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Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stage Two

There are two stages with every injury: getting through it and getting over it. Stage Two is in sight for me now. Xrays this week revealed substantial healing, warranting my return to two wheels. A nice parallel that. My orthopedic surgeon here warns me, however, to ride flat pedals instead of clipless. For non-cyclists, "clipless" pedals allow a cleat on bottom of your riding shoe to lock into a spring-loaded slot, so your foot is positively bound to the pedal. The lightest and safest--as well as most efficient--system to ride, whether mountain- or road-biking. You release the cleat by twisting your heel out slightly. There's the rub. The leg-strength this move requires is still beyond my level my left leg has reached. Then there's the fact that one normally mounts from the left side of the bike, opposite the power train. Add to that my still-tentative feelings and you can imagine that I've not got a lot of miles on yet. So far about 60, as a matter of fact. And all on one of my mountain bikes, chiefly because the 2.25in tires are more stable and the riding position more relaxed than my road bike. Come to think of it, crises of every sort share those two stages. I can tell you I'm glad to be moving on to the next one...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Better days...

That's the ascent to the peak of Mt Ventoux you see behind me. Yep, that's me. The day before I fell in Gordes, just to the southeast, I reached the peak--1909 meters or 6472ft--with Harry Duval, who took this shot. I confess that, after the 2hr climb, I had just enough strength to hoist my bike in triumph. I rode easy on the 25km descent to Malaucene--which still took only 20 minutes!--treating it as a dangerous stage of the day's biking. Little did I know what awaited me the next afternoon, when my rear wheel slipped into a crack no bigger than my thumb and put me in the hospital with the fractured femur. The good news is, the bone is healing well, supporting about 60% of my weight now. Do accidents happen when you least expect them? Of course. Should we live every moment as if it were our last? We all do that anyway...