Monday, August 30, 2010

Flat Phantom

I am still doing well as far as my RA goes.  I have continued to push myself beyond what I should be doing with little repercussion.  I have been experiencing extra pain in my hands over the last 10 days or so, but I have been doing quite a bit of digging and shoveling working on our extended patio project.  I have been using the Voltaren Gel at nights only to get up and abuse my hands the next day again.  Also, today, after putting in a horrid 120 mile ride, my ankles do not want to bend.  I have the hot tub on and am going to soak my whole body in a few moments.  Other than that, I can't complain.  Even though I am doing much better for the time being, I am stiff when waking up, have fatigue like a big dawg and if I sit for more than 20 minutes, my entire body protests about trying to stand up and move.  In other words, normal RA effects.
I met Randall for an early morning ride to eat breakfast at Rich Mountain.  Steve and Susane own a small country store/cafe and on top of having really good food, they're the kind of people that you just enjoy sitting down with and talking to.  On the way, the clouds were sitting down on the top of Poteau Mountain this morning.  At exactly 6.1 miles into our ride, I had my first flat tire since I have owned my KTM.  Well, I'm not going to complain about one flat tire in two years.  
After changing tubes and airing the tire back up, we continue on to Rich Mountain.  It was awesome, we rode across a closed iron truss bridge, then shot through the tree tunnel this morning in the cool morning air.  
After eating breakfast, we climbed up on top of Rich Mountain to Talimena Drive for a cool ride in a light rain. The rain didn't last long and soon I was testing the new gearing I put on my bike.  It still has that "yank your arms out of their sockets" power in the first three gears, but fourth through sixth are stretched way out now for more top end speed.  Now, at 70 mph, the engine is running nice, comfortable rpm's, not winding out like with stock gearing.

We take an insane fast forrest road back coming off of Talimena Drive. We were running 65 mph on this little single lane dirt road.  It was big fun, just as long as one of us doesn't crash at that speed.  I hit a fire break on this road at 55-60 mph standing on the pegs and slammed my knees when the bike came back down.  My OA in my knees is extremely grouchy tonight.  Soon we were on another fast fire road and BAM ... I have my second flat tire at 85 miles into the ride.  Not overly excited about this one, once again install a new tube, (note my happy fat butt with helmet hair trying to make my fingers bend around the rim and tire) new air and away we go.  Pretty uneventful ride back in until at 105.3 miles ... I have a third flat tire.  Randall and I were both out of tubes by now, so I had to ride the remaining 12 miles back to the truck on a flat rear tire.  Hopefully I haven't ruined my brand new rear tire.
I've not had three flats in the last six years of riding.  I am going to pull my tire off of the rim tomorrow and check for something in the tire, a bur on the rim or possibly a protruding spoke.  Frankly, I don't find changing tires out on the trail that mondo jovial.


mary said...

Three flats in one day!!! Sounds like you hit your quota for the next year. Glad you are still feeling better. After fixing 3 flats you may need to take it easy on those hands for a while.

tharr said...

Mary, it was a good ride hampered by too many flats. I haven't had 3 flats in the last 6 years of riding!

How's your upcoming bike rides looking? Hope you have a great time on them.

Cathy said...

Oh no! Three flats on one ride. That is awful. Kind of funny (if it isn't you of course.) Almost like a comic strip.

I hope a little time in the hot tub felt good.

tharr said...

I have always taken good care of my tires while riding, avoiding sharp edged rocks and obstacles that could puncture a tire. Yesterday was a special day though.

I felt much better after climbing out of the hot tub and could bend my ankles a little bit. This morning they are working again.

Living It, Loving It said...

I like how you said “normal.” Are we normal? Is RA normal? But you had fun and made it home safely. The riding is what is keeping you sane, you know?

tharr said...

Hey Lana, yeah, I know ... life with RA is anything but normal. lol

You're right, riding does keep me sane. We all need something to keep us from focusing or worrying about RA. Even having 3 flat tires on a short ride, it still beat a good day at work!

Anonymous said...

I agree the worst day of (insert your hobby here) is still better then the best day at work. Sorry you had to deal with the flat tires. I think your trail rides provide you with both physical as well as psychological therapy. Cooler weather is right around the corner, along with those Fall rides through the changing/falling leaves. I'll certainly be even more jealous of you then. Take care Terry!

Wren said...

The ride sounds like it was great fun, Terry, even with three (!!) flat tires along the way. By the time you had the third, I bet all you could do was chuckle over it, even as you worried about riding on the flat.

Glad that your RA is in a manageable mode right now, and that in spite of pushing your body hard, you're recovering fairly easily and ready for more the next day. That's just truly good news.

I envy you that hot tub. One of these days I'll have one ... Best wishes to you. Hope the upcoming week goes well and that you enjoy each day, even at work.

tharr said...

Mike, that's for sure on the best day at work. You're right, riding is my therapy. I'm ready for the cooler temps, we have some good rides planned once the temps get back down in the mid 80's.

tharr said...

Hey Wren, we had a great ride. The first flat was no big deal, the second one I laughed about the likelihood of having 2 flats in one ride. The third one, I was saying bad things. lol It sure improves your outlook on everything when you feel good.

The hot tub is truly remarkable at how much better you feel after 20 minutes in it. The down side is it is only short term relief.

mary said...

Well Tharr, I am still scheduled for 2 long (75 to 100 and 65) mile rides this fall. My RA has decided that maybe it doesn't want me to do those rides. So we will see. I am still riding but am afraid those distances may be out of reach unless I see some improvement soon. If not this year than next right. There are always new rides coming along. I will be a little disappointed if I don't get to ride though...sigh. Stupid RA. You never know though this disease can change overnight and I may get those rides in.
So glad you are having good luck with the Humira. I hope it continues for a very long time.

tharr said...

Hey Mary, continue to train for these rides, maybe your RA will cooperate and you can go through with them. This is one part that is extremely frustrating for me. It is nearly impossible to predict how we will feel in a month, so planning things ahead of time is sometimes hard to do. However, planning is not useless, it gives us something to look forward to focus on. This, in turn, takes our attention away from our pain from RA. That in itself is worth something.
Thanks and I'm hoping you will be able to go on your rides.