All posts by Mike

Let’s see what happens tomorrow

Cannot believe how long I’ve been off the bike, outside of commuting to and from work, just to prove I can (and sometimes barely making it).

It was a week ago last Wednesday that I started my journey with this bug, pretty much same timing as my wife, only worse for her since it was immediately after returning from two days at the hospital for lung cancer surgery. Not good timing to feel like crap. We didn’t know if it was the Flu or RSV; the only thing we did know is that it wasn’t Covid, since we could test for that.

I had almost a solid week of feeling so bad I couldn’t remember what it felt like to feel ok. I did finally feel a tiny bit better a week ago today, enough so that I went out and rode, slowly, last Tuesday morning, and was hoping that was the beginning of recovery.

It wasn’t. Most of the aches & pains were gone but in their place was a hacking dry cough that was almost incapacitating. Got bad enough for my wife (post-surgery) that she went to the ER yesterday to figure out what was going on. She had a bazillion blood tests and x-rays and in the end, it turns out to be the flu. Which puzzles me because everything I’ve read said you test positive for the first 4 or 5 days, and then it doesn’t show up anymore.

Thankfully the nasty dry hack has been replaced by a more-normal post-cold kind of cough (my doctor said it’s a typical post-virus cough) so the plan is to try and get back out there on the bike tomorrow morning and make it up Kings, inch by inch. Meantime I’ve missed probably the very best late-October/early-November riding weather ever!!! A lot of ground to make up.

I’m trying to look at the bright side of things. Normally Karen and I would be taking our vacation right now, but this year I picked a cruise that doesn’t have us leave until Dec 7th. Good thing, that.

That was NOT easy (getting back onto the bike after illness)

Last time I was on my bike was… riding home Wednesday, leaving a bit early because starting at 4pm I knew something wasn’t quite right and put on a mask. I lasted another hour and a half before heading out the door, feeling flattened. And that was the best I was going to feel for quite some time.

Becky and Kevin had brought something back from a Las Vegas concert they attended (When We Were Young) and it took out everyone in sight. We tested, multiple times, to see if it was Covid. Was not. Most likely either flu or RSV. Until Saturday I couldn’t even remember what it was like to feel ok, much less good. We actually closed the shop Thursday & Friday and reopened Saturday with a skeleton staff. While I was kinda ok on Saturday, being on my feet all day took its toll; Sunday I was just getting by. Thankfully Monday I felt quite a whole lot better, better enough to think I could do a regular ride again this morning (I did commute by bike to and from work on Monday; wasn’t easy, but had to resume life again right?).

Tuesday morning came around and wow, how much darker it got at 6:50am than just a week ago! I prepared for cold with a pretty hefty base layer and made sure the heated gloves were fully charged, but Kevin said PurpleAir was showing 52F up on top, so it didn’t sound that bad.

A bit out of the routine, we started out a few minutes late (not as if we’ve had many waiting for us at the start of the ride for a while, and ex-Pilot Kevin had already mentioned he wouldn’t be showing because he had a really tough ride the day prior). Just trying to drag myself up over Jefferson had me questioning Life, The Universe, and Everything… all at once. I’ve never ridden so poorly. My lungs could not adjust to the change in temp from the house to outside, and instead of things warming up as we approached Kings, it got colder! How cold? 38.6F I think I saw.

I was barely able to get 150 watts at first. Kevin was wondering how far we’d get before I had to turn around and head back down the hill, it was that bad. There was an assumption that we’d just be riding to the top and back down, but when I managed to get to the top pretty much at exactly 40 minutes, it was decided that we’d keep going and head back down 84. Skipping the West Old LaHonda segment, sure, but today, it was a miracle just making it to the top.

It’s going to be a struggle getting back into shape, especially as it’s getting colder by the day. But it’s encouraging that I didn’t give up, I kept on going. And I didn’t ride my age for time. 40 minutes is a lot better than 67 would have been! I figure the riding-my-age thing might be ok if I make it to 90.