Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In A Word ... GREAT

Living with rheumatoid arthritis can feel like a crap shoot sometimes.  You feel good today but you may struggle to get out of bed and get to the living room tomorrow morning.  It is something we deal  with but deep down, no matter what level of acceptance you have reached, we all hate it.  I can't explain why my pain level is low right now, I am just enjoying the days as long as they will last.  I even changed a tire on my bike tonight after getting in from today's ride.  This usually hurts my hands badly from prying on the tire tools stretching the tires off and onto the rim.  Not this time, hasn't bothered them at all. 
I did not get to ride the last two weeks, the first week was due to some serious RA pain going on at the time then last week I had a sinus and ear infection.  This week I made up for it.  I rode with Greg Monday.  His BMW1200GS was all shiny with the stock tires so we kept to mostly asphalt.  We rode 150 miles but I did take him for a little bit of exploring that paid off.  I have rode by this particular dirt road many times but slowed and turned down it to see what was down that way.  After a couple of miles of snaking around a narrow twisty dirt road with lots of hills, and trees hanging over the road forming a tree tunnel, we were face to face with a massive train bridge.  The bikes are dwarfed in the photo below.  Greg had a good time and has engine guards and knobby tires ordered.  Next time I will drag him over some good stuff.
Tuesday, Randall and I headed out at the crack of nine.  Randall was riding his KTM 950 Adventure that he had just picked up yesterday.  In a word, Holy Crap!  Sorry, that was two words wasn't it?  We rode from the house to Oark and turned around to head back home for 187 miles round trip.  After eating, we walk out and it was about the coolest thing I have seen in a while.  There were 15 bikes all lined up on the side of the cafe where we had parked.  We talked with a group of 5 from Minnesota who were loving the riding we have here.  Then Randall says, "I want you to ride this".  No... I'd better not, I replied.  "No, ride it like it was yours" he fires back.  I rode it for the next 12 miles on Highway 215 which is narrow and twisty with a bluff on one side and the river on the other.  Once on 215, after leaving the cafe, I grabbed enough throttle to climb to a comfortable cruising speed while adjusting to the bike.  I look down and I am running 69 mph ...  it is so smooth and the power so linear, I thought I was running low 50's.  A big smile came across my face ... okay, lets see what she's got once I get through this corner.  Coming out of the apex of the turn I pull the throttle hard and the acceleration was incredible!  It jumped, literally on the digital speedometer, from 45 to 58 in a second.  About 3-4 seconds later I was at 87 mph.  I have got to get me one of these!!  I pulled in at the junction of highway 215 and 23 to trade bikes and was laughing hard as Randall pulled up on my KLR.  He grinned big and said "yeah, when it goes bad, it's going to be REAL bad".
My week has been a good one, I have lost 4 pounds, rode 335 miles in two days in two different national forests and although not totally pain free, haven't felt too bad for all of it.
Massive train bridge on the edge of the forest.
Bikes under the bridge.
Randall's 950 after he let me hammer it for a few miles.
To say it was a nice day to ride is an understatement.  Oark Cafe Tuesday afternoon.
Highway 215 to Oark.
Fall colors just starting to hit the Ozark National Forest.  The Ouchita National Forest will be a couple of weeks yet on colors.
Highway215 and 23 junction.
I want to own land with my own abandoned bridge on it some day!


Kim said...

Awesome pics as usual. It sounds like you had an incredible time riding. I'm so glad you're feeling up to riding again.

When you feel good you've got to do something you love. A dear departed friend always said to me "If there's something you want to do - do it now because you never know if you'll be able to do it later.". She loved to travel and was waiting until she retired. She retired because of limited mobility and only was able to take a couple trips.

I'm getting better about not having the spotless house and yard. I took yesterday off of work to go riding. It was 70 degress here in Wisconsin. Way above normal for this time of year. It was beautiful.

I thought I was going to have to put the bike away for the season (boo hoo) - cleaned it and put the stabil in the gas tank. Now the weatherman has been talking about mid 60s for the weekend. Hey I can clean my bike again.

Keep riding.

Terry said...

