SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.



Just some random updates...

1) I FINALLY got the Marzocchi Z2 Bomber fork installed on my
Bontrager Race, replacing a Manitou 3. I've only ridden the bike
around the block, but I can already tell that the Z2 is a superior
fork: better travel, better adjustability, and real damping (YES!!!).
The downside? A 1.5 pound weight gain. Photos shortly.

2) I rode the fixie to work this morning. After riding a geared bike
for the past few weeks, the 42x16 fixed gear felt HUGE. My knee
twinged a couple of times, so I've got to remember to take it easy and
NOT backpedal for braking.

3) I'm in the process of accepting a new job way the heck down in
the south bay (my new employer is a rather large internet company
whose name begins with a letter near the end of the alphabet), so in a
couple of weeks I'll be back doing the bike+Caltrain thing for a few
hours every day. Not really looking forward to that, but otherwise
this is (HOPEFULLY) my Dream Job so the inconvenience should be worth
it. Should. Be. I might splurge and buy myself a dynohub...maybe.


Velocio's Seven Commandments for the Cyclist

(from http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/history/cyclo-tourism_velocio_clifford-graves.html)

1. Keep your rests short and infrequent to maintain your rhythm.
2. Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty.
3. Never ride to the point of exhaustion where you can't eat or sleep.
4. Cover up before you are cold, peel off before you are hot.
5. Don't drink, smoke, or eat meat on tour.
6. Never force the pace, especially during the first hours.
7. Never ride just for the sake of riding.

I grok numbers 1-6, but I'm not certain about #7. Never ride without
a certain destination? Never ride without a solid purpose? What do
you think it means?

Knee Update

So I rode to work this morning. I left my fixy parked and rode a
geared bike instead, which ended up being a Very Good Idea because I
can't really put any serious pressure on the pedal with my right foot.
My knee was a little uncomfortable but not as bad as I thought. It
was stiff but seemed to loosen up a bit by the time I got downtown.
It's a little tender now but not too bad. We'll see how I make out
going home -- it's mostly downhill going TO work, so there's a bit of
climbing I'll need to do to get home tonight. Even taking my time and
pedalling slowly, I still got to work faster than if I'd taken the


Still Out

Argh. I was going to ride a bike to work today but my damn leg is still problematic. My knee is better (not great, but better) but things are still tender. I can walk now, but after about a block I start to limp again. No fun...

On another note, since I can't ride I was planning on doing a bunch of bike wrenching over the weekend...instead I sat on my ass and watched far too much TV. Which is the same thing I did the weekend before, too.


Still Gimpy

Update on the sprained knee...

I still can't walk properly and pain-free. My wife has started
calling me "Gimpy". I'm quite tired of limping around everywhere like
a cripple. I rode a bike to the UPS store in the Castro several
blocks away yesterday to ship a package, and while that took less time
than walking and certainly hurt less, it still did hurt and I ended up
pedalling mostly with my good leg. Sigh.

The meds the doc prescribed don't really seem to be doing anything.
Today I'm going to try to take 3 instead of 2, which he said I could
do if I felt I needed to.

On the brighter side, it does feel like my knee joint itself has
stopped "rattling around" and now what hurts is mostly the tendon and
muscle on the inside of my shin, directly below the knee joint.

It's gonna be another week off the bike at least. I'm HATING riding
MUNI to work -- there's just too many crazy people in SF. I've
already posted about the bus/pedestrian accident that happened while I
was riding the bus back from my doc appointment last week...since then
there's been stinky whino homeless people on the bus, or crazy
crackheads that talk to themselves or yell and scream at random people
EVERY time I've been on MUNI.

Just this morning, I was on the bus headed to work, when we pulled up
behind a stalled streetcar. Everyone got off the streetcar, and
several folks hopped onto my bus...one who then started screaming
bloody murder about "that damn arrogant MUNI driver who made everyone
get off because of one guy acting up" and then proceeded to pick a
fight with both our bus driver and another passenger. Like I need
that extra bit of stress on a Monday morning before I've had my
coffee, even...

