I am completely over my flare now, the stye is 95% gone as well. I'm just patiently waiting on the next medical problem to come along now. I received an email from a lady in Wisconsin last month asking me about riding with RA. Here are parts of her letter, "First, I am female & a bit down right now after another flare. I have 2 bikes in the garage that i've only been tinkering with since md-simmer. I have been told by MDs to SELL these & that NO ONE with RA can safely ride a 2-wheeled contraption." This infuriated me, how can a doctor (most of whom have only been trained to treat us, they do not know how it feels to live with a chronic disease) tell us to quit living just because we have RA. I would like to talk to this doctor, I have logged over 7000 miles over the past two years, mostly off road miles which are a bit more tricky than riding asphalt. Does he think that I cannot ride safely? I replied to her and told her how I have adjusted my riding style, how I feel riding and my limitations. I have not heard back from her, I hope she will take my email to her doctor!
With a break in the cold weather, I had my eye (not the one with the stye in it) on getting out to ride Wednesday morning, provided I felt up to it and the storms didn't roll in when they were predicted early that morning. My luck held out on both counts and I loaded the KTM and headed for the mountains. I had to go to work that afternoon so it would be a short 50 or 60 mile ride, but I was not going to waste a 65 degree day in December. I met Randall at the bottom of Poteau Mountain and we lit the beasts up and headed up the twisty, rocky mountain. Once over the mountain we hit the woods and I was surprised at how good the bike felt today, somedays you feel like pushing it but it doesn't feel right so you back off a bit. This was NOT one of those days. In the woods I was slamming through the corners, wheelieing across creeks and, in general, having the time of my life. Quick note: my new boots are not 100% waterproof and although the outside temperature was 65, my left foot was now closer to a damp 45 degrees.
We were on our way to Haws Creek to get a cheeseburger when we found that they are destroying one of our favorite trails to get there. They have brought in heavy equipment, cut down trees and are building a wide road to log out the woods on Walker Mountain. The government fights to ban dirt bikes from riding on National Forrest land, but it is perfectly acceptable to bring in heavy equipment, leave it sitting in the woods leaking diesel and oil directly on the ground, those evil dirt bike riders must be stopped at all costs!
This is about where it started raining on us, not a nice easy slow rain ... oh no. We rode the next 30 minutes in various intensities of the liquid menace then as we were approaching Haws Creek the road turned back north and there it was. A bright, full on side to side rainbow against a deep gray (almost black) sky behind it. It was a perfect picture moment but as some of you may remember, my camera committed suicide on our 2 day ride about 6 weeks ago. I had my phone with me, even though it has an 8MP camera on it, the quality just isn't there.
After eating I had to get back home quick, I had rode way past when I needed to and was nearly late for work. We were pushing 65-75 mph on single lane forest roads coming back, like Randall says, "when it goes bad ... it's going to be real bad". Logged 85 off road miles before going to work. The thrill and satisfaction of being on a bike, the disconnection from society, no cell phones or internet distractions, does me so much good. By the way, my rheumatologist rides ... I'm glad he gets it.