Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Stuff

New riding gear doesn't come very often at my house. So imagine my excitement at purchasing new gear, much needed new gear, sorta like christmas in June.

You are supposed to replace your helmet every 2 years unless you take a hard impact on it, then it should be replaced immediately. My helmet is 9 years old. My chest protector is, dare I say it ... 19 years old. It is so old and broken down it just transfers an impact to my body rather than absorbing any impact. Not quite sure why I have kept wearing it, just habit I guess.

I have been "collecting" new riding gear for the past 2 month's that actually matches my new motorcycle. I have not had coordinating gear since I quite racing around 1993. That didn't concern me in the least. As long as I could ride, that is what it's all about. Randall and Race were good sports about being seen riding with me. They both look like they just stepped out of Motocross Action magazine with matching gear while I, on the other hand, look like Stevie Wonder laid out my riding gear to wear. Nothing against Stevie, I just wouldn't want him dressing me or driving me anywhere.

I can't wait to get out and crash test my new helmet and chest protector! Just kidding, but if I do, I will feel safer if I have the big one now.

In addition to some new riding gear I have a new ramp to load my bike and a new larger gas tank that extends my range from 105 miles to 180 miles on a tank of gas. Now I just need for my RA to ease up so I feel good enough to go ride every week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rheumatoid Arthritis Sucks

Most days I don't do too bad at work. Last night was an exception.

I work on a large printing press that has 3 different levels (3 stories in house terms) and it takes 4 press operators to run the press safely. We work 12 hour shifts, I work from 7 pm to 7 am, on a concrete floor wearing steel toe safety shoes. Last night my feet were hurting so badly I seriously considered coming home at 3 am. I decided against leaving early, stuck it out and could barely walk this morning when I got off at 7 am. I simply came home, ate a quick bite of breakfast and crawled in bed hoping that a good day's rest will repair my feet so I can go back to work tonight. I am up and my feet feel better today, so maybe tonight will have a better outcome.

I always took my health for granted before I was diagnosed with RA. I would love to just be able to have one weekend (just 2 days that I am not working) pain free to be able to run, ride, do whatever I want to do with no limitations. Of course I would like a million dollars too and I'm not going to see that one either, so I am going to work out for 30 minutes, fix my lunch and head back to hell, I mean work.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Delinquent Squirrels

I spent my last two days off mowing so I loaded my bike up this morning, fixed a couple of scrambled eggs, a protein shake and headed out the door for the woods. It was a beautiful cool morning with the threat of rain moving in by mid morning, but that didn't stop me. It has been a while since I have felt good enough to ride, I was going to ride today no matter what!

I unloaded to a cool breeze with the birds singing and three squirrels playing about 50 feet from me, they didn't even know I was around, or if they did, they figured I wasn't a threat. It was kinda funny, two of the squirrels were ganging up on the other one. How bad does your day have to be ... you're a squirrel and other delinquent squirrels are bullying you around. Maybe thats why there are so many squirrels ran over in the road, its not that they're that dumb, its rival squirrel gangs. The gang catches a squirrel away from his homeys by himself, grab him, then throw him in front of an oncoming vehicle.

I headed out and quickly arrived at one of our favorite trails. The ground was almost perfect, plenty of traction was available for the 525 today and I rode at a very comfortable but fast pace for the first part of the ride. I rode three of my favorite trails but decided not to push my luck since my RA has been nagging me a lot this spring. I resorted to riding a short dual sport loop to finish my ride out. All in all a good day. I logged 70 miles, dialed the helmet cam in a bit more and loaded up feeling good, i.e. not hurting.

Oh by the way, Randall and I had thought we needed to keep our eyes out for bear and mountain lions, both are in the area we ride, but just last week we learned that there was a bigfoot expedition (I didn't even know a bigfoot expedition was real) in the area we ride. We have heard several stories from this area and always just chocked it up to alcohol or overactive imagination. Here is one of the the links to the May 09 bigfoot expedition if you're interested:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=12&articleid=20090521_12_0_HNBASm531585&rss_lnk=1

Well, maybe if I run across one I will have the helmet cam on and I can become rich and famous. On the other hand, it would kinda suck being known for being killed by bigfoot in Oklahoma. Guess I'll just have to take my chances.