Between crap like that, fears of getting pickpocketed (as happened to
my wife this past summer), and irratic MUNI bus drivers (hang on for
dear life!), I actually feel safer on my bike IN TRAFFIC than I do on
the bus. And we pay money for this!

Sometimes, it's a Very Good Thing that I'm not 225lbs/6'3" with a
blackbelt in karate.


Down for the Count

OK, running and I apparently just do not mix. A couple of weeks ago,
some folks at work decided to start an after-work running club, and I
thought it'd be worth giving it a go, both to see if I could in fact
seriously run, and for the social aspects of joining the group. I ran
nearly 3 miles that first time, and couldn't walk for a few days
afterwards due to the sore muscles in my legs. Fortunately, a short
bike ride the following weekend did the job to blow the overdose of
lactic acid out of my legs and things were A-OK again. The following
week -- last Wednesday in fact -- I figured that I'd give it another
go, but just take it easy and not push as hard. Which I did, really.
I only covered a couple of miles and I definitely didn't try to go as
fast. But -- just as we were starting out, I landed funny on my right
foot and felt a weird twinge in my right knee. I shrugged it off,
stretched some more, and kept going. The next day, again I was
limping, but this time due to pain in my knee joints, not the muscles
in my legs. It was a bit annoying. I left that Friday for a long
weekend's vacation in Boston with my wife, celebrating our one-year
wedding anniversary. The best way to get around in Boston is, of
course, walking. The first couple of days I did ok, but the limping
continued. After the next couple of days, my left knee got better but
the right one seemed to just get worse. Of course I was being
stubborn -- we came to Boston to see Boston, not so I could just sit
in front of the TV in our B&B while my wife wandered around alone --
so I ate a bunch of Advil and iced my knee each night. By Tuesday I
could barely walk without great discomfort. We came back on Wednesday
(yesterday) and I got an urgent-care appointment with a doc this
afternoon (Thursday). After hearing my story he prodded, poked, and
twisted my knee asking if any of that hurt, and then decided that I
probably didn't do any damage to the joint itself, that I pulled or
over-strained a tendon on the inner side of the joint. He even went
and dug out an anatomy book to show me the area in question. He
prescribed some anti-inflammatory meds (Nabumetone 500mg, generic for
Relafen), instructing me to take 2-3 per day as needed, and if things
weren't better in a couple of weeks, to come back for a follow-up
appointment. Sounded great to me at the time, but as I realized on my
way back home, I still can't freaking walk. And cycling is
unfortunately out of the question. That new tent and sleeping bag I
just bought for THIS WEEKEND's planned bike-camping overnighter aren't
going to get used just yet. ARGH &^%@#&$^%@#$

My appointment was at 3:30 in the afternoon, I had to leave work
early. I wasn't at Kaiser long, so I hopped back on the bus to go
back to work for a couple of hours. The bus I was on swerved
erratically and shuddered to an abrupt stop in the middle of the
intersection of Jones and O'Farrell -- apparently we somehow hit a
pedestrian. That's crackhead central (well, one of 'em in SF) and no
doubt the crackhead thought she could beat the bus through the
intersection and lost. I heard a THWACK that was apparently her head
hitting the front glass -- which was spider-cracked afterwards.
Immediately afterwards, I saw her running around in circles in the
middle of the intersection, and then collapse. Lots of people
gathered around (did anyone call 911 I wonder?) and a beat cop showed
up just after. I decided the whole thing was a sign to NOT go back to
work, so I hobbled down Jones towards Market to catch a bus back home.
Took me a while to get close to Market, and I looked back up the
road, taking note that an ambulance STILL hadn't arrived -- but then a
SFFD paramedic unit rounded the corner. By the time I got down to
Market my knee was screaming bloody hell and I knew that I'd made the
right choice to just go home. Weirdest thing, in true self-centered
SF fashion, is that I was barely phased by the event. I'm more
stunned by this fact than anything else. Jaded, I am.

Bah, time for another pill...