Maybe Next Year.
In more Northerly parts of the West the cyclocross season is in full swing. Reading this and looking at this makes me very envious. Earlier this year I planned to ride my ass off through the Summer to be in some kind of shape to start racing ‘cross this season. As the past few months have unfolded though, this seems increasingly impossible.
I’ve got about 110 degrees of flexibility in my knee, which is just barely enough to get my leg through a full stroke of the pedals on my bike. It’s by no means comfortable or easy though, and there is no kind of strength to it. But still; progress!
While in Portland for Oregon Manifest I’ll be checking out some ‘cross races in the area, and I hope to spectate even more back in Chico once the season starts down here. One way or another I will taste mud this winter.
I hooked up my DSL this week, nearly a month after moving into my new place. Time passed differently in the interim and my laptop was closed more often than not. Sure I could check my email from work and browse the web via the ample free wi-fi of downtown Chico, but for a little while I became one with the disconnected unwashed masses, and I kind of liked it.
Going to be in Portland in less than two weeks. Get to stop wearing my leg brace and start doing “aggressive” physical therapy in three and a half weeks. Fantastic.
Shifting gears, widening aperture, taking a step or two back. Somewhat disjointed.
When I’m think about my leg I focus on the next few weeks, the next month. The healing and physical therapy isn’t very rapid, but my view of the situation is based on relatively small and surmountable measures of time. Im scheduled for an X-ray this coming Thursday,and under my orthopedist’s advice I’m working to gain about 10 degrees of flexibility a week. My return to riding bikes with a wide margin of safety is continually a month or so away. It doesn’t help that I’ve almost completed the build of my Soma Doublecross. As soon as I get some PAUL canti brakes on there I’ll shoot some glamour photos.
While mending I’m occupied on a day to day basis at the bike shop. It’s been about a year since I started working at Pullins, and I’m enjoying taking on new responsibilities. While this may be long enough to know where to find any tool I could need, I’m still not very seasoned in gauging the seasonal tides and ripples in business.
We’ve started receiving 2009 bikes from Diamond Back and Marin, and it’s interesting to see how they, among other suppliers, have had to raise prices and cut costs. In many cases the wholesale price of bikes we carry has gone up a little while the quality of the components they are equipped with has gone down. In other cases the prices have gone up by a significant margin while the quality of the bike remains steady. Some larger companies are more able to absorb rising production costs, but this sacrifice of profit margins can only go on for so long.
I’ve bought my train ticket to Portland for the upcoming Oregon Manifest bike show. It’ll be exciting to spend some time with my brother up in the big bike city, and to spend some time drooling over the most excellent machines.
I suspect this coming trip will only more deeply entrench the fortifications of lust and admiration I feel for said city. Though unrequited love may be the most romantic, this is one I plan to consummate in the coming years.
While not currently enrolled in classes at Chico State, I’ve started investigating the National Student Exchange program. Acceptance into such a program would allow me to attend Portland State for up to one year, paying the affordable CA in-state tuition while earning OR in-state residency. Did I mention I also plan to change my major from Philosophy to Mechanical Engineering? Duh.
A Short List.
Days have been going by quite rapidly, time is doing it’s thing very well.
I’ve been sleeping peacefully with open windows and a breeze that suggests Autumn.
Living alone is very nice; walking around half naked makes Summer heat more tolerable.
Books seem to read quicker as of late.
I can flex my knee nearly 70 degrees.
Confidence In Flesh.
I lack confidence in my knee, but maybe confidence isn’t the right word.
From the moment we’re born, flailing and unable, we begin to learn how our bodies behave. Coordinating intended movements with the physical responses of limbs in space we map out our bodily capacities. Through the statistically valid lens of experiences we can make fairly accurate predictions about how we might behave in hypothetical situations.
That doesn’t look very painful. I could probably jump from here. I can make it to the top of this hill. If I don’t turn back soon I won’t be able to get home.
Now, with pins removed, I can begin the process of returning flexibility to my knee. Essentially, I need to stretch my knee painfully and repeatedly until my range of motion returns to what it was. The tendons and ligaments in my leg have become tight and stubborn over the past few months and I need to persuade them to open up.
The second time I injured my knee it was by suddenly putting all of my weight onto my leg in a bent position. Instead of stretching to accommodate this motion, the fibers of flesh within my leg snapped inelastic and pulled my knee cap apart. In order to avoid the possibility of such a break occurring again, I need to slowly and carefully stretch my leg, over the course of several weeks, to regain as much flexibility as I can. But I can’t help but worry while I do so.
Laying on my back I lift my leg and let the weight of my foot and calf bend the knee slightly downward, causing mild discomfort in an around my knee. I worry. Instead of being able to look to reliable data and experiences of how much stress my body can tolerate, I am forcefully plotting the border between the regions of mild discomfort and catastrophic material failure. It wouldn’t take much to overshoot the strengths of my knee in its current condition, but it won’t improve unless I vigorously press it to do so.