Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A slight detour

I hoped to have tales of the Sierra foothills to tell. Adventures with new friends and new roads.

Thursday I set off on the bike, with panniers, for a little local shake-down cruise. South on Foothill into Stevens Canyon, up Mt. Eden, up Pierce. Down Highway 9 into Saratoga for a coffee, then home. Easy.

My lower back was feeling a little funny. You know, kind of weak and tingly. And my right side was tighter than my left. At Blue Rock Coffee on Big Basin Way, I promised myself to stretch after the ride. A little downward-facing dog might be the cure for being too goal-oriented these past few days. Lots of running around for the trip, but finally everything was in place: hotels, train tickets, map, comrades.

Got home, showered, stretched. Over the next 4 hours my back tightened up gradually, until it was in full acute rebellion, By 9pm, I couldn't move at all without tweaking some hitherto anonymous nerve running through the sacrum. Anonymous no more; we were now quite well-acquainted. Sitting was out of the question, as was bending, reaching, and, well, walking. Standing for a few minutes was OK. Violating these rules aggravated a large muscle in my right middle back, which seemed to be in perpetual spasm. The pain was intense.

Danny made me take Advil. This probably granted me sleep on Thursday night - very key. Friday he made me cancel the bike trip, another excellent call. This type of trip requires a lot of independence on the part of the rider. You can't just be a quivering mess by the side of the road, or in the shower in a strange hotel. No help available.

My most sincere hope is that it's not a bulging or slipped disk in the spine. If it is, though, it's not a great time to be pushing the bike up hills. That's the road to permanent injury.

We stayed put all weekend, except for a couple of visits to Roman Paradigm for an excellent massage. Tuesday Dr. Friedman will be back and we'll try to figure out what happened. My bet is, it's the same whiplash injury from the accident 3 years ago. It might be migrating down my back on its way to resolving itself. I'm sad to miss out on the Sierra foothills tour. The bike is in the garage, all dressed up and no place to go! We'll find it a place to go, as soon as I'm better.

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