A Little Bike Ride

Okay, so my last post was whiney and some people asked if I was depressed.  Not me–everyone has a right to a degree of self-pity once every decade or so and I just had mine.  I will say today that my thighs really hurt but that’s a result of 1) the physical therapy helping my shoulder so I could 2) get back on the bike and 3) getting back to the gym and overdoing it (my curse) on the stationary bike and the leg press plate machine. Done.

So, why engage in this sort of fitness activity?  A challenge– I want to bike (as in bicycle, not motorcycle) the Great Divide Trail.  Doing the whole thing would take a few months but, hey, I’m retired.  The scenery along the Divide is Mother Nature at her very best.  So who’s game for a little bike touring?

The entire trail runs from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, NM on the Mexican border.  There’s a lot of Forest Service type roads so it’s not all gnarly single track.  I know many of you couldn’t commit the time to ride the whole thing but the route can be broken into segments if one wanted to do a part over a weekend or a week,,,,Last time we were in Pietown we met a woman riding the trail from Gallup NM to Antelope Wells.  She was with a group of four but the others were slower, I guess.  It is a bonus that the route intersects US Hwy. 60 right at the Pie-O-Neer restaurant…….

For more information on the trip and a video of highlights from the Great Divide route, click here.  Adventure Cycling offers supported tours but they are pricey.  I have their full set of maps.  They also offer a book, Cycling the Great Divide by Michael McCoy, to stoke your interest.  For whoever might be interested, I plan on leaving Banff towards the end of April; hopefully, the snow will be gone up in the Northern tier.  With luck, we’ll only hit a minimum of monsoon season toward the end of the route in NM.  Monsoon season usually runs July through September.

So I hope some of you will consider joining me.  I know one thing on bucket lists is renting a motor home and touring the US.  Maybe someone would do that and also support the ride, killing two birds with one stone?  You’re never too old for a new adventure in life. And the Great Divide Trail promises to be one.

The Difference Between 16-17 and 69-70

People who follow this blog or read my posts on Facebook are aware that I’ve espoused positions like “65 is the new 45” and “you’re only as old as you feel.”  Well, as Rubeus Hagrid would say, “Codswallop!”

When I was in high school. especially junior and senior years, I ran cross-country and track.  Junior year I ran the mile and two-mile just about every race.  We ran year round, as long as the roads were passable, in southern CT.  Must have run hundreds of miles, never an issue with my feet, other than the occasional blister on the ankle breaking in a new pair of shoes.  Ahhh, the Glory Days!!!

About 8 months ago, I contracted an infection in my foot.  Pretty much grounded me from my beloved Marin East Peak (my mountain bike).  Then about 6 months ago, right around my 69th b-day and Christmas, I felt a twinge behind my right shoulder while lifting weights at the gym.  This grew worse and now I’m under an ortho’s care for a possible light tear in the rotator cuff,  Start physical therapy next week.  And as long as I was there, he drained my left elbow where bursitis (gotta love spell-check.  Must know I live in New Mexico because it wants to replace this with “burritos”) had developed. This is on top of my developing painful callouses on the balls of both feet, making walking and riding an extremely unenjoyable proposition!  No, I’m certainly not feeling like 70 is the new fifty!!!

Now I know many of you readers, as well as other friends who might not see this, have had it far worse in the health department.  And I’m sure I sound like I’m whining over relatively trivial ailments.  But watching my body lose muscle tone because I have to limit my activity because of these malfunctions is frustrating and aggravating.  Worse is the realization that the final chapter is now more imminent than the first one.  Pretty telling when the app that sends me the most notifications on the iPhone is called “We Croak.”  And the newest fiction I’m reading is Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones, both by Jesmyn Ward.  Yeah, ghosts and the Reaper…..

Finally, I just gotta cast aspersions on the clown train in DC.  “Fearless Leader” (apologies to Boris and Natasha) has gone through experienced advisors faster than Wal-Mart does greeters.  Not good for either them or our nation. The latest fracas is with his confidant/mentor/friend Rudy Giuliani.“He is a great guy,” Mr. Trump said. “He’ll get his facts straight.”   Hello, Donny-J, how many can you throw under the bus?!?!?!  I think this administration is gonna flop not because of TheRump but because anyone with brains enough to do some good would rather work for Voldemort!!!!