - we've turned 'wet' (not soaking, but a fairly constant drip) - and what dry time there's been, I've had conflicts.

 

Seriously thinking (auuggh. No!) about dusting off *my* recumbent exercise bike - I'm going to have to do something over the winter, as I don't want to lose muscle strength in my left leg for fear of setting off the arthritis in the knee ...

 

Anyhow, stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

We've been riding but not posting for a while. I'm still dealing with the permanent effects of the FDGB that happened one year ago today. Generally I've finished rides pretty achy, particularly in the left hip (that is the one that got damaged last year). Today we tested a flat circuit to see how my body would react.  The climbs have been creating all of the post ride aches so it looks like, for at least the near future, we're going to be riding the circuit and avoiding the climbs. I think if we can rebuild our strength then we can tackle the climbs again but until then, not being in pain at the end of a ride is worth the potential boredom of circuits. FWIW: Circuits are vastly superior to indoor training so it isn't all bad and the TdG season is coming soon.

 

I'm glad to see that everyone is still riding and doing fine.

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raffi

Ronin, I'm glad you can still get outside. I too have been riding and not posting, but the number of rides has dropped off quite a bit. We've had some pretty cold mornings (~30), but it is the rain that is keeping me off the bike. We need the water, so I'm both happy and sad about the weather.

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rwallen

Hi all!

 

Me three!!  As in riding but not posting.  I have dropped in a few times but haven't posted anything.

 

I have been getting out.  I am starting to get back to my "normal" daily riding but not pushing it yet on the distance and intensity like I was before the crash.  I would still like to have a stellar year mileage-wise but I know that's not gonna happen.  So, I am not so hard on myself when I take a day off.  I have not taken any pain pills for a week now although I do take a couple of Aleves each morning.  Every once in a while I do something that causes quite a bit of discomfort in my shoulder but for the most part it's just a dull ache.  As I mentioned before, riding doesn't seem to affect it much.  Sunday I got in a little over 58 miles with some friends.  That's the longest distance I have done since the crash.  It was a pretty weekend here and Sunday's ride was great.  I am taking off Thursday and plan to ride to Cooky's.  I'll just ride to Golden City and have my wife pick me up.  That will be a 70 mile ride but it will involve a few hills, something that I haven't done a lot of since the crash.

 

Attached is a picture of the "new" bike with the seat bag fully stuffed!

 

Have fun and stay safe!

 

post-35267-0-14565000-1477334815_thumb.jpg

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ORjt

Hi y'all,

 

Rick - nice photo, thanks for sharing!

 

Ronin - it's good news that you're finding something that's working for you. 

 

Me - neither riding *or* posting. It's been a miserably wet October. I think I've been on the bike twice - will likely be my lowest mileage month since I've been keeping records (ie, got a Garmin). I think we're at either 2 or 3 for the month (for rain total in October), and I *hope* we don't hit #1 -- that winter (either 94/95 or 95/96) it was so wet, the Willamette river came --> <-- this close to flooding over the sea wall in downtown Portland. I *think* we've only had 2 fully dry days this month....

 

Ok, enough grousing. I did get out for a nice 21 mile ride on the 'cross bike last weekend, so that was good.  May be able to find a dry(enough) stretch this Saturday...

 

And otherwise, contemplating N+1, thinking about having a frame built for me (it would be steel, and most likely English), but at this point, it's more day-dream than anything else.

 

Hang in there, stay safe, all that ...

 

--JT

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rwallen

Hi all,

 

Just a brief update.  My riding partner couldn't do Golden City yesterday.  She had no one to pick her up and I couldn't make that offer to her with the vehicles and rack set ups that we have.  So, we opted for a loop which included a couple of nearby towns, a lake, and several decent climbs.  All in all, I ended up with a little over 78 miles, more than what I had planned on riding to GC.  Yes, my shoulder was definitely hurting when I got home but it was good to see how it'd do.  On a side note, I took the CX turned touring bike (Betty) out the day before for a brief 11 mile ride.  My shoulder did not fair well with that bike.  :(  It just tells me that I need to get out on IT more.

Anyway, a person couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to ride yesterday.  The weather was perfect!  The scenery out on the farm roads and around the lake was just beautiful.

 

Hopefully, you all have the opportunity to get out and enjoy some fall foliage.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Warning: long post follows  :)

 

Got out for 21 miles last Saturday - we had a nice break in the weather. Rainfall for Oct wasn't quite a record, but it was over 8 inches. Normal's under 3. So yeah, it's been wet. Only 42 miles for the month (but at least it's not my worst ever, so there's that.)

 

Next: Happy anniversary to me!  Seven years ago today, I walked into one of the local bikes shops, did a couple of test rides, and walked out with a new (entry level) road bike. Literally the first time I'd been on a bike in at least 25 years. (I'd started "riding" an exercise bike - a recumbent - in June of that year).  Two years later it was replaced with a much nicer bike, and then another 2 years later, added a new bike for commuting. The original didn't suit commuting too well - and it's since been sold to a friend who's making good use of it ...

