F is for Fenders, F is for Fight

Today it was a sunny, gloriously “warm” February day in Minnesota with temps in the low 40s so I decided to take the fender-clad townie bike out for a spin in the neighborhood. It was amazing, and it helped me remember why I bike. Trainer time is getting OLD but these days it’s hard to justify getting all dressed up for a 30 minute ride.

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How a lot of weeks feel these days

See, I’m still having problems “riding hard” (see my “don’t fuck with me” face above). The spine surgeon was somewhat dismissive and suggested that I just stop riding hard altogether. I won’t take no for an answer, not without fighting, so I’ve been putting my body through a series of tests. My self-conducted research has shown that “riding hard” is anything with a heart rate much above 120 bpm. My body is behaving according to some complex equation involving level of stress and amount of time experiencing the stress, and the output of the equation is the number of minutes before the leg symptoms are bad enough to make me want to punch something and get off the bike.

I’m a stubborn thing, and since I won’t take no for an answer I’ve been doing research, taking to other cyclists, seeing a different specialist, and having oodles of tests done. I just may have stumbled upon the root cause of this lingering problem which is limiting my fun. And lest you suggest I give up cycling (I’ll glare at you, promise) — these painful symptoms happen off the bike too as long as some sort of cardiovascular stress in involved. Hint, hint. I’ll learn more tomorrow about what’s to come, potential solutions, and future plans, but for now I’m limiting my riding and effort levels to manage the symptoms. I’m not quite ready to let the cat out of the bag as to my diagnosis, but that will come soon enough.

Wish me luck. This “not riding very much” is for the birds.

5 thoughts on “F is for Fenders, F is for Fight

  1. I was going to suggest that you try and find someone who has traveled this road in a similar way — it sounds like you’re trying to do that.
    I hope the diagnosis you’re about to hear will bring you reason to be hopeful.
    Good luck, Melissa!

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