Friday Group Ride #226

Friday Group Ride #226

I’m not allowed to grip a handlebar for 8-10 weeks. In fact, I’m typing this with my right hand and left thumb. The rest of that hand is close to useless after I severed two tendons during a freak door knocking accident, old door, antique, single-pane, mullioned glass. Stitches. Surgery. Etc.

And so, when Padraig came to town to visit, I wasn’t able to accompany him on a hammerfest down the Battle Path, a ride I had dreamed of sharing with him. Nor will I be able to ride D2R2 with him next month. It sucks. Not to put too fine a point on it.

It looks like I will become a runner over the next 6 weeks, a plodding, sweaty fool of a runner. I will set the trainer up in the basement and pretend it’s wintertime, two feet of snow on the ground and an arctic wind at the window. My wife will subject me to crunches and planks and lunges and all manner of gym rat skull-duggery. And I will weep for the loss of my two-wheeled escape.

No llores por mi Argentina. Like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive. I will maintain positive mental attitude. I can wait. I will come back stronger. It’s going to be fine. Maybe I’ll catch up on my reading.

This week’s regrettably brief Group Ride asks, what do you do when you can’t ride? And, if I don’t come out of this thing with abs of steel, will the whole thing have been a wasted opportunity?

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  1. Maremma Mark


    Man I feel for you, especially after the winter you had. I don’t know whether you take solace in the fact that this didn’t happen on the bike or not. Don’t know if that would change anything, perhaps mentally it would. But we’ve all been here, anyone who rides has spent time in casts, too damaged to ride for weeks at a time. Stay focused, use the time as best you can, the gym routine of your wife sounds like an excellent plan. You could come back stronger than before. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.
    You have all of my sympathy and solidarity.

  2. Aar

    I’m trying to work through knee pain that limits my riding to about 2 2 hour rides plus a few shorter rides per week. I’ll be joining a Y this weekend. The theory is to use the pool, some weights/machines and yoga. I’ll see how it goes since I am not very tolerant of indoor exercise.

    From February through now, I’ve been using landscaping/hardscaping to keep from getting too out of shape. Pavers, cement, sand and dirt are really heavy. Carrying them around a yard, even in a wheelbarrow, is mighty taxing.

  3. Tom in Albany

    Robot, So sorry to hear the bad news. File it under $h!t happens.

    And look for a ride in the lower Atlantic states in November. You can train for that!

  4. Dan Murphy

    Bummer. Major Bummer.
    I was hoping that somehow our paths would cross at D2R2 and maybe share a beer.
    One of the things about riding is that it can take a lot of time. There’s a lot of things I end up not doing because I don’t have the time, priorities and all. So, a few years ago when I was having achilles issues and spent less time on the bike, I got to do some of those other things. Sure I was frustrated I wasn’t riding like I wanted, but keeping things in perspective is always a good thing.
    So, good luck with the recovery. Spend more time with the kids and doing some of those other things that don’t get to happen.

  5. David

    I ruptured an Achilles tendon and was out of action for over 6 months. I feel your pain. All the best on the road to recovery.

  6. Hoshie99

    Your fitness is not lost forever, it is just temporarily on hiatus. Find a way to enjoy the down time and do some long neglected other things.

    Heal well.


  7. Kevin

    My wife is away for work for two (frickin) weeks, leaving me to watch over my 3 and 6 year old….so while my early morning club rides have been postponed….it’s allowing me time to get out riding with the rugrats and …replace my 10sp Campy with 11!

  8. Mike the Bike PT

    As much as this sucks, and I firmly believe it sucks, you may just be surprised at what opportunities and experiences cross you path. The type of things that would have been missed had you been on a lovely, brutal, wonderful, painful ride.

    Oh, and I would probably jerry-rig an elbow rest for my bike that works with my trainer so I wouldn’t go completely insane.

  9. Carlos

    Ah, Robot! You should only suffer rotator cuff surgery and trying to ride. Also, denying when asked if you rode, and stating forcefully that it was only in the trainer. You will be back. And don’t forget that the “no llores por mi, Argentina” has a comma there. Changes the meaning. You are no Evita.

