Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 6: Astoria to Devil's Lake. Trip total: 720.8km

This was an unusual day. I knew it would be a long day on the road, but I also knew I'd have pretty good weather and great scenery, so I was ready. Unfortunately my right knee wasn't any better after the short 80km day yesterday. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I don't mind riding injured, it just can't persist for too long, and it can't get worse - otherwise I can usually manage it. Today my knee got worse in a hurry. After 60km I couldn't push off that leg without stabbing pain. I basically rode the next 10km with one leg, but then it became too painful to even have my right leg go through a passive pedal rotation without pain.

I was forced to stop in Rockabay, which I told myself was a good time for lunch. I found a nice little restaurant overlooking a lake to take my rest. I must have been limping pretty bad because the hostess immediately ran up to me and asked if I was alright? and was there anything she could do? Not looking good.

As I waited for my food, I was looking at bus and train schedules to San Diego because I couldn't see how I'd be able to recover without time to rest, and I didn't have the luxury of time. Then a weird thing happened - my knee was feeling better just sitting there. It was excruciating moments earlier, and now out felt fine(ish). I started thinking it wasn't an overuse injury, but might just be a mechanical issue that popped up today. I narrowed it down to my IT band, and started making adjustments to my seat height, pedal position, and when I got back on the road it did feel better - for a while. After 25km it was as bad or worse than before.

I had to stop again, this time in the middle of nowhere. Like before, it started feeling better as soon as I stopped riding. I couldn't figure out what I was doing to piss off my knee, but it wasn't keen on cycling. As a last ditch effort, I started flexing and extending my knee in various positions, pushing off of different parts of my foot, adjusting how much force I applied throughout different stages of my pedal stroke. As I'm doing this - off of my bike, I should add, several motorists passing by were treated to a nice show of what must have looked like a crazy guy going through spastic dance moves on the side off the road.

Eventually I found a technique where I could pedal without pain, but it feels like a bandaid solution. I feel odd that after completing 177km today, my knee feels fine right now. It really shouldn't, not after how the day started. I have a scheduled day off tomorrow that I was hoping to postpone because the weather has been so good. I'll reassess the situation in the morning.

As always, my broken body adjusting to abuse is no match for the beauty of the Pacific Coast that I've been privileged to enjoy along the way. Enjoy!

Leaving Astoria

This was supposed to be my destination yesterday

My lunch stop

It's not the height of the climb that kills you, it's when you have to do it.


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