Plan B – October Ride 1 – Back in the saddle

7 and 8 October

Total Kilometres: 51.23 kms (31.83 miles)

Total Kilometres 2018: 3996 kms (2110 miles)

Time slips away. It silently rolls on while we’re sleeping. It ticks by slowly in the hours at work. It jumps forward an hour in spring. And so, it feels like just yesterday that we were riding through the canola at the end of August. And now, we’re already into the second week of October and daylight savings has made the days seem longer.

Of course, my goal for September was not to ride at all. Even the gentlest of my rides between March and August were too much for my body. So the plan was to just relax in September and not push myself at all – which is extremely hard for someone like me. But that is what I did.

I visited family in America in September for three weeks. We took it really easy and my mom tried to speed up my recovery with love and water kefir. It must have worked at least a little, and maybe a lot, because the recovery from the big relapse in July continued in leaps and bounds.

A margarita at The Rio in Fort Collins is always a must. I have many great memories from here over the past 25 years.
The guys got in a lot of floatie sessions. This was on Frantz Lake in Salida.
Floating on a creek down below Independence Pass.
Exploring the geology down near Canon City.
Colorado Trail with my parents.
Habitat. We were really lucky and got in on some leaf colour. Normally this would be too early in September to see this much.
I miss my parents so much and really treasure the time that I have with them. This is near the Shavano campground on the trail to Blanks Cabin.
Floating the Arkansas River.
Hiking a trail at Turquoise Lake near Leadville – pic by my dad. My parents dragged my brother and I along on many, many trails as kids. We have many pics like this from IN when we were all much younger! I love hiking these days, but my brother…. not-so-much. He’s a good sport on trips like these though.
My dad launches the guys and gets photos from this end. I catch the guys and get photos from the other end. My mom supervises, out of shot, on the rocks. My parents are very supportive of my nerdy, creative, slightly nuts hobbies.
Time for lunch on the trail – pic by my dad. I am so grateful to have so many outdoor memories with my parents. I hope we’ve got many more to come. I love our time together in the mountains.

Once I got back to Oz, I started a strict anti-inflammatory diet. I started a new probiotic. I kept my rides short and gentle. And I am feeling the best I’ve felt since last December. The brain fog is mostly gone except when I’m tired. The hip pain has significantly receded. The muscle pain is no longer constant. It recovers more quickly than before. I sleep through the whole night. I’m not having night sweats. I wake up feeling tired but not deathly. So we’ll continue this regime for the coming months.

Sorry if you’re here for big mountain adventures. I wish I was doing those – like you wouldn’t believe. However, it’s going to be mundane for some time to come.

Getting well after West Nile virus has easily surpassed Trail Ridge Road or Bear Tooth Pass for the hardest climb I’ve ever done. It’s a climb of a different sort, but it’s taken way more mental, physical and emotional endurance and stamina than any riding I’ve ever done. I still can’t see the top of this mountain, but I think I’ve finally cleared the switchbacks. See below for a couple short and gentle rides taken on 7 and 8 October after our return to Oz.

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Out for a ride on a perfect spring day. No flies yet, only one direct hit by a swooping magpie, not much wind and 24c. We’re heading up to a river reserve for a float.
Anabranch of the Murray River at Shaws Flat.
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A float for the guys on the Murray River – Oz’s biggest river (it drains 1/3 of the continent).
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Another gorgeous tree-lined dry-weather-only road.
A picture taken for an attempt at the monthly challenge over on Cycle365. Cycling is the best medicine!
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We’re picking up several new tracks in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park today. Virus brain forgot my helmet, so we are riding carefully on all the loose gravel!
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Donchi Hill track. We don’t see a single person all day.
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Oh thank goodness I brought along the floaties! I almost didn’t – not thinking we’d find any water. But here is this big old mining dam on Lappins Track. The guys had a nice long float while I snacked…. only 4 kms into our 18.
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We rode a lot of boundary tracks today – since we’ve already ridden most everything else. So farmland on the left; national park on the right.
The canola over there has pretty much all finished flowering. Note the extra wires high on the fence to try to keep the kangaroos out of the field.
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Chinese Track is a good one – it obviously doesn’t get much use and you just feel like you are riding through the forest instead of on a defined track.
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Ahhh…… we only do 18 kms in 2 hours through the gentle hills, but it is just nice to be out on the bike. The birds are calling, the breeze is light, the park is quiet – I’d rather be in remote places doing hard rides… but jeez, this is really not at all that bad 🙂
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Looking toward the northwest from the park at a very pleasant pastoral scene. Not long now before the summer brown sets in.
The guys and I and a wee bit of the saddle reflected in the mirror. We tried some experiments so I can get a qualifying pic for the reflectie challenge over on Cycle365 on our next ride. The convex lens gives you a bit of alien-head!  So here goes an easy, gentle day done. Time to go home and cook up a bunch of food for morning tea at work tomorrow.


4 thoughts on “Plan B – October Ride 1 – Back in the saddle

  • What a wonderful update – thank you for sharing your time with your family with us and especially news that a corner has been turned in your recovery. Onwards and upwards! Catherine

    • Hi Catherine – my apologies for never replying to this message! I was looking at my previous posts today and saw I hadn’t replied to this. I’m so sorry! I know I read it and meant to respond – stupid virus brain probably composed a message and then I forgot to actually go and write it! I hope you have come through the extreme wet up there – not a good day today for a bike in Sydney. Plenty of sun down here 🙂

  • Hey – that’s great. Slowly and surely recovery must be the way to go. Even on slow, quiet rides we cyclists see so many interesting things – and the guys get a float. Loved the picture of them investigating the rock face. Tony

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