February 29th, 2012
First 2 to make it thru the day, the third to crash. Still have headache. Prednisone is to heal suspected arteritis and the second to dull the pain, it doesn’t make it go away. I am nervous and antsy. My riding is loaded w/ effort while the sharp edge hits are dulled. My COPD is bad perhaps from the junipers pollinating which sometimes looks like puffs of smoke.
Monday night i camped @ Beaverhead flats, usual ridge spot. Forecast was for gusty winds and snow. I rocked in bed leistening to big rain drops smacking the van. No snow fell. Much needed rain.
Tues. AM drove to BnB for whatever. Chilly. Jimmy did not organize a shop ride. Jason was there working on his 5 Spot. Chilly temps, no rain, and wetted trails begged to be ridden. I joined him. We leisurely rode Shades to Hiline out to pedestal and back. I missed the uphill tree deflection but contacted the V rocks and ripped flesh from my left little finger. Having a 2.3 INR reading sends impressive amounts of blood for a small avulsion. We rode back down Hiline to Shades then to Templeton dropping down wash to easy Breezy for wash ride back to Shades then the shop. Rain fell in VOV while snow fell @ Danny’s up in West Sedona. Trails were sweet.
Drove up to West Sedona to Walgreens to pick up the later med to sleep. W/o a sleeping aid the prednisone keeps me to wired to sleep. I found a shrimp, fennel, feta cheese recipe in a mag that I wanted to make. i invited myself to danny’s to fix and share. Got a shower and a town camp spot.
Tuesday b4 the ride I got a haircut and beard trim. For all the years I have been growing both I am still short of length.
On Friday’s ride I clipped the tree branch on my head. I suspected I mashed my neck. Today I returned to the chiro. She found 2 vertebrae needing relocation. My headache did not diminish as I hoped.
I bought a pair of long fingered gloves from Fat Tire Dave while listening to various conversations and technical info. I am considering new rims and tires, still staying tubeless. Continental mountain king 2.2 black chilli compound on Stans Notubes XTR Flow rims, same King hubs.
Putzed around town then drove out to Deer Pass for the night.
My plan is to remain in Sedona area until my headache is understood and on way to abatement b4 heading east even if it is after my desired April departure.
February 27th, 2012
The title is still fomenting.
So, Friday is Bike and bean shop ride @ 2:00PM. I show up along w/ a few locals and tourons. I learn that a couple from Olympia on a road trip started back in march last year are along. They have been traveling western states seeking a place to resettle. They like Whistler, he rode well but she can’t peddle uphills. One guy was from Portland. I rode last keeping the above 2 ahead of me. A mistake for my riding was following someone worse than me as my mental picture was schnockered. Both struggled on Hiline then came the tougher transcept. The guy said he was not used to riding a 6″ single track. he didn’t know how to use his front brake. The ride had a longer plan that fell apart after Jimmy sliced a sidewall causing him to ride the road out. I was fried from bad image and rode out also as did the rest of the group. Beer and pizza @ the shop. I didn’t feel well and needed food other than pizza. I drove to Danny’s and fixed my quick chicken sweet potatoes and broccoli dinner that filled us w/ comfort food. Danny shared a bottle of wine.
I was taking 40mg of prednisone for my headache and some vicadin for pain. Fri night i didn’t sleep from the pain. Sat after bfast I called my DR. She said I should go up to Flag to the hospital for treatment, possible IV steroids and testing she couldn’t do in VOC. Shit. I drove up canyon to the hospital emergency room. I packed my computer, cell phone, charging devices, toiletries, and shorts and walked in. I was shortly admitted to a bed in trauma. The ER DR questioned me, I supplied data from my notes. He ordered blood work and a CAT scan w/ contrast requiring an IV. The first tech stuck my right arm but a valve in my vein blocked blood flow. One bed over a young guy was strung out on heroin and moaning. I was moved to an observation location where a male nurse poked the left arm where blood flowed. next was the CAT, I visited that room last spring because of the blood clot. Contrast was squirted into my vein for a good picture. Back in my stall the DR updated me: INR of 3.4, way too high but not causing headache. The 3D model of my brain showed no bleeding from the whack I took to the head on Friday’s ride when I concentrated on the trail and missed the large tree branch above. He said that IV steroids would be not needed and that my high protein test that would indicate a temporal arteritis was just barely high and that I did not fit the demographics of TA. He gave me a script to percocette for the pain that the vicadin won’t knock down and told me to wear a helmet. I asked about physical activity, he said take Sunday off to let my INR level drop, again caution about head injury. He was envious of my life’s adventure. And I walked out into the late afternoon sunshine no further towards discovering the solution to my headache. I drove back down canyon for meds @ Walgreens. I arrived after they closed.
