Friday, December 18, 2020

Muscle Tearing Cramp

Picture from Get Body Smart
My doctor says maybe I was developing a tear prior to the cramp or maybe the Statins I had just stopped taking because of sore muscles a couple of days prior had compromised my overworked Gracilis muscle or maybe I'm just getting to old and worn out. Regardless, at the end of a ride while getting off my trike, a cramp to the  inside of my right leg tore up my Gracilis muscle. It's a long skinny muscle that attaches from the pelvis and ends just below the knee on tibia. It's part of a group of abductors muscles but also because of it's attachment point below the knee it can kick in to serve as a flexor muscle helping out the hamstring muscle. Especially when cycling. 

Because of comprised muscles in my right leg post 2013 hip replacement the Gracilis seems to be kicking in more than it should to help the hamstring when riding. I've had some minor tightening with this muscle before but nothing that caused a cramp. 

It's been a few years sense I've had a bad cramp. But nothing even close to doing the damage this one did. Understanding what makes me cramp up has taught me what to do and not to do to avoid these nasty ride spoiling monsters. Buying my ICE Sprint FS E-Assist was part of that cramp avoidance plan considering all the climbing  I do (this year so far I've averaged 71 feet of gain for every mile I ride). 

On the day I tore this skinny long muscle I climbed over 1,700 feet and rode 25 miles. No big deal. Maybe I could have slowed down more at the end of the ride before getting up off the trike. For the most part my ride was business as usual. But when my ride was over I got off of my trike and BAM. A cramp that struck be harder than any other cramp I've ever had? I just stood there looking around making sure no one saw this pathetic old fuck bent over in pain for the 10 seconds that seemed like forever...an ego moment. The only real change I had made (besides getting older) was starting to take Statins a few months ago and had stopped taking two days before because my muscles were getting sore (couple really sore) for no apparent reason. In hind sight I should have know my cholesterol was getting too low. My last blood test showed my total cholesterol at 150 while on a low dose Statin. And the 150 was before I stopped eating Pandemic comfort food like ice ream, cheese and some other garbage. 

A little Statin history here. My first go around statins in 2012 (see my 2012 post Off the Statins) ended poorly. Recently I let my doctor talk me into trying a low dose (5mg) Statin (Rosuvastatin) again, because of my age and heart attach in 2011, even though my cholesterol and cholesterol ratios are acceptable. My doctor now agrees I'm better off without statins. Whether or not statins played a role in the debilitating cramp I suffered cannot be known for sure. Regardless I'm off the statins for good and will continue with my vegetarian diet supplemented with Sushi...Sushitarian?

Three days after my cramp.
It's said that wisdom comes with age. 
I'll trade a little wisdom for a new body.
An ultrasound showed two intramuscular tears. I'm relieved it won't require any invasive repair. Just time to heal and a little physical therapy so it heals properly.

While I heal I can count down the days until I have shoulder surgery for a torn tendon. Sometimes I think it's time to slow down and stop pushing myself and settle down with a nightly pint of ice cream and just stream movies and break out my fat clothes that are stored somewhere collecting dust. But that is only a fading thought for now.

It makes me a little nervous to think about eventually get back on the road and being taken down by a stupid cramp again. But intellectually I know I can minimize the the probability of this happening again and if it does...it does. I enjoy riding too much to stop because I'm afraid of a cramp. After a few rides I know I'll get my confidence back. As I keep getting older shit is going to keep happening as it has been happening over the last decade. I've always dealt with it by getting back on my trike, my sanity machine. 

For now I'll take it easy for awhile and not ride. It's time to put the trike on the rack and do some maintenance and make some minor changes I've been wanting to do. When I do start riding again I can take advantage of the e-assist and use a little more boost to reduce the strain on my healing Gracilis muscle. Yet another cool reason to have an e-assist. 









Monday, November 23, 2020

Helmets - Virginia Tech Helmet Lab

REPOSTING MY HELMET POST FROM JULY OF THIS YEAR.  Adventure Cycling profiled Virginia Tech Helmet Lab in the Dec 2020/Jan 2021 issue of Adventure Cyclist Magazine. So I thought this would be a good time to repost.

_________________________________________

Why replace a Laser Blade helmet with a Laser Blade helmet? I've had my old one for five years and my research tells me a helmet should be replaced every five years (some say every three years). You know...degradation of the materials over time.


Why the Laser Blade?

1. The Lazer Blade withs MIPS has a Five Star rating from Virginia Tech Helmet Lab (update 11/20/20, Adventure Cyclist profiled Virginia Tech Helmet Lab in the Dec 2020/Jan 2021 issue of Adventure Cyclist Magazine.)