Hello Kim, thank you and it felt great to be able to ride two beautiful days in a row. Sorry about your friend but she was right. That's why I ride every day that I can, you don't know when it might be your last chance to do something (anything) you love doing.
Glad to hear you took advantage of the day and got to go ride some. People that do not ride are missing a great joy. In a car, you drive the road, on a bike you experience the road. Hope you get some more rides in this fall before storing it for the winter. Down here, I can ride all but about 3-4 weeks in winter on average. Last winter, I think there was only one week that was too bad to ride, but it was a very mild winter. I don't plan on having it quiet so good this winter.
Talk to you later.

mary said...

Looks like you had a great week. Hope the RA holds steady for a long while. Great pictures. I spent the weekend in Maryland biking. Great place to ride...flat, flat, flat and pretty. My kind of bike ride. A few weeks ago I was in the Adirondacks. Way hilly and quite a challenge for these RA/OA knees. Your right it is good to do what you love every day you can.

Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome. OMG long time since I had to use tire irons, spoons or whatever and having my brother back over one of my Yamaha's tubeless tires while I stood on the rim to break the bead dumb idea but it worked and nothing got broken. Upstate NY is slowly fading into fall and we are seeing our beautiful leaves hit the ground, but the colors have been fantastic. The cimzia hasn't hit yet and things are a bit rough, but I will be hitting the woods this weekend with the bow.
That KTM was a blast eh. Maybe you can write it off as a medical expense.
Take care

Terry said...

Mary, so far the happy streak continues. I twisted my left knee at work Thursday night and it swelled up like a grapefruit. It is almost back to normal today, just in time for my 4 days off this week. Haha, only a bicyclist can appreciate flat land! I use to love the hills when I rode but can't even ride on flat land hardly anymore. Keep on pushin'.

Phil, I have some long tire tools for more leverage but they still hurt my hands ... stupid RA. I could have changed the tire if I had been on the trail and had to (been there far too many times) but opted for the easy way out. $15 at a local shop and avoided some serious hand pain for a day or two. Not sure if it is getting smarter, as I get older, or just lazier. haha We should be getting into our optimum color in another two to three weeks here. Hang in there, I'm hoping the Cimzia works for you. WOW ... thats all I can say. I have been searching for a KTM 950 or 990 now.

Candied Frogs said...

Glad to hear you're getting out T! My friend just sold his KTM 950 up here on Vancouver Island. He loved it and he had a tough time selling it this summer. (That's what happens when your garage is STUFFED with bikes of all sizes)! He picked up a KTM 450 recently... It's probably the nicest bike I've ever ridden on dirt. I must have a KTM one day!

abcsofra said...

Ride, ride, ride!! I so agree...anytime one can do something they it! Love the pics and I am so happy to read and see you are back on your bike, the wind at your side and your ra left in the dirt!

Terry said...

Hey Andy, been following your rides, I'm envious of your riding you have up there! I am seriously considering selling the KLR to get a 950 now. I still have my KTM 525, arguably one of the best woods bikes out there. If you can swing it, I hope you get a KTM ... you won't regret it.

Thanks Deb. I just went back on my meds Sunday, after 3 weeks of being off of them while on antibiotics, and it was definitely time to get back to them. I wasn't hurting as bad as I have in the past from being off them but was sure ready for some relief. I rode 310 miles last week and heading out this morning as soon as it warms up enough.

Lana said...

You are right, we accept it but we hate it. I know what you mean about enjoying the good days – that is all any of us can do. Our weather sucks and I have not really been able to enjoy Fall and with damp weather – there is return of RA and fibro symptoms. I know that this will be the norm for the next 4 to 6 months. I just have to accept it and move forward. I have made some diet changes that have helped with symptom relief and weight loss but like the next person, I know that RA and fibro are here to stay. I love the Fall colors in the photos. This is my favorite season but the damp weather and the RA symptoms are making it hard to enjoy. Keep riding, my friend and don’t you dare let RA win!

Terry said...

Lana, we had a short lived cold snap pass through last week and man o man did it mess with my RA and OA both! We are back to our seasonal temps now, mid 70's by day and down in the upper 40's at night. On my days off, the hot tub feels great about 1 or 2 in the morning. I have had many people tell me that losing some weight will help. I have lost another 2 pounds last week but it is more of a mental edge than a physical one. I still hurt the same after losing 12 pounds. Hang in there through the winter months, spring will soon be here.