August 21, 2005 at 10:20 am
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I reluctantly crawled out of bed this morning, not quite sure I was ready for mountain biking.
The devil on my shoulder is always loudest when I’m half asleep (I think the angel secretly likes to sleep in as much as I do, for she but whispers.)
After the usual battle for control, I was up, dressed and ready to ride in 20 minutes.
It took another 20 minutes to get our bikes ready to go — check the tire pressures, adjust the seats, mount the bikes in the truck bed, etc.
The reward for waking up early was a delightfully cool breeze for the early portion of our ride, and none of that oppressive heat we tackle on 6:45 PM or later rides.
Lots of fellow San Antonians out and about enjoying the weather, including probably 65% of the dog-owning community.
(Yes, I ran through Fido’s “present” on the side of the road. No, I’m not bitter… but ewwwww!)
Distance: 12.2 miles
Top Speed: ~18 mph (Speed limit is 20 mph ;))
There was some excitement (you knew this was coming, right?)
I finally took my first fall while riding, and yes, it was on my post-op (left) knee. Directly.
There was no major bloodletting, but I did give up a few drops of blood to the ‘trail gods’ — I hear they demand far more in tribute, but I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got to spare. I fell with my bike, which is what popular wisdom says is the “best” thing to do, as opposed to playing flying opossum and trying to leap clear of the bike as you fall. Unfortunately, falling with the bike means one of your legs is going to take a beating.
I got a bit of rash on my knee from coming down into gravel, and I’ll have a small but colorful bruise right next to my arthroscopy scars when I see my orthopedic surgeon (OS) this coming Wednesday. “Hey, doc! Oh, that? OW! Don’t press so hard, can’t you see it’s bruised!?”
Uh… yeah. That’s probably how my checkup will go.
I’ll admit I’ve been dreading this ever since we bought our bikes. I’ve had a silly little mantra that goes on in my head whenever I’m feeling unstable on the bike. For some new bikers, it’s probably, “Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall!”
For me, knowing my inherent klutziness, it’s “Fall on your right. Fall on your right. Fall on your right!”
As in, whatever you do, don’t fall on your post-op (left) knee and leg.
Well, trail gods are evil bastards, and sometimes you just fall wherever they push you!
Because I fell and blocked half of the trail, Justin also fell. So we have matching bruises on opposing legs — his right knee and leg, versus my left.
We’ll both be fine.
The terror lasts for only a brief moment, then you realize all your parts are where they are supposed to be, and in reasonably good working order. This is precisely why I bought a fancy $40 wrap-around gel ice pack during my physical therapy — I knew I’d be insulting my knee long after ! It’s about time I fell, anyway — everyone else I ride with, including Justin, has fallen… multiple times!
Maybe I’d seen it done so many times, I figured I was up to it, too!
I am still in training (as in wheels) when it comes to mountain biking, and learning to fall and get back up is a crucial part of the equation. Painful, but crucial.
Sadly, I have no photos from the ride, except for a photo of some , taken with Justin’s camera. My )!@*$!~ expensive new cameraphone decided to report, “Busy. Try Again,” everytime I attempted to take a photo. Even after a reboot and removal of its innards (battery and SIM card), it’s still got an attitude. I haven’t dropped it, so it’s either simply posessed or it hates being bounced around on rocky ! Thankfully, it’s still under warranty… I wish my knee had a warranty, come to think of it!
August 21, 2005
OS’s don’t like seeing bruises, scratches, contutions, scabs, or any other signs of activity on the operated leg. I’m trying to figure out how to buff the scratches out of my brace before my next appt.
I’m like you, I like the evening riding but the hot weather is forcing a re-thinking of that.
August 22, 2005
After I fell, I wondered if wearing the brace would have spared my knee the impact at all.
I quickly concluded that my off-the-shelf Breg brace would still have let my knee mash against the gravel and rock… and I’d probably have a few more bruises from the metal being forced against my leg in the fall.
The only thing that might have helped would be some geeky, uncool kneepads to absorb the direct impact my knee sustained.
As if I don’t look like enough of a geek as it is!
You may be gorilla on a bike, but I’m most certainly geek on a bike!
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