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.