Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back At It

I talked with the ortho surgeon Tuesday, got the OK to ride a little to test the knee. The weather has gotten too nice to sit around, so my wife told him I was a pain in the rear and thought I was moving well enough and had him call me. He said he knew I was a Belgian-style hardman, so go ahead and give it a go. So I did. Yesterday afternoon, I headed up the Munger trail for a short, easy spin. About 7 miles out with very little discomfort, mostly that false flat climbing, it was great. The ride back was a easy spin to keep it loose. Hardly any pain at all proves to me cycling is the best rehab for the knee. It was stiff and sore this morning, which is to be expected. I hope it keeps progressing this quickly, but if it doesn't, I've got an excuse for being slow. Ha Ha, I'll always be slow, but so what. At least I'm riding again.
On another health note, my blood sugar has stabilized to the best levels ever. No highs or lows in the last couple of weeks. I think my eating habits have slowly changed for the better, conscious portion control has become unconscious, as it seems I don't have to constantly think about what or how much I eat. Keeping the home and work refrigerators stocked with good stuff really makes for improved eating patterns. It's rubbing off on the rest of the family, too, which makes it easier for everyone involved. Now if I could get the regulars at the camp ground to cooperate, we would all be all be healthier....

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Road (to recovery)

Yesterday, I had my left knee scoped. It wasn't too bad of an experience, but not one I was looking forward to. I am so glad everything went according to Hoyle, and the actual problem was found. The meniscus was badly torn, and a lot of rough areas were discovered and cleaned up. The surgeon said I would need a new knee down the road, but should be good for now. I notice that the click and pop that it has been doing are not there, but it is wrapped up pretty tight so time will tell. They gave me a list of things to do to help heal and strengthen it until my follow-up June 3rd. No riding until then.

The pain, you ask. So far, very little. RICE ( rest, ice, compression, elevation) is to be the regimen though Sunday, then light walking and isometrics to get back in shape. It's going to be torture, staying off of the bike now that the weather has taken a turn for the better. Also, I installed the the new rear derailleur, seat post, and saddle on the MTB and want to try it out. Come on time, fly!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scope It Out

Tomorrow, I get the extreme pleasure of a knee arthroscope procedure. The joy of anesthetic, the cheerful hospital atmosphere, paper work, stitches, pain, crutches, and the hope of everything coming out ok. Actually, it shouldn't be too bad, I know all the people involve, surgeon, p.a., techs, anesthesia people, nurses ect, as that's my where my wife works. Still, I'm apprehensive because you just never know how things will go. But, I trust them all, so I'll should just relax. Hopefully, I'll look back and say"why didn't I do this along time ago?". It has been bothering me off and on since the late 90's. Why rush into things?

Ok, enough poor me.

A package for me arrived Monday with some stuff for my mtb, like a new, lighter seat post and a rear derailleur. The Deore LX I ordered is a high normal instead of low normal, so it works opposite of what was on it. But, it makes sense because now both shifters work the same way. I'll just have to get used to it. I got an FSA seat post, which has the nicest adjustment set up, a dual bolt instead of single. It weighs half of the stock one, and is more adjustable. I put my Specialized Rival seat on it, which is also quite a bit lighter than the stock saddle. I wish I could lose weight this quickly and easily.

Tonight , I'll load up the DVD changer with movies and bike racing videos, haul some food stuff down to the basement fridge, and bring my lap top down too. The family is headed to the camper for the holiday weekend, so I'll be home alone. Peace and quiet, just me and the cats. And maybe some pain. I can't wait.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

EFS Rant

That means "every forth Saturday". Why? Because I have to work every forth Saturday, which is a complete waste of time. Instead of doing something productive (money producing), I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I've cleaned my road bikes chain and pulleys, sprockets and what not, lubed the chain, and shined her up. Burned a couple of bike racing DVD's for friends, and took care of a few quick lube customers. Yee-haw.

I could be out riding, slow and smooth, no climbing, or hard effort but still riding. We'll see after the scope job on Thursday how my summer schedule will go. Which brings me to another point. I can't always ride from home. Any ride from my house involves climbing. Stress on the knees. I have to ride to flatter areas to get in a low stress, recovery paced ride. I guess it could be worse, no riding at all. I've taken to driving halfway to work, then riding the rest of the way. This lets me avoid the Col De Glenwood and the Koppenberg(Arrowhead Road) climbs. At least I'm cutting half of the gas consumption and emissions.

Lastly, who are the bike fashion police. Are there rules on what to wear when commuting? After seeing pictures of yesterdays ride to work gathering at Minnesota Power Plaza, I'm not so sure. All types of bikes and kit showed up. With commuting becoming so popular, maybe a committee should be formed to establish some sort of ground rules for what is appropriate attire for the morning ride. Can I wear my MTB shoes if I ride my road bike, or must I wear the road shoes? Baggy MTB shorts have always been taboo on the road, but spandex shorts are ok on the trail. Seems like a cycling double standard to me that must be addressed. Sounds like a puzzler for the Bike Snob New York to weigh in on....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ride To Work Week

Tomorrow, May 15th, is national ride to work day, part of national bike week. Hope to see you all out there!!

