Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Storms, Storms, Storms

Me and my big mouth!  My "other" problem dropped back by for a visit today.  Now I don't know what to do, I don't want the surgery but I don't want to fight this inconvenient pain for another 3 months either.  I think for now, I am going to ride this out for the next week.  If not better, I will get back in to see my doctor then and look at my options then.  I am scheduled to take my Humira injection tonight.  I would be doing alright but we have just been hammered by storms for the last 6 days.  In the past 6 days, we have had 11 severe thunderstorms, 3 tornadoes within 25 miles of our home, hail, 70 mph straight line wind and just over 10 inches of rain.  We are fine, but a lot of our area is not so lucky.  Here are a couple of photos I shot from my yard of todays storm.  My hands and ankles have hurt a lot over the last 4 days from the up and down barometric pressures and moisture.
I had thought about going for a short ride this morning but there were so many areas flooded, I just stayed home and worked on David's bike.  We are making it more dirt friendly and you wouldn't believe how much it has already changed.  I pulled off the plastic handguards that come on the bike and replaced them with a set of new Bark Busters that I had stuck back in my tool box.  I also had an old aluminum skid plate that I worked with and redrilled holes and have it modified to fit on his KLX.  Next up, the top mounted chain guard had to go.Then we mounted a set of new Dunlop 606 (DOT Approved) knobbies.  I showed him some general maintenance issues and he is picking up on everything quickly.  Next up ... suspension adjustments.  The front end dives on you bad so I will see if I can help this before someone gets seriously hurt!  It has been fun watching someone coming into the sport and enjoying it as much as he does.
I hope everyone had a good Easter and is living large ... pain free!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All In The Family

I have been experiencing severe pain due to another medical condition since January this year. For the next 11 weeks, while dealing with this new pain, my RA was almost non-existent. Just over the last 3 weeks, my other problem has finally started responding to the prescriptions, after 3 doctor visits, so it looks like I will not have to have any surgery. I am thankful for this but now that my pain is subsiding from that, my RA has started going crazy on me once again.

I received a text from my daughter this past Saturday afternoon with a photo of a dual sport bike.  My son in laws used dual sport bike which he had just bought.  Ok, you already know we're going riding the next day don't you?  I got off at 7am and went home and slept til 1pm.  David came over and we loaded both bikes and headed for the woods.  It was a warm but heavily overcast afternoon.  I wasn't going to take him any where he didn't need to be, so we had a nice leisurely 60 mile ride.  He did great not riding over his head to stay up with me when I would momentarily forget and light my 525 up.  A good first outing for us. I have his bike at my house waiting for some new tires to arrive.  Oh yeah ... this is gonna be great!
 David making one of the many turns on Poteau Mountain.
David's KLX250 in my garage.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

I have had an up and down week this past week.  I go back to the doctor for my "other" problem tomorrow.  My RA has been showing it's ugly side again this week.  As by now, most of you know that I can be a little stubborn ... I have picked this up from living with my wife so long.  lol   I decided I was going riding no matter how good or bad I felt.   I got up this morning and worked out quickly, mixed up a protein shake and headed out the door.  It was so exciting to hit the boundary of the forest this morning.  The smell of fresh air and feeling the wind rush around me as I unloaded my bike on top of the mountain was something I have missed.  I had planned a short ride, it grew even shorter once I got started.  I turned off of Highway 71 onto a fast, open forest road that I had planned to ride to Blue Mountain Lake.  As soon as you leave the asphalt, you start a 50 foot climb into a lazy left hand turn.  I was already running 61 mph by the time I got into the turn.  As the bike is sliding sideways  through the turn and I am reminded why I love to ride so much.  It didn't take long to start hurting and I knew it was best to turn around and call it a day before it got bad.  The good side is I haven't felt good enough to want to ride since January, the bad side is I still can't ride much before I start hurting.  Anyway, here is my ride in pictures today.
 Oh yeah ... it's gonna to be a good day!
My new GPS on my bike.
 I hope this was a planned burn, rode by miles of this today.
 Bad boys, bad boys ... watcha gonna do?
No, I didn't break the law and ride around this, even though this is incredibly fast, smooth and a shortcut to where I was going.   I knew a back way to get to the trail.
You can't tell from the picture, but if you hit these at 50+ mph it launches you off of the other side.  Gotta love those forest people, making our rides more fun.
 Beautiful old place that only has a fireplace left.  Lots of tracks around this place, I assume someone is getting ready to build here.  You can't even imagine how far out this is.  Most people living out in the country would look at this place and go, damn, you live a long way out.
 Vehicles 1  Snakes 0
 This was unbelievably rocky and rutted out, the photo doesn't show it.  When I got down to the bottom of the hill I turned around and rode it back out.  It was more fun climbing it.
This is what I'm talking about.  When your GPS says, "where are we", you know you're on a good ride!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Love And Family

