Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back on the BiKe

It is the end of April already. Gosh! What happened? Where did March go? Oh yeah....It feels like I slept for a month.

Anyway, Tuesday was my first ride back on the bike. Instead of taking it easy and doing a nice flat short ride, I took off to my favorite route. I went up the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Folk Art Center to Bull Gap. Then I turned around and climbed up the back side of Town Mountain road. So, this is probably close to 100 feet of climbing per mile. That is the best kind of riding and the most therapeutic (for me). I even used a 12x25 cassette instead of changing out to a easier gearing, 12x27 tooth cassette. I felt the bigger gear on the climb. I was riding a 12x25 comfortably before my surgery. So, I can tell exactly the ground that I have to make up. I'm not going to race to get my form back. I just needed to know where I am in my fitness right now. There is a little work to do.

I have targeted at least 2 centuries in the month of June. The Cherohala Challange (115 miles with more than 10,000 feet of climbing) and the Blood Sweat and Gears (more of the same). I've never done the BSG before. This will be my first time. It is a ride near Boone and there is a lot of good climbing there.

In the interest of my Southern Appalachian Road Climbs website, I've been working with Google Maps "My Maps" to create, duh, MAPS of the climbs for my web site. The climbs that I have created so far are Town Mountain, Brasstown Bald, Hogpen Gap, Wolfpen Gap, Woody Gap, and Santeetlah Road Gap.

I am hoping to link the climbs from my website to these Google Maps pages. There are pretty cool. I am doing a little work on my web pages in Dreamweaver Studio 8. I'm still trying to learn the software....and there seems to be a learning curve for me, which is unusual. I can usually pick up software pretty quick, but this is a new challenge.

So, I do feel good on the bike. My neck is still healing and I can feel some tenderness, but the ride feels great. It always does. I won't be riding in a tight group of people until I feel 100%. So, probably no racing until the summer. My first target is the Fletcher Flyer ride on May 20th. It does not have a lot of climbing and is a good 1st ride for me.

I've been back to work for 3 weeks and each week gets better.

The books that I've been reading over the last several weeks:
Johnson's Notes on the new Testament
iPod Fully Loaded
Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 and Flash 8 Visual Quickstart Guides.

I did go to the Tour de Georgia over the weekend. The Sunday road circuit stage in downtown Atlanta, GA was great. I took several great pictures. I hope to post some of the to my website. You can watch the last 9 minutes of the final stage on YouTube.

All for now.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Final leg of recovery

Well, I finally made it to my home on March 26th. I have really improved since then. The first few days at home I just relaxed and took it easy. I got real comfortable sleeping in my own place and my own bed. It was nice.

I ordered some new software to start working on web pages and went through a few tutorials to get started. I need to revisit that in the next few weeks and make some progress.

On April 1st, Debi drove me to pick up my daughter. I was lucky to have her spring break overlap with my last week of recovery. We had great week together and I was able to be very mobile by the middle of the week. On Thursday I had my 4 week follow up doctors appointment. They said my healing is going very well and could not be better. That was good news. They gave me the okay to return to work and to start driving long distances. I met with the physical therapist after my doctors appointment and he gave me some exercises to work on. He gave me the home-office plan so I do not have to go into their facility for weekly appointments. The PT had neck surgery 6 years ago and was able to give me great information on his experience.

The day before Easter we got 4 inches of snow. I drove my daughter back in what started out to be really treacherous driving conditions as we passed 3 just-happened car accidents in a 2 mile stretch near Canton, NC. We wanted to turn around and take another route home as we reconsidered driving through the I-40 gorge at the NC/TN state line. Not a fun road to drive in poor weather conditions. But, we kept going and everything was just fine and not too bad...we were extremely cautious.

It was a 4 hour drive each way. I felt good, but my neck was bugging me a little by the time I got home. I was tired and took a long nap. I've been getting really tired about 4 PM.

I go back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I can re-arrange my office workspace and make it through the entire day. I will try to take it easy and relief any tension and stress as this first week gets going.