Okay in my last post I mentioned that I was experiencing some problems when I rode an old route. Yes it was good that I got 31 miles under my belt because the distance I rode then takes me outside of the city and out on the open road. As you may remember though, I had some pretty bad problems to fix.
The first problem I wanted to address was my knee problem. I had a little problem in the past with my knee bothering me but kind of ignored it until this last ride made me rethink my idea of ignoring the pain. So one session later with my massage therapist my knee is feeling better. He works with me, putting pressure on my leg to simulate pedaling and we determine that I need to drop things down into a much lower gear when climbing hills. I’m apparently not the kind of rider who can attack hills and charge up them, I’m more of the person who is like the turtle, slow and sure and I get up the hill…..eventually. So I take a short ride for only about 8 miles around the area and make those adjustments by learning to downshift as I climb the hills and it seems to be working.
As for the problem with ‘hot foot’ and damaging my sesamoid bone, well that was a relatively easy fix too. I switched back to my BMX pedals with the velcro straps across the top of the pedal. I have the strap secure but not tight against the top of my foot because I know that I will need to move my foot around to keep any signs of ‘hot foot’ at bay. My feet are still secure on the pedals but I can move them around such as going forward or backwards a little to change the angle in which my foot is contacting the pedal. I also learned by having the straps secure on my shoe is it also allows me to change the position of my foot, such as moving it into more of a diagonal position across my pedal which I learned later that it also offers relief to any knee pain. So now that is another problem resolved.
Then I decided to adjust the length of the boom on my trike and shortened it a bit and I found that I had more control in pedaling and on the short rides I learned that it also helped with my knee because there wasn’t as much strain on the knees. It wasn’t until I took my trike in for a ‘tune-up’ that I found out that my shortening the boom just that little bit, it let my chain dangling a touch too much. So the shop guy shortened my chain and I could actually tell a difference.
As for the problem with my feet, I resolved most of that by switching out pedals and learning how to made adjustments to the positioning of my feet on the pedals. Thankfully since switching pedals and learning to adjust the position of my feet, I’ve avoided any major problems with my feet, oh don’t get me wrong, I’m still a little bit wobbly on my feet when I get up from my trike but that is just because I’ve been using them differently than from walking. You know that you’ve probably experienced the same wobbly feeling when you get out of the vehicle after a very long ride, right….well it is sort of like that when I stand up after riding for a while.
So my feet and my knees were the main problem and thankfully on the short rides in the neighborhood I’ve been able to address those because once the weather gives me a break I will be out on the roadway. That only leaves me to trying to prepare myself for the actual rides.
I guess I’ll tell you a part of my ride, I’m starting out in San Antonio, TX and my 31 miles that I rode previously got me to a small city outside of the city, called Boerne, TX. However, after I plotted my course using Map My Ride, I realized that I was still in very heavy traffic on the access road and there was no shoulder that I could ride on and after seeing another bicyclist almost get hit, I opted for driving further down the roadway to start the second leg of my ride.
So I looked around and decided that I would start the second part of my ride in a small city called, Comfort, TX. So I go out there all prepared to ride because I checked out the route by truck earlier and saw that it was good and besides I was only planning on riding only about 30 miles. I pulled into a local park in Comfort only to find that I do not have my safety flag pole and I’m missing one of my rear flashing lights so this was not good. I remember that the speed was about 60 mph and although there was a good shoulder that I could ride on, I really didn’t feel good about riding without my flag and second light. Then dark storm clouds rolled in and that was the deciding factor for me, I put my trike back into the bed of my truck and packed it in and left. It did rain but only for about 15 minutes, so it was a small little cloud burst but I was already packed up when it started raining.
Thanks to the rain which we so desperately needed, I was unable to do my bike ride for a couple of weeks, no make that almost a month. See I can only ride on the weekend because that is the only time that I have enough time to enjoy the ride. So the second leg was extremely delayed.
Having all of this time in between the rides got me to thinking about the different places I would be traveling and as I looked over the map I could see that following along the I-10 corridor did not really have that many places where I could stop for water/potty breaks once I hit a certain part of the ride and this began to concern me but I’ll worry about that in another posting.
The last thing that I would need to direct my attention to is the issue of water. Now I have a 3 Liter bladder from when I used to wear my CamelPak HAWG backpack when I rode an upright bicycle. Well that doesn’t work any more because I lean back in the seat of my trike. So I rigged a sling backpack to fasten to the back of my seat and secured it with zip ties and since I already had an insulated director tube (a tube that you can fix in a position and it stays) for my drink bladder so now my water hose was now resting against my chest making it easy to get water. But I remember when I did the 50 mile Tour De Cure last year, I had almost gone through the whole 3L bladder of water.
I cured that by buying another 3L bladder for water with another insulated director tube. Yet I know from my second ride that there would be times in which I would need more than simple water so I bought a smaller bladder which will carry my Powerade Zero. I have to plan ahead and with my long lags between rides I’ve got nothing better to do than plan and wait for the weather to break.
So knees, feet, maintenance and liquids have all been considered for my rides, now if I could only get out there and ride then things would be great.