Yes, you read that correctly: two weeks and two days after my surgery, I rode a bike. For a short distance.
I would like to say this was amazing! and exciting! and great!, but that wouldn’t be true. I went back to work on Monday, and have been there full time until today, which we had off. I have not slept well this week. I’m a serious, serious insomniac, and as The Beloved gently points out: the meds don’t work until you take them. Sitting up until midnight each night doesn’t help. So last night I went to bed at eleven, totally exhausted, and woke up this “morning” at… wait for it… eleven. I slept like a rock for twelve hours. I guess I needed it.
I woke up with a serious headache, and zero desire to ride my bike. But the Giant Thermometer on the Fence read 40 degrees:
And I had the day off. So I rode my bike. The Raleigh is still Seat-less in Seattle, so to speak. My friend D., who works in The Industry, ordered me a new Selle Italia Turbo 1980 reissue in brown leather for The Shogun and The Beloved’s rear end, but they were out of Brooks until next week. So… it was The Panasonic, or nothing! I wasn’t thrilled with this choice, as frankly, days when I have headaches are not usually days when I crave drop bars.
First, I loaded up the new Carradice Barley with my purse, extra warm gloves (just in case), phone, lock, batteries and inhaler in a zip-lock baggie, and my keys. As you can see, I had room for much more had I needed it.
How does this camera take a blurry picture of a stationary bag when I’ve used the auto-focus feature and everything? Could it be more crappy? Don’t answer that. I’m sure it could. As my mother would have said: “You could live in rural China, where they don’t have cameras.” Except that probably isn’t true anymore. They probably all have significantly nicer cameras than I have.
Here’s the side pocket, with levers, spare tube and multitool. Chances I would have changed a flat tire on the road today? Zero.
I also lowered my seat a bit, to adjust to the new, taller stem. Then off I went. It was like cycling through sand. Within half a mile, I had to stop and rest, panting like a bulldog on a hot day. I took a photo of The Panasonic at the neighborhood playground, as an excuse to stop.
But soon I was riding again. The winds were blowing in one of those swirly, gusty storm patterns that’s just death when you’re on a bicycle. There were cross-winds, then head-winds, then cross-winds again… The roads at least were free of debris, which I thought very strange, especially after watching the tree-removal truck lumber off toward the street behind mine, when the steet-sweeper rolled by. Well, that explains it. I soldiered on, passed by the Driveway of Broken Glass, to the 7-11.
I’d gone 1.5 miles. I turned around, and headed back. Not having the headwind made the return much easier.
By the time I pulled off to the side of the road to take this picture, I was totally exhausted and fussy. Keeping in mind that my last ride before surgery was this same neighborhood but at least 10 miles of toodling around on back streets on The Raleigh, it’s obvious that surgery has taken a lot out of me. This ride should have been a piece of cake, but it wasn’t.
Upon arriving home, I felt like I had ridden 30 miles, instead of three. Ah well. There’s no other way to get back in the game, then to get back in the game. Tomorrow, I hope to get The Beloved to load up The Panasonic onto the bike rack, and take it off when I get home, so I can head down and ride on one of the local flat trails. I could probably get away with lifting it twice (I’m at the “nothing over 20lbs” point, and The Panasonic weighs in at about 23lbs, fully loaded), but I don’t think doing it four times would be wise. We’ll see…