Surrey Off Road Cycling Enthusiasts - ride, build, learn, preserve.

Tales From The Trails

Stories provided by our devoted club members.

Test of Metal 2008

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You can go online and check out the final results if you'd like but the general scoop is this. The weather was good, 18 at the start 21 at the end, there was rain earlier in the week but the course was pretty much dry and fast.There was a record number of us White Rock/SORCE/Galbraith mountain riders group in attendance, 16 to be exact. So bragging rights and testosterone were well represented. Sandbagging and predictions of ridiculously fast times were in abundance the week before. Guys were predicting they'd be 20-30 minutes faster than their personal bests; it was even coming out in guilty admissions that there were guys in 5:30am spin classes and log books with in excess of 4000km since January were coming out of the woodwork. Ouch. I had none of that, I had some saddle sores from my to work and back commute, some lunchtime spin sessions, and some serious bouts of lawn cutting and road hockey as my only real cross training. Had all the preweek race talk/strategy sessions w/ everyone saying where they were going to make their moves and how they were going to ride each section, I would nod my head and say yep sounds good uh huh, and so on..... Bruce asked me at the starting line what my race strategy was going to be. I said same as it always is, I am going to go as hard as I can for as long as I can and then hang on for all I'm worth after that. WHEN I blow up, I'll deal with it, bonk, crash or recover.

Rehab Redux #3

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March 13-day 3

 I woke up on Thursday after my best sleep so far. Uninerrupted Z’s from 10 pm until 5 am. I had a shower and changed the dressings on my wounds.  Five or so smallish cuts around the knee with the biggest maybe 2 cm long.  The most tender part was the bruising on the lower thigh adjacent one of the higher cuts. I drove to see my physio, avid pro level cyclist Gene Della Siega. I couldn’t find parking close by so I had to hobble about a block to get to the doors.  Gene took a look at the knee and explained that for the first week or two the focus is simply wound care and increasing the range of motion. Then he gave me hell for not using my crutches so I promised I would use them until I regained a more normal walking gait. With ACL repair he explained, the key is to get 90 degrees of flexion by the end of six weeks.  He checked mine out and I just squeaked 90 degrees on this the third day after I went under the knife.  Not bad for an old guy I thought to myself.  Gene had me do some extension/flexion exercises and then I got on the recumbent. I didn’t have enough range to make a full pedal stroke but it was nice to be back in the saddle anyway.  Back and forth I semipedalled looking forward to better times. I went home with a couple of new exercises to try out and a Thursday night date at the Legion for beers with the guys who still went riding.  At least my elbow was still in top form! 

Rehab Redux #2

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The Reality

Monday, March 10: Day 0 

I arrive at Royal Columbian Hospital at 8 am and line up at check in with my crutches.  Take a number..just like the local butcher shop or the Passport office.  Only instead of a fancy number dispenser the numbers are handwritten on a piece of cardboard and covered with scotch tape. And instead of the LED sign indicating who is being served, the reception staff get to bellow out the number like a short order cook.  Our Canadian medical system at it’s most entertaining. My surgery was scheduled at 10 so around 9 I am off to the presurgical area.  There I ditch my street clothes and change in to the oh-so-flattering bare ass hospital gown.  A friendly OR nurse named Denise (Denise da nurse?) set up my IV.  I am not nervous about needles and this venipuncture is textbook perfect in the back of my right hand. I get a couple of pills to reduce the risk of upset stomach and sit back and wait.  9:45 rolls along, 9:50, 9:55, 10:00,…10:05 when I finally get Denise’s attention I ask, “Isn’t my surgery scheduled for 10?” and she reassures me, “Don’t worry unless it gets to 11:00”.  OK with me I guess. Anyway, shortly before 10:30 the anesthesiologist stops by and briefs me on the general anaesthetic.   He’s a pretty funny guy. I asked him whether I would be getting any steroidal anti-inflammatory meds during the surgery.  They really help reduce the post op swelling and I wanted all the pharmaceutical help I could get.  He replied “Well we might put some in the IV or in the end we may give you some rectally –in the end, get it?”  Ha ha.  Then my surgeon came by and asked if I had any last minute questions.  I didn’t have any really.  I was feeling fairly relaxed actually and then they hooked me up to some monitors and wheeled me into the OR.  They placed a mask over my mount and nose and then warned me I may feel some burning in my arm. I felt some mild burning and a relaxed sensation and then---black. 

The next thing I remember was coming to in the recovery room.  I felt pretty good, no pain to speak of really.  The heart rate monitor was beeping away and my pulse was pretty slow, as low as 38 beats per minute.  I tried to explain that my resting heart rate is usually pretty low, around 48 bpm so that they could let me go anytime.  My lower lip was quite swollen, I must have bitten it while I was under. I guess I was pretty hungry! A nurse briefed me on post op instructions and gave me a pamphlet to take home.  A little while later Cynthia came and picked me up and I was wheelchaired out to the car around 3:30 and we drove home with a quick stop at the pharmacy for some Tylenol 3’s and oxycodone.  I am not sure I had some morphine on board but I was pleasantly surprised at how pain free I was. 

The ACL repair is a fairly major job even though it is all done arthroscopically these days.  The surgeon harvests a donor ligament by removing part of the hamstring muscle up the back of your leg.  Then they drill a couple of holes through the leg bones and anchors the new ligament with a couple of metal fasteners. They also removed most of my medial meniscus cartilage and trimmed some torn cartilage in the lateral meniscus. So after all that messing about in my knee I thought I would be unable to put any weight on it at all.  But I was actually able to load it from day one.  I iced it and kept it elevated most of the day and tried to sleep at about 10 oclock.  My sleep was interrupted but the meds seemed to do their thing and I tried to keep alternating ice bags that I kept in a cooler beside the bed.

