Getting Back into Long-Distance Riding
The Cycle of Life
On March 26, I arrived in NYC earlier than usual for a unicycle Saturday. The plan was to meet in the courtyard of the Union Theological Seminary at 11:30 or so. The associate producer and producer were there, along with a cameraman, sound man, and an assistant. It was about 35° outside, but for some reason, they'd chosen this spot for the interview. Planes flew overhead at odd intervals, and trucks rumbled by on occasion, so there were several times when I had to repeat an answer, sometimes more than once. The interview lasted about 45 minutes.
My brother forwarded me a link in some newspaper about a unicyclist who is suing the city over two summonses he'd recently received for unicycling.
I had arthro on my right knee nearly two months ago. The surgery went very well, and I literally walked out of the hospital that afternoon (albeit with my wife's help -- I was quite woozy). Within a few days, I was unicycling... gingerly at first, and then with more confidence.
In the realm of unicycling, I've had little to shout about lately. I still have a wonky knee -- tho this time it's the left one -- and I haven't been able to ride much lately. On our recent trip to Martha's Vineyard, I brought my Coker hoping, as in past years, that I could ride several miles a day, as I did last summer, but I only managed one painful trip to the local store before putting the big, rusty beast away. So I am thrilled to have some happy news to report on unicycling.
Since mid-October, my right knee has had pain, swelling, and discomfort, tho not always at the same time. Initially my doctor was very patient; there's little point in performing an MRI if the problem just goes away on its own. We played 'wait and see.' We 'saw' for a long time that while the symptoms had abated a good deal, I still had some pain and discomfort depending on my recent activity level, and I've been walking with a limp for too long to remember. Finally, my doc relented and prescribed an MRI last week. The results are in, and officially I have a 'complex medial meniscal tear' as well as a slight sprain of the ACL. The 'complex' part means only that the tearing is in two planes rather than somewhat flat. It doesn't really add to the problem in a negative way, as the name seems to imply.
I have a hurty knee. My left knee is a bit cranky, still, but on the whole it's probably as good as it's going to get. My right knee, however, has been mildly achy for weeks.
My tendinitises (tendinites?) are gone: my elbow is fine, my ankle is fine. Gone for good? I guess that depends on how hard I push myself, but I've been fine for a year, and my 80-mile ride in September didn't cause any problems whatsoever.
One of my unicycle brethren from the unicyclist.com forum notified me that there were a few Twitter tweets about my ride during the Century ride. One person apparently felt that unicycles shouldn't be allowed. I didn't see that post when I searched for it, but I did find a funny one from 'slothlove' who wrote: "Just ride 55 miles in the #nycentury. Felt pretty good about myself until I saw the guy on the unicycle."
I set out this past Sunday to ride my 2nd full Century. I made it 80% of the way.
I finally had a chance to go for a lengthy ride this afternoon. I forgot to bring a trip meter of any sort, but I estimated the the loop around Central Park (6.2 miles) took 26 minutes. This isn't a great time (averaging just under 15 mph), but it's not bad for my first lengthy ride in months.
Unforch, not much to reporch:
My left knee has been to a physical therapist ten times now. It seems to have plateaued. At first, it would clunk every so often as I walked up the stairs or otherwise bent it at the wrong angle. In addition, it was looking pretty swollen (my 4yo daughter called it my fat knee). Within a few visits to the P/T, the swelling was down and the clunking had disappeared.
We've updated the club's website (thanks, Mitch and Ken!). Check it out!!!