Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trouble already

The Marina Motel looks charming enough from the outside, with its elegance-meets-Route 66-style motor court. Murals on the walls, little garages under each room. Beautiful! And my own kitchen for making breakfast before the ride.

Unfortunately $170 with tax gets you a non-courtyard room. Those rooms face the street, Lombard Street. AKA Highway 101 in San Francisco. And boy you can hear and feel the traffic.

Despite melatonin good sleep did not happen. Swung out of bed at 4:20am, suddenly aware something was wrong. That inflamed, squishy feeling on the right side of my lower back. Nerves twinging and the QL muscle threatening to go into full spasm. Big trouble. Can't believe it, the morning of the 600K! In an hour I need to be at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lesson from last time: don't wait to see how this movie ends. Three days of excruciating pain and not being able to walk or move. Weeks of icing the muscle while it heals. Work fast, now. The pill bottle is right there, pop 3 Advil. The fridge has a mini ice tray; the cubes go into a plastic bag and the bag goes between my back and the pillow on the bed. Ah.

A little moment of gratitude for the motel crew, who believe in ice cubes. My thoughts start flashing back through the last few days, looking for reasons. The backpack, my drop bag for the 600K, small but heavy. The 6-mile ride from the train station with some road construction. Switching between bikes, from tandem to Waterford. Electrolyte and stomach issues of unknown origin. Lifting too much and standing too long at the control last weekend. Interval work in Spinning class on Tuesday. The weird yoga twist...

The car accident.

There are all sorts of reasons to ride a 600K. One is to stop your thoughts, which have become unproductive.

I make oatmeal and coffee and eat as much as possible. The phone is right there in case my destiny is to become a raging, spasming statue. Whom to call? What would they do?

As it turns out the simple fixes calm whatever is going on. Enough to somehow brush teeth. Get packed up without bending all the way over. Get the bike and Camelbak and backpack down stairs to the street. Wriggle the stuff onto my back. Ride gingerly through the Presidio in the dark.

I'm in the chute, the world (minus 3 raccoons and a mouse scuttling across the road) is asleep, it's time to just move forward. Time will tell whether this is folly, or fine.

Rob Hawks and the hardy few

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