2. It fits me well. It comes in sizes from XS up to XL. The Large fits my big head.

3. The retention system is adjusted from the top of the helmet. For recumbent riders this means no knobs and plastic between you and the headrest (if you use a headrest).

4. The back of the helmet is rounded. No point on the back to interfere with a bike rack or the tire when really laid back.

5. Now it comes with the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). Extra protection for rotational impact.



The old helmet (red accent) and the new one. 


Inside the old helmet and inside the new helmet with the yellow MIPS insert.



No retention adjustment on the back of the helmet. Instead...

 
..it's on the top.

Rounded in the back.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Trikertude

Trikertude is not backed up by science. Trikertude is not backed up by any facts whatsoever. Just having fun here.

The following is my highly biased take on recumbent triking in a world dominated by motorized transportation and socially acceptable two wheeled human transportation also know as the diamond framed bicycle. 
__________________________________

Trik-er-tude-wherein the intrepid triker finds enlightenment. To discover enlightenment the triker must first successfully pass through Phase 1 - Fear and Uncertainty followed by Phase 2 - Acceptance and then onto Phase 3 - Trikertude.


Phase 1 - Fear and Uncertainty
Our intrepid newbie triker  has been lurking on the Bent Rider forum for some time now desperately wanting to be active again. Our triker loves the idea of riding a tadpole recumbent trike (or maybe a Delta trike). but is dealing with the fear that overwhelms newbies to the triking world. On the practical side our triker asks, "Is it safe? Can drivers see me? Is it okay to ride in the streets?".  And then there is the social fear that every new triker deals with, the dreaded "everyone one will be staring at me, I'll look like an idiot", kinda fear.

With fear in check (thanks to Bent Rider forum members) our triker now boldly enters a recumbent dealer in (the City of your choice) and marvels at the site of all the recumbent trikes and immediately feels a sense of rightness. After hours (maybe days) of checking out all the shiny new trikes our triker walks out of the recumbent shop and loads the new trike into the awaiting mini-van (or whatever works) and heads home.

It's now time for the first ride. So many decisions. ""Do I ride on the road where every driver will be looking at me and trying to run me over or on the bicycle trail? But the trail has street crossings, what do I do then?" FLAGS AND LIGHTS!! "Yes that's it I'll look like a float in a parade with flags waving and lights flashing". Oh, but now the weird factor just got amped up. What to do? Ah "Grasshopper", every triker must find the path that is right for them. There is no wrong path.

After a few rides our triker is settling into a zone where the desire to ride is overcoming the fear. Our triker is now ready for Phase 2.


Phase 2 - Acceptance
Without wasting time our triker is putting on the miles and the transition into Phase-2 has come quickly. Our triker has moved past  fear and has accepted that drivers are not out to run him or her down. Quite the opposite. Drivers are giving more room to our triker and surprise, surprise, trikers are actually more visible simply because they look "different". Our triker has also accepted that drivers are staring, and some are probably making ignorant comments from within the protection of their tinted high horse powered cocoon. But  to our triker's delight comments made by fellow cyclists and those who travel on foot are generally positive.

Our triker now regularly cruises the roads and trials. With a good understanding of the rules of the road and an appreciation of cycling etiquette our triker has now accepted that he or she is part of the cycling world and expects to be treated as a cyclist.

With complete acceptance our triker has mastered Phase 2 and soon moves on to Phase 3-Trikertude.

Phase 3 - Trikertude
YES...our triker has reached Trikertude and with that enlightenment. Every road and path is open. You have gone beyond the acceptance of yourself as a mere cyclist and now see yourself as a pioneer who has broke free of expectations and social norms. You exude confidence. So many are the cyclists for whom a traditional bicycle no longer suits them. Even though their body cries out for something better and smarter to ride they continue to ride what is expected of them. Others simply give up cycling. 

Trikertude is a state in which a triker has moved beyond the expectations of others and has developed a sense of self worth that acknowledges the right of an individual to enjoy their life in whatever manner they so please as long as their actions don't negatively impact others. To the contrary. Trikertude is further defined as a willingness to help others in a positive way by helping them to discover the joy of life again. 
Get out and ride a Trike!








Monday, November 2, 2020

Instagram Post 11/2

Go To My Instagram

No picnic this year for us National Park Service Volunteers. Drive by meetup instead. I triked on over to Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa to say hey to NPS regulars and pick up a bag of cool stuff. I started volunteering for the NPS 21 years ago and would never have imagined I would be called off from my duties at Cheeseboro Canyon because of a pandemic. Oh well, keep riding.



Friday, October 16, 2020

Quad Lock Dampener

When taking fast downhill runs I'm starting to wonder how much vibration my phone can handle. Not wanting to find out I installed a Quad Lock Dampener. It's designed for the motorcycle mount which I use on my trike. So far it's lived up to the task of making the ride easier on my phone.