We love bicycling as a lifestyle, culture, and sport. We love to ride, build, restore, oggle and sometimes race bicycles. We also love to talk on at great length about our ideas, opinions and exploits involving all of the above. Welcome to our BLOG!

Abandon Your Car is not a slogan or ideology so much as a reminder to all of us to get away from our petro-mobiles as often as we possibly can and embark on life as an adventure by bicycle.

We'll keep you current on the important road and trail beta from our home base in Palisade, Colorado and shower you with our .02 cents about the ongoings of bicycle tribes the world over.

Be sure to tune in for Danny, AKA: the Young Apprenctice, providing the ever important perspectives of a college-bound bike geek and all around brainiac in his NORCAL Updates.

We're glad you're here- look around, drop the Bike Master a line and then get out and ride for awhile- you'll be glad you did!

go to our most recent posting here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

off the back... OTB

after consultations with my good Dr. Richard Price and other highly trained professionals on staff at Rocky Mountain Orthopaedics over in GJ, the course of action was to receive a corticoid injection to relieve nerve root compression (and associated non-stop, debilitating pain). this is the area that hurts (most specifically, the L5 disc which has had its jelly-filling pooched out one side)

this is what it looks like when the disc is squished (right side):

the plan was soon confirmed by a late-night trip to the emergency room this past friday night when the spasms and pain flared up far beyond the point of being able to treat it with something from the home medicine chest.
after almost 3 hours of waiting (standing), i finally got in to see a Doctor. he quickly tired of all my moaning and writhing about, and ordered a visit from sweet sister morphine and her cousin demerol as well. once i was calmed down enough and could lay still on the exam room table,  i was gurneyed to the MRI room for a scan which has confirmed the extent of my injury.

on monday i received the L5 spinal corticoid injection. good stuff, tell ya what.

that will conclude the graphic image and descriptions for a while; no need to see injections or surgery, scars or skinny legs, for that matter.
my last hope for relief is to now have a discectomy performed, probably by a neurosurgeon.
the L5 seems to be a vitally important component in lower-body mobility, muscle function, and the ability to do just about anything else-- i'm not sure that i could ride a bike right now if i wanted to. here's a short list of things that are affected by L5 problems:

L4, L5, S1 Thigh abduction

L5, S1, S2 Extension of leg at the hip (gluteus maximus) 

L4, L5, S1, S2 Flexion of leg at the knee (hamstrings)

L4, L5, S1 Dorsiflexion of foot (tibialis anterior)

L4, L5, S1 Extension of toes

L5, S1, S2 Plantar flexion of foot

L5, S1, S2 Flexion of toes

there is a lot of work in front of me to rehab from this predicament. i am going to serve notice at this time of the probability of highly irregular blogularity from me, as (what looks like from here on the sofa) the rest of the summer will likely be more about clawing my way back to the front of the bunch from about as far down as i have ever been... rather than (participating in and reporting on) all of the epic rides and races taking place during the high season of our favorite sport. besides, the intense haze of pain and narcotics i am currently experiencing has rendered me a near-babbling idiot. right now, it's more like looking at pictures and doing some coloring books for me, anyway... best to stay away from the keyboard.

most importantly, i also would like to take a few moments to thank my partner, Jen, who has stood by me at all hours of day and night, through what has been one of the most protracted experiences of intense physical pain that i have ever endured. i don't know how or where i would be right now without her, and the kindness and caring she has shown me on so many occasions, especially in the past few weeks.
she works 12 hour days practising internal medicine at the Veteran's Administration hospital in GJ, taking care of our Nation's sick vets, and then still manages to take care of me as well, after she gets home.
thank you, Jen. i have a profound appreciation for all of the hard work that you do every day, and the way you kick ass at the races is a huge inspiration for me, too. i love you so much.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

rock strap v2.0

way back in the day a device was developed in order to keep aging, road-weary musicians on their feet and not falling off the stage while performing at yet another stadium concert. strumming the guitars and mumbling into the mikes is easy enough for all but the most overly-impaired, but standing all the way through an extended-set 3 hour jam is where things begin to get a bit tricky.

Steve could have saved himself from this season-ending fall, had he only known.

fortunately, modern science again came up with the answer; ladies and gentlemen... the Rock Strap:

after an initial visit to Dr. Richard Price (also one of my LTR team mates) at  Rocky Mountan Orthopaedics Associates over in Grand Junction, it was determined that i have been suffering from an herniated disc w/nerve root compression for the past 6 or 7 weeks. that  would seem to explain why i spent four hours writhing on the floor in agony after a mountain bike ride of the same duration a couple of weeks ago.
things are not a whole lot better when riding the road bike, either. there is a position of comfort where some pain-free moments are to be found, but the pain is there when i start riding hard and then waiting for me when i get home.

i have embarked upon an aggressive plan of attack to get me back on the bike- or just being able to do anything, really, without experiencing spams of agonizing pain. sure, riding the road bike provides brief moments of relief; times that i actually forget that something is hurting bad... but that's not the way to enjoy the best part of the year, to do some epic rides and expeditions, great races, and generally enjoy some quality of life with my partner.
 i have been ordered off the bike for two weeks by my physical therapist, in order to give the disc any chance to recover. then there's the corticoid injection to the spine that Dr. Price will administer next week... the last-ditch hail mary all-out effort before surgery. and that's no joke...

Greavy: "That fella' Vic said you run his truck down in the swamp...said you locked him and his missus in the root cellar."

Earl: "That was kind of a joke..."

Greavy: "A joke? What the hell kinda' joke's that?" It's about as funny as a gut full a pinworms."

from Neighbors

the physical therapy sessions are providing some relief, getting my spine straightened out a bit and reducing the frequency of muscle spasms. they hook me up to one of those electro-stimulators and put a 25 kilo sheepskin heating pad on my back before some therapeutic massage. after all that nicey-nice relaxing stuff, i get hauled out to the real physical therapy area for some fun.

it seems that medical science has also discovered an application for the original Rock Strap- and added a treadmill to keep the feet of the old road warrior moving in a forward direction. this new device also cinches tight on the thoracic region, making it really hard to breathe. lucky for me that the thing was programmed to roll at a blistering 1km/hr.

Rock Strap v2.0

looks like i get to be the soigneur this year and do support for Jen at her upcoming races including the season opener of the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge series and the epic of the West- the 111 kilometer MTB marathon- the Laramie Enduro (she got in by winning a spot in the lottery, my stars didn't line up for an entry this year). probably just as well, that i didn't... my pre-entry fee for the Dead Dog Stage Race is a contribution at this point.

time to get on the program- 110%