Saturday, February 18, 2017

In Which We Meet My New Biking Buddy Arthur

Cedar Lake on a pretty warm February morning--first day since Monday that I rode a bike.

I’ll start by quoting Casablanca: “Fate, it seems, has decided to take a hand.”

I haven’t registered for RAGBRAI yet, and I hope to soon, but first I have to figure out my new relationship with my biking frenemy Arthur. As in, arthritis.

Monday, I rode Clarence to work. The morning was normal, except that shortly after I got to campus, I started to feel very intense pain in my left knee. The knee has been sore for some time—in fact, I had already called my doctor last week to make an appointment this week to get it checked out, but this wasn’t “sore.” This was “pain.”

I had a faculty meeting that day, and resorted to using Clarence as the poor-man’s wheelchair—sitting on the bike and wheeling around was less painful than standing or walking. Walking sucked. Mine was the only bike parked in the midst of Betty Cherry Hall at MMU.

Well, by Tuesday things were slightly better, and improved a bit more Wednesday. Thursday was the doctor’s appointment, and after checking me out, the doctor recommended an x-ray.

And Friday, shortly before class and I did not have time to ask many questions, I got a call from the doctor’s office. I have arthritis in my left knee, I require physical therapy and if that doesn’t ease the problem, an orthopedic medical referral will be necessary. Honestly, I don’t know more than that at this point. I don’t know what kind of arthritis I have nor anything about the prognosis.

After Monday, I was off the bike all week, and it was a terrible week to be off the bike—spring-like sunshine Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with record highs for February.

Well, Saturday I just couldn’t take it anymore. I rode Argent to campus to print papers I have to grade. I took the longer trail route to Cedar Lake, so rode about 12 miles in total Saturday. The knee was tender after that—but no more so than it had been on days when I had not ridden my bike.

But a RAGBRAI distance, 60 miles or more in a day … well, I don’t know, yet. We’ll have to see what develops between me and Arthur.

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