First update is about the masher and his knee surgery recovery … Now 5 weeks post operation, and 3 weeks into physical therapy, things are improving. He has been off of crutches for just over a week now and walking slowly, but strongly and without any limp. Climbing stairs and swift change in direction is still challenging, but improving, while descending stairs is still difficult, but lost getting easier. He has cheerfully been able to spin on the indoor trainer with minimal resistance, but high speed cadence for a little over a week now. Hopefully he can incorporate some high resistance into the spinning regimen soon, and more wishfully, get back onto the pavement for real road riding as soon as possible. The only issues that he’s having that’s holding up progress somewhat is still limited flexibility and it is too painful to kneel on. He is able to straiten it and the stretching and strengthening exercises are working well, otherwise. Next follow up with Dr. Hunt is next Thursday Feb 11.
Next update is a legislative one and includes good news. We received a message today from our state senator for Scott County that the Senate Bill 80 related to improving cycling awareness on roadways, including a “3 Feet 2 Pass” law has successfully made it out of committee! I’m not a legislative expert, but I think the next step in the process is for the House of Representatives to review the bill and either approve (as is or with amendments) or disapprove it. Then, if approved, it would return to the Senate for a final vote. This would be a huge accomplishment for for improving cycling safety and awareness by our legislators if voting passes it. It’s an absolute non-partisan issue and completely relates to health and safety of human life, while improving awareness for cycling. Please consider contacting your Senator and/or Representative and asking them to vote YES to this bill. You can contact them via email or phone message and their info is accessible online. Also the info and details about this bill can be found online. Please visit: www.lrc.gov/record/16RS/SB80.htm It’s disturbing to wonder if this bill has found more attention due to a Lexington lawyer losing his life after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in the annual Horsey Hundred ride last year, however, if this SB 80 becomes law and saves just 1 life, it is fully worth all the effort! And if it saves 1 life, it will certainly save more.
Final update is also good news … Groundhog’s Day was this week and he did not see his shadow. So if legend holds true, it means we will get an early spring. I hope I don’t jinx it, but other than one rough week of weather in the bluegrass state, we’ve had a moderately mild winter season. Sure some areas have experienced colder temps than others, and some towns have received more precipitation than others, but generally speaking, we’ve enjoyed a less eventful winter than the last two in Kentucky. So keep your fingers crossed for sun-shiny days to be abundant sooner than later!
So, as I hang around healing, rehabbing, and mostly becoming bored beyond measure in hopes that I can get back to normal as soon as possible, I feel compelled to keep some info flowing here at RAM Cycling. With no real agenda for this blog post, I just thought I’d offer some random stuff. Some of it with purpose and some off the top of my head.
Off the top of my head … I have at least been a pretty decent house husband washing the dishes, cooking supper, and keeping up the checkbook on a daily basis. I’m not able to do any kneeling or squatting, so I’m off the hook on doing any serious household cleaning and laundry, but I’m sure what I am doing is helping make it less painful on coming home to see me sitting around. Everyday.
OTTOMH … I had some nice email correspondence over the holidays with Adam Crowe and Aaron West. Adam is a long time acquaintance from Bowling Green, KY that I’ve tried to hook up with for some cycling but the timing never cooperates. He is very excited about going to ride up Clingmans Dome from Gatlinburg this year (we have several posts here related to multiple trips I’ve completed)! Aaron is the injured cyclist from South Carolina, that formerly wrote about great climbing rides on his personal blog Steep Climbs. He has a new hip now, and has aspirations of getting back on the bike in some capacity this year. His blog site is still online and worth the time to browse at: www.steepclimbs.com
With purpose … As I looked back over my proposed 2016 cycling schedule of rides, I noticed that I left off (and honestly hadn’t given much thought to) a ride that I keep saying I’m going to do, yet have failed to plan: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail! I first noticed the route a couple years ago when I found the official KBT on Twitter and checked out their website: www.kybourbontrail.com/map which actually posts the various routes online with directions. The long route is about 180 miles total, which would make for a nice challenging 2 day ride. I’m tired of talking about doing this ride and ready to do it. I’m adding it to my schedule this year, who wants to join me?! Let me know who and when. It’s on!
WP … Also, along the lines of my 2016 schedule, I’m rethinking some of the out of state events due to my knee surgery. Initially, I really thought I’d be back to 100% by 4 weeks or so (this was my first surgery, so I had no idea), but I’ve learned the hard way, that it takes time for things to heal and strengthen and the more I try to rush it, the better chance I prolong it by messing up what’s been fixed. So at this point, I am using some of my hard earned vacation days to help compensate my missed time from work which limits the days I will have to spare later. Having said that, I still fully intend to complete the Assault On Mt. Mitchell in May, but I probably won’t get down there or Clingmas Dome for recon work in April. I am strongly considering adding the Ky Century Challenge rides to my schedule to substitute for out of state rides I may have to give up. I completed the first 8 centuries of the challenge in 2013 and 2014, but didn’t complete any last year.
OTTOMH … My Renaissance Man (Timmy) is doing some serious work, training like a beast this off season. He’s definitely all in on the triathlon gig as he’s officially hired a tri coach, joined the Audi KY race team, and already signed up for his first 70.3 half Ironman event! His Strava activity makes a lot of folks appear to be hibernating (like me). Check him out and shoot him some encouraging kudos and comments on the regular.