  10. Hautacam

    Bricks. In a knapsack.


    Hills. Paved, or not. Your choice.

    Walk. From your house, or drive to a trail. Your choice.

    A nice hilly ruck with 4 – 6 bricks and a day hike’s worth of gear, food and water will keep you plenty fit, help counterbalance all those overdeveloped cycling muscles, and give you a different way of looking at things. I find that I appreciate the speed and efficiency of cycling more now that I hike too — but also the value in going slow and looking and listening to things at a walking pace. Plus I can take my dog. Or go with my wife. And we can talk. And another cool thing is that those hiking trails go sooo much higher into the mountains than any road or even MTB trail. Riding in the hills is part of the rhythm of my life, but all in all I like hiking to the top of mountain peaks as much if not more.

    Rucking is much better than the trainer, especially in good weather. Nuts to the trainer till it’s below freezing.

    You may have lost a riding season but you’ve been given a hall pass to park the bike for 6 weeks and do other things. Summer vacation!

  11. Pat O'Brien

    A severely strained hip flexor kept me off the bike for a month. Kept me on the couch with two ice packs for two days. Ugly. I practiced my guitar playing, been trying to learn for 40 years on and off, and watched movies from the IMDB top 250 list. Walked the dog for the last three weeks. The dog was in good shape at the end, but I lost shape. I still don’t play the guitar any better, so, yea, pretty much wasted time. Sad, isn’t it?
    Heal fast!

  12. Souleur

    Wow, robot! We got something in common! Wednesday I was doing my pop in law a favor, a pick me up favor as he’s been sick, so I was hooking an implement on to my allis-chalmers wd-45, but accidentally got my right middle finger caught in the U joint of the shaft, accidentally dropped the shaft crushing my right mid finger, avulsing the nail off like an apple peel and emacertated the tip with bone open. Nonetheless, I’ve been bored, healing, dragging my wagon, doing very little, mowed the yard, anti pâté getting back out, but not sure when

  13. brian

    Running. Trail running especially. After a couple weeks its not so bad. It won’t take the yaya’s out like a long ride but it usually keeps me sane.

    so how many rkp people are doing D2R2? Coming up solo from GA.

  14. Full Monte

    I’m so, so sorry.

    Lost the better part of a year to a broken spine in a bike crash. It sucks. For this to happen to you right in the juicy part of summer… hugely frustrating and disappointing.

    Music for me. Said yes to every gig, jam request I could fit in my schedule. ‘Shedded a lot of songs down in the basement during the hours I would’ve been riding.

    Tried to keep up fitness in the gym, which was limited for quite awhile by the pain of the injury. Hopefully, you’re getting through the worst of the discomfort and can start the jogging and ab work soon. Ugh.

  15. Author

    @All – Thanks for kind words. Biggest challenge seems to be not reinjuring while trying to half use it for something vaguely interesting useful. But, I’m learning to type with my left thumb!!!!

    Thinking about trying to do 30 days without processed sugar, just to diet correct while I do ab work and curse my cycling friends.

  16. Bin

    I love to ride. I ride a lot. My job involves bikes. But if I can’t ride, it’s ok. Life is too interesting and fun to stew in my own juices if I can’t get out. I’ll brew beer with some friends, read a book, find new music, work on a new acoustic guitar build in my shop, true a wheel, update the blog, learn something new. What would happen if I could never ride again? Well, something else entirely I suppose, and lots of it.

  17. Don Jagoe

    31 May, beautiful day, finally summer in Rhode Island. As I hit a long straightaway, out of nowhere a 40′ long tree branch breaks off a 100 year old beech and lands about 8 feet in front of me. We collide; I lose. Shattered collarbone, surgery, titanium, a whole bionic new me.

    Now into week 5 of trainer rides in the garage, which the surgeon allowed me to do after a month in a sling. And the glorious and all-too-brief New England rolls around and darned if it isn’t August. Twenty days until I can hit the roads again. Should be a fine fall for riding. Hang in there.

  18. Author

    My commiserations to all those who have gimped themselves this summer like I have.
    So far, staying fit. Funny how motivated I am to ride, now that I can’t.

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