As soon as I figured out that turning pedals no longer aggravates my knee during or after bike rides, this renewed sense of health opened the floodgate of suppressed cycling mania. Strava tells me I rode 172 miles with 22,150 feet of climbing this week. I realize that's not defensible given I'm trying to rehab an injury, not push its outer limits. But none of it seemed like much at the time. I did a little ride here, a routine ride there, and joined a friendly day trip on Sunday. Just like that, 18 hours on a bike. Where does the time go?
"Skiing?" I was confused.
"Yeah, skiing. What are those for?"
"Oh, these? These are walking sticks. For walking with a hurt knee. I use them so I don't lose my balance and fall."
"How far you walking?"
"Three miles. Maybe four."
"Damn!" he said. "Four miles on a hurt knee. You know there are mountain lions out there. Don't think you can outrun them."
"I know. I'm here a lot. I've never seen a mountain lion."
"Is that right? I like walking, getting started with walking. And you know what, someday I'm going to walk ten miles, and you will too!" He grinned and then the photographer waved to get his attention again. I didn't really have any idea what he was stream-of-consciousness rambling about, only that he seemed genuinely enthusiastic at this stranger's plan to walk four miles.
On my way up the hill, two runners who I recognized gave me a wave and a thumbs up. Another who I didn't recognize waved and said, "You do good for that knee." I felt like a fraud. I mean, occasional stumbles and tight sensations in my knee remind me that I need to pay attention to balance and ease my way very slowly back into running. So I continue to gimp along my usual running trails in an effort to work my way back to full mobility. This is the smart thing I'm doing. This was today.
This was yesterday —