OTTOMH … I have been working with the Kentucky Hand and Physical Therapy clinic in Georgetown for almost 2 weeks now and I am making major improvements in my physical recovery process. They have done a great job of identifying the stretch and strengthening exercises I need to get back to 100% and the staff is great, I highly recommend them to anyone in the area that requires physical therapy.
OTTOMH … The Polar Cube icing machine is the bomb. They sent one home with me from the hospital and it’s so much easier than old school ice packs. Especially considering I’m still icing my knee and quad about 6 times per day!
OTTOMH … Another cycling acquaintance that I’ve become friends with, Trevor Williamson from Louisville, invited me to join him and friends at the ride Mountians Of Misery in Virginia on Memorial Day weekend. I took a look at it, and it looks right up my alley with plenty of climbing, including some steep stuff in the Appalachians. I am pretty doubtful of doing it this year, but definitely something to keep on the back burner.
WP … The University of Louisville has a cycling coalition club that competes in various disciplines and events in cycling and triathlons. Recently, they partnered with Hincapie Sports to become the official outfitter for the team with their top of the line sportswear. In the near future, they will be designing a jersey to be sold to the public. As soon as it’s available, we will provide more info because I know plenty of friends and followers that are avid Louisville Cardinals fans, just like myself (Trevor, Linn, Rusty, Steve, etc. etc.).
OTTOMH … With all this extra time on my hands, I have already mapped out excellent routes for our 4th of July and Oktoberfest rides. I have grand plans for making these rides very enjoyable and most importantly, memorable. Please stay tuned for specific details to be released as the time draws closer.
That’s probably enough random stuff for now but stay tuned for more soon!
Once upon a time (way back in August 2014), I was in much better shape, probably the best physical shape I’ve been in the last seven or eight years. I don’t really recall a specific injury, or any hurting during any activity. However, I do recall having some discomfort, swelling, and tenderness in my left knee following a routine run. So naturally, I assumed I had just tweaked something and decided to give it a rest.
Next time I ran on it, probably a few weeks later, same experience. By this time, I thought something could be wrong, but no activity other than running/jogging seemed to cause any flare-up, so I decided to take a longer run rest. All other activity, including weight training, cycling and work, continued regularly.
As time passed, I gave the ole running thing a try again. And again. And the same soreness and swelling was there every time. Sometime By mid-summer 2015, it began to bother me in other activities such as walking stairs, working (anytime I had to kneel or crawl), and without my paying much attention, the loss of physical activity helped me gain a few pounds here and there … by the end of the summer, about 25 total, which also added to the knee stress.
So in early autumn, I decided I needed to find out what the problem was and what my options were. Using a referral from a friend (a fellow parishioner at St. John church), who happens to work in the OR at Georgetown Hospital, I set up an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Travis Hunt. Following an MRI on the knee, I was diagnosed with a severely torn meniscus and some additional cartilage damage under the knee cap. Options: 1.) try physical therapy; 2.) take a cortisone injection; 3.) have arthroscopic surgery to repair/clean up the damaged areas. In my mind, the first two options were probably only delaying the third and potentially causing further damage in the meantime. So I took the steroid shot that day and scheduled the surgery for about two months out.
My work is typically very busy around the holidays and I did not want to leave my fellow coworkers short-handed during this time, which was the main reason I waited on the surgery. It also gave me a chance to look at some of the financial and timing logistics before the operation. On December 30 I checked into Georgetown Community Hospital and within a couple hours, I found myself laying on the operating table in surgical gown with a shaved leg and falling asleep in the middle of good conversation with good friend (and former neighbor) Ron Slone, my anesthesiologist. Within another hour or two, I was awake, dressed, and on my way home.
I can’t say enough positive things about the experience I had at Georgetown Hospital and Dr. Hunt’s care. All of the staff I came in contact with at both facilities, from the reception to the billing department to the nurses to the MRI and X-ray techs to the surgeon delivered a very peaceful experience for my first surgery.
The recovery has been in full effect for just over two weeks now. I’ve gone from laying on the couch with leg propped up and ice machine around the clock to moving at a snail’s pace with crutches to nearly walking normally in this short period of time. However, I have very limited flexibility and have lost considerable strength. I had initially hoped I would be ready to exercise walk, maybe do some easy spinning and potentially get back to work after 2-3 weeks recovery but I learned today (and honestly, I kind of knew based on how I feel) that I have a ways to go yet before attempting any of these activities.
So my recovery enters the next phase: physical therapy. I am very excited to get back to normal. In my first visit for PT, I learned that I need to get my knee and leg back to a straight, locked out position first. Then we will focus on the flexibility in the bending joint, and finally I will rebuild the strength and muscle. Hence the title, a (minor) setback will pave the road for a (major) comeback. Admittedly, I am already reconsidering some of my 2016 personal goals, only because I am now going to have to use some of my vacation time to help support my family financially while I’m off work some extra time I simply had not anticipated being off. No worries, it’s all good. I still fully intend to have a huge comeback season this year, but I may not be able to attend some of the out of state events I had originally planned. Rest assured I have already been tossing around a wicked crazy idea should I have to skip one or more of my big rides planned. This idea, I will keep to myself for now, but it’s so typically me! You’ve officially been warned.
Cheers to a 2016 ride soon … @KPtheMasher