Monday, May 12, 2008


I didn't ride at all this weekend, mainly to see if my bum knee would do a miraculous rehab over a 3 day rest. It didn't work. So much for possibly putting off surgery for a while. I'm actually looking forward to the scope job to see once and for all what's wrong in there. The surgeon thinks he will probably just have to clean out some crud build up from normal wear and tear. I'm never that lucky, but he's a pro and I'm not, so I'll go with his diagnosis.

This weekend was spent at our camper doing clean-up and minor maintenance, since last season we got the big projects out of the way. That is a good thing, since the weather hasn't cooperated, what with the rain and wind. A great find was that my favorite training road leading west out of the camp ground has been repaved, giving me a smooth, wide, low traffic loop of about 28 miles. Also, my new cell phone works at the campground, while the other Sprint customer's phones don't. That doesn't make sense to me, but I'll take it.

Of course, finding this great ride may not do me much good for mow, as I'm looking for a second job for nights and weekends. The economic situation has cut down our spare income cushion, so some projects we had planned are on hold. A extra job is in the works to help make those projects possible. I hate to do it, but important things, like a garage, take sacrifice and hard work to accomplice. It's not going to build itself, as they say.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Big Crash

No, not the epic, over the bars, yard sale, road-rash, have to shop for replacement parts and new kit ala bIG MIKE in oz, but a nasty blood sugar crash. Things have been good lately, my numbers have been pretty stable, no really high or low readings. I've attributed this to tracking my food intake more closely, using the FitDay on-line food and exercise log to see what I've been stuffing in the old pie hole. This has really worked well for me.

Until last night. I got in a good 2 hour ride down Park Point Tuesday night, but my sore knee didn't enjoy it too much. It got stiff and swelled up soon after I got home. So last light I did an hour spin on the flats. I even hauled my bike down to Superior Street so I didn't have to climb back up to my house. It was a nice afternoon, I felt good, but I still stopped after an hour of controlled spinning, no stress on the knee. That didn't do any good, it's still swelled and sore this morning. After a poor choice dinner (frozen pizza), I sat down to watch the Tour of Romandie, and it hit. Light headed, hot, dizzy, and confusion. Hypoglycemic blood sugar, or low blood sugar. I stagger up the stairs, drank a glass of milk and took some glucose tablets. After laying down for an hour, it was time to pick up my step daughter from her dad's place. I felt like I was driving drunk. The hang over effect is still lingering today, like I was drinking a lot of alcohol, which I wasn't. This is the worst episode for while, and I hope not to repeat it.

There's the rub. Putting foreign substances in your body to combat a disease is risky. A hypoglycemic coma is a possibility when combining insulin, Byetta, and metforman, though rare.
The big problem is the confusion in not realizing it's happening. There is no warning, no rhyme nor reason for when it hits. Things are going along smoothly, then BAM!, I'm out of commission. So far, I've only passed out only once, and that was the most horrible feeling I've ever experienced. I was alone at our old camper, redoing the flooring before we sold it. I had had a couple of beers, then went to bed about 10 pm. I remember getting up to use the bathroom, and bouncing off the hallway wall. Around 3 am, I woke up at the bottom of the outside stairs, under the stars in my underwear. I was a mess, having cut off the end of a finger, lost body function control, you get the picture. I could have died, or suffered permanent brain damage. You know, it really is sobering after writing it down. THIS COULD KILL ME!!

Funny thing is, it never happens during exercise. Ive ridden for several hour on a small intake of carbs hourly, and no problem. I think the exertion wakes up your hormonal system and all the functions start working as designed. After knee surgery, I'll have the glucose meter installed in my back to monitor glucose levels minute by minute. It'll be a pain, but will be interesting to see how my body reacts to different stimuli. In the mean time, I'll concentrate on weight loss in the hopes to cut down on the Lantus. I've got a lot of work to do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Second Thoughts

My boss brought his new Specialized Epic in today and parked it in my office. So, naturally, I took it for a spin. Very nice, but for $2700.00, it should be. Way more bike than he needs, but if he can afford it, so what ? The thing that really impressed me was the rear shock. It really does take the "bob" out of play when pedaling hard. I couldn't really get on it hard, because he runs Crank Brother's Smarty pedals, and I use Shimano. I hammered though the rough stuff on our side lot, and it soaked up the bumps well, the Brain shock does work as advertised. I like the fork lock, so I may upgrade my Rockhopper in the future. Also, SRAM X9 components and Avid Juicy SL5 brakes work very well, at least on my short test ride. I would like those, also. Might be smarter to just buy another bike. You know, diminishing returns.

Decisions, decisions.

I need a second job.

Proceeds go to the endless list of bike stuff I want.

Maybe after my knee surgery. I'll deserve it.

On another note, please visit and show some support for Fatty and Susan. She has been battling cancer for quite some time, and things have taken a turn for worse. Massive positive vibrations are needed now.