 The Revelation 

Tuesday, March 11-Day 1

 I got up and still felt pretty decent.  No after affects from the GA and I could still load the left leg.  I walked downstairs and set on a pot of coffee thinking, “This is a piece of cake”.  I actually felt like the surgical recovery was easier than from the initial injury.  I was able to hobble around without crutches. I called the surgeons office and setup a followup visit and took it easy with my leg up and lots of ice. I took ibuprofen every 4-6 hours and only one of the oxycodone when things got a bit sorer. That afternoon Thomas needed a ride to the SPOKE Race Team practice and I felt well enough to drive to the Bike Park and met up with the team and SORCE youth liaison Lanie Baxfield.  I hobbled around the epicentre for a few minutes saying hi and showed off my bandage and puffy leg and went home.  I even had entertained a few thoughts that maybe I should go to work on Wednesday. That night my sleep wasn’t a whole lot better but I felt that it was the beginning of hasty recovery.

 

 The Reckoning   Wednesday, March 12-Day 2  

I woke up on Wednesday morning and my knee was throbbing. The swelling over thee night had limited out the tensor bandage so I had to loosen it off. I had a charley horse on the lower thigh and I would occasionally get a sharp shooting pain up the hamstring.  I guess what was left was missing it’s old neighbour. The euphoria of the previous day was gone and I realized that I had either overdone it or was under the influence of the steroids they had given to me “in the end”.  I moped around the house in a pretty bitchy mood propped my leg up and tried to get some work done on my Masters program.  Tylenol 3’s and oxycodone had left me a bit foggy and for the day so I can’t say I was particularly productive. I can't believe I felt like going back to work only yesterday!

 More moaning to come....

Rehab Redux-Chronicle of a Crash (or two)

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The Review

 July 2006-March 2008 

It all started back or July 2006 with an innocent rollable 2 footer to a fall away.  I was feeling a bit frisky that day at Galbraith so I chose to launch it on my trusty Norco Fluid One. Then mid air I realized my Fluid was going one way but I wanted  to go the other way. I hit the ground and I knew immediately that something bad had happened to my knee. Maybe it was all that pain and rolling around? When I finally caught up to Frank and Ken at the bottom of the trail I could still pedal but eventually I had to hike-a-bike/coast for about an hour to get back to the Padden Parking lot.

Slowly but surely I recovered through the summer and fall and entered into the ski season with trepidation. On the first day I found it difficult to press my boot into my binding. Once in, I put in a few tentative turns and it seemed just ok but unstable. Every day on the slopes was a bit more comfortable. So the skiing actually seemed to help strengthen my leg quite a bit and 11 months after the injury I made it through the waiting list and had an MRI. It showed that I had a torn medial meniscus but the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) was intact. The dreaded ACL is one of the key bits of gristle that holds your knee together. By this time I was feeling good and was pumped to have a great riding reason.  So what better way to break in the 2007 summer season than with an epic Whistler ride?

Cyclocross Recap and Results

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Tales from the skinny-tire trails

 On Saturday October 27th SORCE members Jeff Hanninen and Matt Law hosted the 5th race in the BC Cup Cyclocross Series at the South Surrey Bike Park. 

For those of you who don’t know, Cyclocross is a race series that has been around for around 100 years and provides an off-road alternative to training in the fall and winter months. Traditionally it is held on a course that is a combination of road, grass, gravel or dirt trails and incorporates sections of barriers, mud, sand or steep hills that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes or try to power through the obstacle. Typical equipment is a modified road bike with 28 – 35mm wide knobby tires that have to balance the fast pace of the road and gravel trails, but also offer a little suspension over the bumpy trails and grip on the multiple off-camber grassy/muddy corners that are common in cyclocross.  

 

Team SORCE at the 24 Hours of Moab

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Base Camp-Moab 2007

OK 24 Hours of Moab – Sat Oct 13 1200 noon –Sunday Oct 14 1200 noon, 2007 – team “Shiner Bocks” (a Texas beer for the unindoctrinated) Here goes;“Moab? Sure I’m in!” …..one small step for man….. you know the rest. My thinking; “great to have a late season goal to help keep the fire burning”…

Last Wednesday Night Ride

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Old habits die hard.  So come on out for the last Crescent Park Night Ride tonight (September 26) at 8pm. We will be switching to Thursday nights in October.  Wednesday options are still available. Contact Garvey for more info on the 7pm Wednesday ride. See you in the trails.

Test of Metal 2007-Mud Sweat and Gears

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I would like to congratulate all the trash talking Sunday ride brethren on what looks from the results like a pretty successful Test of Metal. We had it all there on Saturday to make it just like a flood preparedness seminar, water, mud, and sandbaggers. This is the way the ride went for me. tom_07_eric2_copy_2

Trans Rockies 2006

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The TransRockies Challenge is a 7 day mountain bike stage race over 600 kilometers of Rocky Mountain wilderness, where riders grind and grunt their way up and down the continental divide. The event is for teams of 2 that must stay together at all times or face disqualification. It is a true test of physical endurance and teamwork that draws an international field of up to 500 world-class athletes. This year’s event had teams representing 20 countries.Enter the Richardson’s…

BC Interior Action

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We had both booked time off before the long weekend and finally it was here! Our mini vacation to the heart of mountain bike land in this the year of our engagement! Wednesday night we pulled into Kamloops around midnight and found out that it really does get cold at night in the desert. We snuggled hard and we snuggled good.

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