 

As Rick says above - hope y'all are getting out and enjoying the fall. Ours has been pretty. I really do like riding this time of year (other than the abominable rain we've had so far)

 

A while back, I mentioned having something of an epiphany - this seems like a good time to relate that ...

 

Once I'd really gotten back in to riding, and was able to start doing rides that were a bit longer (20 miles! Yay! Woohoo!), I had a bit more time to think (I'm sure we all do that -- one nice thing about longer rides is that 'alone time' - to just muse over stuff), one of my goals became to get back in to good enough shape to be able to do pretty much any ride at any time. I didn't want to think about "training".  This might have been my only actual "goal" - I'm not really a goal-setting person - they are too binary for me. And it wasn't a particularly well formed, "formal" sort of thing - just a thought in the back of my head. I knew I'd never be in the same shape I was in at 17 - since I wasn't 17 anymore - far from it ... 

 

That was 2010.  Fast forward to this summer.  I'd done the full century without much issue, and a couple weeks after that, was out doing a metric.  This ride (the metric), I'd done 4 or 5 times, but it's pretty far from home, so I don't really know the roads that well.  There are also various route options from 50-100 miles, two or three being around the magic 100km mark. Further, the routes had been realigned a couple of times to account for various road and bridge (re) constructions. I wasn't lost, at all - but I had a particular route profile in mind.  Got to a certain point, and the road comes to an intersection with a very sharp right hand turn, followed by a descent. I knew at that point that I'd hit the last of the climbs, and it was literally all downhill (or flat/rolling) from that point onward.  Turns out I'd signed up for the shorter, near metric ride, but had the next longer route profile in mind. (Which was ok - it was hot that day,  I finished early, before the heat really set in, and got home a bit earlier than I would have, otherwise).

 

My first thought was "No! I'm not done climbing. I want more hills!" (really - I swear - that's the inner voice that I heard).  My second thought - and here's the epiphany - was that I'd made my goal.  I can do, at this point, pretty much any ride that I want to, without having to think about training - had I done enough miles - was I ready for whatever climbing there was in store. I can just go out and do it.

 

Now - I'm not stupid. I'm by no means really in the shape I'd like to be in. Need to lose more weight, and there are certainly hills that I do not want to attempt to climb. (At 17, I probably would not have said that ... ). But it feels pretty good. Love being on the bike.

 

Get out and ride when you can -- and stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Team Wells checking in.

 

Raffi: I know what the weather can, and will, do to the schedule of riding outdoors. I guess you get winter before we do here in NJ.

 

Rick: The loaded bike looks interesting. 

 

JT: It always fells good to accomplish a goal.

 

Now the Team Wells update: I had a one-year later set of hip X-Rays done and it confirms what I suspected - the left hip has degenerated since last year. Nov is a "medical month" so we're seeing all the medical folks and that cuts into riding opportunities.  I'll be seeing my primary care and rheumatologist next week and the orthopedist just before Thanksgiving add in a dental visit and that is our month. What is weird for me is that road riding (the Arthritic Flat 13) makes me feel better than indoors on the rollers and much better than a day when I don't/can't ride. I have gone back to using the cane when I walk simply because if I don't use it I have to compensate and all of the pelvic muscles protest being used in the wrong way. I think I'm gong to have to start using the resistance trainer indoors some of the time just to work the muscles more than the rollers do.

 

I guess I'll be getting another hip someday in the not too distant future.  Not exactly what I want to do with my time but right now every morning is somewhere between Dante's fourth and fifth circles - it isn't fun. 

 

Stay safe and ride when you can.

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raffi

Ronin, sorry to hear the pain is getting worse. It is a good reminder that I should be doing more of the exercises that the physical therapist game me. I've got various pains that are not YET too bad, it would be preferable to keep them that way.

 

After a (record breaking) very wet October, November is shaping up as a better riding month. It has been dry and warm. It was almost 50 this morning when I did the commute. It's supposed to be in the 60s when I head home (or rather, to vote, then home). Looks like next week is shaping up to be a more "normal" November weather week.

 

It looks like this year's mileage will be lower than I would like, but I should be above 4000 miles in a week or so. I'd like to beat last year's miles (after all, hitting a deer took a promising year and cut it off at the knees) and it looks like it is in reach. Time (and weather) will tell.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Just a quick check in,

 

Ronin - sorry about the increase in pain. As you noted - do use the cane if it helps; the 'compensation' thing can get really ugly. I'm virtually positive that that is what initiated the flare in arthritic knee pain for me (I'd had really bad tendonitis in my right foot - to the point of needing a walking cast, then ortho inserts. Pretty sure that's what triggered the left knee).

 

Got out for a short Sunday lunch ride last weekend - about 13 miles.

 

Weather (Raffi and I are not really that far apart, so this sounds like a broken record!) has gone from record setting torrential rain (Oct) to record highs (Nov).  I think we hit 70 (!) on Monday - and the last three days, I think, have all been record highs. Weird.

 

Saturday's supposed to still be nice (not raining, and mid-60s). Should be out of my work crunch, so I'm hopeful to get out for a longer ride. Need the stress relief ..

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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