Sat night I watched Last of the Mohicans that was set in upstate New York; however it was shot in the Blue Ridge mtns of NC. I was told that the scene of them hiking under the h2ofall was Bridal Veil falls in DuPont Sp outside Brevard, NC. I hiked underneath the falls 2 summers ago. The movie stirred the desire to get back east to Appalachia.
Sunday i spent the day @ Deer Pass road reading, Townie, by Andre Dubus lll. Bob Edwards interviewed him that stirred a reading interest. I read all day till midnight as both the book held my attention and i couldn’t sleep. His upbringing was about being preyed upon then becoming someone to fear then to finally writing that brought him out of his violence. I finished it today.
The forecast for today called for winds and probability of rain turning to snow tonight. I needed to ride b4 the weather changed. The winds picked up blowing sand from the dry land. My mouth breathing didn’t filter out the fine dust. My lungs are wracked. I rode back on Shades where the sand was rippled like sand dunes blowing over bike tracks. i encountered just hikers on the trails that I exchanged greetings and they me. Cordial.
I am liking these softer PI shoes that coupled w/ my bike’s tuned suspension seems to rocket up the step ups I will commit to. I am getting more confidence. I look @ the step up to plot my trajectory while pedaling towards it. From my plotting distance I can make it; however as I get nearer I lower my vision to the base and chicken out because it appears to be so much higher.
No word from insurance broker about bike coverage.
My VOC DR upped my prednisone to 60mg that makes me jittery and wired so much that I can’t sleep.
Tomorrow is see what the weather brings.
February 24th, 2012
The human body is a remarkable piece of evolution. It keeps fulfilling our voluntary requests time and again over our life. Our genetics and life style choices affect how long and how well our body allows us to live. My body is manifesting expressions that I am coping w/ the help of the orthodox medical community. The cause of my headaches appear to be bigger than too tight shoes. Prescription meds affect me more than my self medication w/o a medical card. Keep riding, keep living. Drink good beer and enjoy companionship.
Time to blog has gotten away from me as you will notice. Again catch up.
Beautiful Arizona 4500′ elevation February weather for riding. Rode yesterday mid morning in 68 degree temps, sunny skies, and no wind. It’s hot! Last night I slept w/o the heater on, inside temp was 44 degrees but under my down blanket I was snug and comfortable, way more so than w/ heater on low upping the inside temp to low 60s. My old heater was used that lacked efficient heat output. But @ low setting I was comfy. The new heater of the same model is new efficient and over sized for my cubic volume. On low setting it is too hot. Oh well.
yesterday I rode Dry Creek area for pedaling fun. I know the route. I parked @ the library, rode Dry Creek road to lower lizard head to chuckwagon over to gunslinger to mescal, dropped down canyon of fools then found my way to anaconda climbing back to dry creek road, picked up lizard head then back to road to library. 15 miles in 1 hr 55 mins climbing 1652′.
Dave from Green Bay told me about the Strongback camp chair that has a lumbar frame that changes the sitting posture to the good from the regular fabric chairs. i bought one for $78. I enjoyed the sitting comfort yesterday as I sat in a park reading the new issue of BikeMag. The chair requires more space in my storage box but I managed to accommodate. Space determines what I keep. My tree sprayer I use to wash off my bike is still in the mix. Thanks for suggestion, Dave.
Question to you all: Tell me your experiences w/ the 2X10 drive train. Please. This issue of MBA has an article about the drive train. The gear changes are greater than 3X9 but according to the article this greater jump is better for torquing up steep loose stuff vs an easier spinning gear.
Today is another shop ride.
I have been giving thought to further travels, maybe getting antsy to leave the desert. Weather where I want to go hems me in. Too early and snow will still be up high, or tornadoes, or heavy spring rains. Too late means high temp and humidity somewhere else. I am planning on Ohio in July and will back schedule from there. So many places to ride but so few great riding windows.
I looked @ my insurance policy for coverage on my $5,000 Turner. I couldn’t find line coverage. I called the broker. My RV policy caps sporting equipment, which is what my bike is @ $1,000. More coverage is needed. Lesson is to assure that you have ample coverage. My bike is still safe but not as fully protected as i was lead to believe.