Saturday, August 7, 2010

20 Miles

I have no idea what the recommended protocol is for the week after a ride like RAGBRAI, but after taking 2 days off of riding this week to take care of my husband (who had gum surgery Tuesday - I'll spare you the details so you'll be able to eat today) my back was a mess. The more I rested and iced the worse it got. By the time I woke up Thursday morning I was in yelping pain (though not dry heaving pain as it has been sometimes) and finally succumbed to the siren song of my morphine-derivative painkiller Darvocet.

My bike came in on Thursday and I hobbled in to Bike N Hike to get it put together. About 4 hours later, it was done, but I felt terrible so we just decided to wait until Friday morning to get it. Friday I was starting to show some improvements so when I picked it up I took it for a little spin ride. Easy pace, no real hills, about 45 minutes. On the bike, my back was pain-free thanks in no small part to my new stem extender. When I got home I needed some ice to be able to stand up straight, but it seemed like no real harm done by being on the bike.

Today, when I got out of bed my back felt pretty darn good. I decided to give a 20-mile ride a try and just see how my back handled it. I started by going over Tabor nice and slow. Riding up on the shallower side I hear a man's voice cry out, "RAGBRAI!" "RAGBRAI!" I respond. We got to talking and he's done the ride 8 times (years ago). This is going to be fun.

My back feels great while I'm pain. When I stop and lights and stop signs it pesters me a bit, not wanting to straighten out. But as the miles pile up, it slowly gets better and better. I ride to the Columbia river, turn around and make my way back to Tabor. Seeing Tabor from this side and the little house in the distance some ways up it, I notice that it really is a substantial climb (and stop for a pic).

Riding back up Tabor again, my back gets really warm, but no pain. I ride down the steep side to give me a different route coming home. Stopping at the light, I put my foot down and my back feels perfect. Standing straight up, no pain. "Maybe this is the secret," I think and make plans for my ride tomorrow.

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