Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bend it like Red

I keep getting bike-blocked.

Here's my list of excuses for not riding in the past few weeks:

  • knee/arthritis flareups
  • extreme cold
  • snow
  • tunnel closures

Today, while the temperature was hovering in the mid-20's I decided to try and run an errand to the Strip before work. I got all layered up and when I got on the bike, the front tire was rather low on air. Long story short: I bent the valve. Why? Because I'm still a moronic noob with these presta valves.

I spent my lunch hour changing my ruined tube, this was a first-time experience for me to change tires on Fizz with really tight beads and disc brakes. I wrestled a great deal and ripped some skin off my hand but eventually got the change completed.

So, with my inability to ride, I've been making progress on a wool blanket. The colors remind me of a sock monkey.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Back in the saddle

I ran an errand on the bike today, I rode to my orthopaedist's office to have my stitches removed.
Parking was an exercise in creativity. Racks are located out on the street, in the elements and in sight of potential thieves. The nice, dry garage had this fence I locked to.

The stitches came out easily. The young man who took them out noticed my helmet and we started talking bike: he commutes by bike from Bellevue on a 1953 Schwinn. Sweet.

Doc came in and showed my the photos he took during the operation.

One of the chunks of loose meniscus
Another chunk

The chunks, extracted and laid out next to a ruler

I'm told the bottom photo is my ACL, which he said looks good.
 He mentioned how bad my kneecap was, apparently this shows the back of the kneecap, completely devoid of protective cartilage.

On the way back I noticed this poor "Yield to Pedestrians" sign had been run over so many times that it now lay in pieces along North Shore Drive.

This is how the sign is supposed to look.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter commuters and beaver barriers

Ten miles. I rode ten miles today.

I can safely say that while I'm still a bit wobbly mounting the bike... I'm back to baseline. I can ride again. I fully expected to out of commission for much longer, so I couldn't be happier with my post-surgery progress and recovery despite being forced to take way more ibuprofen than I'd like.
I get the stitches out in 2 days and I can't wait. They poke out from underneath my bandages and get caught in my clothes: a total nuisance.
I'll be delighted to bike to the appointment rather than drive as I have been, the parking at my orthopedist's office is five bucks. I hate paying that much to park.

In the morning, I lazily rode into town and up and back through the Penn Ave bike lane. It was cold and damp, not ideal riding weather... but there were so many commuters! I think I counted somewhere between 15 and 17 in my travels. This is as many as I'm used to seeing in fair weather. "Feh!" to those that think bike commuting in Pittsburgh is seasonal. I even saw one woman wearing the same houndstooth Cleverhood that I own!

On my lunch hour, I went down to the Bastille to get some air in my tires and find another piece of ClohnArt cubist/paper artwork that I was alerted to some time ago. I had looked for it previously, but was unsuccessful. I found it today.

I also noted much beaver damage to the newly planted trees that didn't have plastic beaver tubes protecting the trunks. *chomp*
Dam beavers.

Note to self: don't Google "beaver tubes".

By the end of the day, I had reached and surpassed my 10K steps goal on the FitBit for the first time in almost 8 weeks. I can start working off the 10 pounds I gained.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First post-surgery ride

It was just a mile. Only a mile.
Let me rephrase ENTIRE mile. Pretty damn good for having been in an operating room just 5 days ago.

Pre-surgery: "Here, let me show you how to use the cameraph..."

My surgeon wanted to be sure he operated on the correct limb.

Post-surgery ginger ale (I get barfy from the anesthesia)

24 hours after surgery, I was no longer using the crutches and back to work 5 days later. It went very well despite accidentally yanking out the vein port they'd inserted into the back of my hand and drizzling blood all over my recovery area.

The doctor's special purple surgical ink refuses to
wash off without a fight.

a gorgeous day with single digit wind chill temperatures.

Everything is falling back into place. Soon, the ice and snow will melt and I will be able go for longer rides.

However, I was rather annoyed to see the building employees had moved the bike storage racks AGAIN. Fizz's front light mount and her bell were bent or loose from some rough handling. Grrr.