I started this year with pretty humble intentions: just ride the Leadville 100, like I always do. Maybe try to ride it at a good fast pace, maybe not.
But then a whole bunch of really interesting rides came along, each of them compelling.
- RAWROD: Kenny’s annual Ride Around White Rim in One Day is widely acknowledged as the most fun 100-mile MTB group ride in the world. For one thing, it’s a beautiful ride. For another thing, it’s a bunch of friends, riding together, all day. For a third thing, Kenny’s parents-in-law always drive a sag wagon around the course, and they’re just great to be around. That’s in April. In the group email Kenny sent out, he indicated that I would be giving out prizes, would do the entire ride with no food and only one bottle of water, and would ride the course on a single-speed recumbent. Most of these statements are not accurate. (Not-very-interesting trivia: a very poor showing on this annual ride about three years ago is what originally made me think about starting this blog.)
- A Casual Ride, Either by Myself or With a Few Friends with No Set Destination or Path: You know, on May 16th I think I may head out to Moab or somewhere. A few friends are going to come along. We’ll probably get on our bikes and go for a ride. Just in case the mood strikes me to turn that into a longish ride, I’ll probably bring my Ergon backpack, a lot of food, lights, and maybe even a water filter. I’ll encourage my friends to do the same, because it’s a good idea to be prepared. Who knows where I (or we) will end up, but I’ll probably bring a cell phone just in case it’s a long way away from where we started — like Colorado, or Japan. Those are just examples.
- STP: In June, Bob and I are going to ride the STP this year. I’m going to ride the singlespeed road bike. I can’t think of a double century that could be more perfectly suited to a singlespeed. What I love about this ride is how utterly unprepared you can be for it. Just show up with your bike, a bottle, and $50, and you can eat nonstop to the finish line. Which is, incidentally, my intention.
- Leadville 100: This will be #12 in a row of this ride for me. Susan’s coming with me, crewing for me again. The day afterward, we celebrate our 20 year wedding anniversary. That’s very cool. You know, I find it very odd to think I’ve been married for nearly 20 years.
- American Mountain Classic: The four-day MTB stage race I got all excited about a few posts ago has been scaled back, so it’s nowhere near as freaky as it was originally advertised. There are only three days of serious offroad riding now, and none of the days have more than 60 miles in them. In other words, I can think about not just riding it, but racing it. I was, incidentally the first person in Men’s 40+ Sport class to sign up.
In answer to your question: yes, Susan knows and approves of my doing all these rides. That’s not the problem.
In answer to your next question: yes, every one of these events is conditional on Susan doing well during her next series of chemo rounds. If she’s not feeling reasonable, I won’t even ask her. I’ll just stay home. You think we’re still married after 20 years just because Susan’s so nice?
Here’s the problem, then: my left wrist.
Yesterday, I posted that I had gotten a message from the doctor’s office, briefly describing the damage to my left wrist. Well, there was more. When I called back today for details, I learned that:
- A ligament on the thumb side of my wrist has a tear.
- A tendon on the pinkie side of my wrist has a partial tear.
- My wrist also has cartilage damage.
Knowing all this, I swell with pride knowing that I finished the ride after taking this injury. (Though I do not swell with pride at the fact that I sustained this injury by falling down for no good reason.)
My inclination is to just tough it out through the season and then get my wrist fixed at the end of the riding season. The thing is, though, I’m not going to have much of a riding season with my wrist the way it is. When I did the Frozen Hog, I had to slow way down by the end of the second lap because I could no longer pull up on the handlebars, my wrist hurt so bad. That’s just after 90 minutes on the bike. Even on the road bike, I have a hard time standing and climbing.
I can generally tolerate pain pretty well. I’ve lived and ridden with my right shoulder being messed up for years and years. But I don’t think I can do the rides I’ve got in this list with my wrist this way. Because it’s more than a pain issue; after a while, my wrist simply gives out.
Anyway, I have a consultation with a hand surgeon on March 17, the same day Susan starts chemo up again. And when I think about Susan having to start chemo, my inclination is to just shut up and not complain, because my pain is comparatively trivial (not to mention self-inflicted). I’m under express orders from Susan, though, to stop saying things like, “Oh, I shouldn’t even mention how hard my day was, because yours was so much harder.” She says she’s sick of having nobody talk about their problems because hers dwarf theirs. It’s not a contest, she says.
So I’m complaining my heart out. I’ve got a great season planned, with a great list of really exciting rides — all the kind I love to do — with most of the core team heavily involved.
I really really really really don’t want to sit on the sidelines this season. In fact, I — no hyperbole here — get a little sick just thinking about watching the summer go by with my wrist bandaged up.
Someone, please tell me that the kind of surgery I’m most likely looking at heals nice and fast.
Please. I’m begging here.