The day was fast approaching and there was nothing I could do to slow it down.  My daughter was getting married in 2 days.  It was a day I had dreaded when I was younger.   I didn't want to think about not being the one she asked for help or to just call and talk about anything from music to NASCAR, or get a goofy text from her in the middle of the night.  The bottom line is that I didn't want to think about her not being my "little" girl any more, even though she was 21.
Donna and I arrived Friday evening just in time for the rehearsal, which may have been a good thing.  I didn't have time to think about it while stuck in rush hour traffic as we went through Dallas/Fort Worth.  We had a quick rehearsal, then went out for dinner and had a great evening with all of the wedding party.  This is where Ray, David's best man, decided to impress the single chicks by riding the mechanical bull ... well, it's sort of a mechanical bull (to Ray's credit though, it didn't throw him).  By now, fatigue was setting in and my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk.  I went back to the room at the hotel while Donna and some of the girls decorated the room for the reception.  It was strange, all the fears I thought that I would have at this time were simply not there.  I realized that I was actually quite happy for her and David.  And why shouldn't I be, all you want is to see is your kids grow up happy and to find someone that loves them and will treat them right.  If you could see them together, you would know like I do, that they are right for each other.  

The morning of her wedding day comes and although I have only slight joint pain, the fatigue is killing me.  I ran into Fort Worth to pick up a few things needed for the wedding and as soon as I got back, I needed to lay down.  I just felt like I couldn't take another step, my hips, legs and feet were hurting badly now.  This is such a frustrating disease, why pick this weekend to flare up on me?  I had planned on taking an hour long nap ... that turned into 3 hours.  I just barely got up in time to shower and get dressed for the wedding.  I saw Kala in her dress for the first time as I was about to walk her down the aisle.  I couldn't do anything but smile, she was beautiful.  On top of that she was so calm and cool, very un-Kala like.
The wedding was to start at 6 pm on the boardwalk that wrapped around the lake running on the edge of town.  It was a perfect evening, with the exception of the 25 mph wind, and the lake made a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony.  As we exited outside, the wind began lifting up (quiet a bit) the dresses that the bridesmaids were wearing.  Kara, one of the bridesmaids, turned and said  "I hope every ones wearing under wear tonight".  lol  After the bridesmaids walked down, it was suddenly my daughters time.  How did this moment get here so quickly?  I had planned to walk in slowly and to tell her I loved her, that I was proud of her and how I thought that she had made a wise choice with David.  As we started walking, she was suddenly yanking on my arm!  Hold on, I don't think David is going anywhere ... we just have 60 feet to go.  I was immediately reminded of trying to walk Frankie, our Great Pyrenees before he had obedience training.  My talk was quickly discarded as I picked the pace up and tried to keep from stepping on her dress at the same time, which was now swishing from side to side due to her rapid pace.  As we got closer I looked up and saw David with this huge smile on his face.  It made me smile inside, how could I not be excited for them.
The rest of the evening I spent in the background, visiting with friends and family.  I don't know why I ever thought I would dread this day, it was a wonderful evening seeing the two of them happy and united.  And on top of that, momma didn't cry.