Speaking of epic weather conditions, I've developed quite a reputation for taking on the bad weather, and have to admit that part of what I seek in a good Festive 500 report is some pretty severe weather that might make otherwise hardy souls stay home to iron socks - btw thanks @ffflow for that imagery.
I'm a real believer that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing - and have a 3 part series of posts on the subject (base, outer, extremities). I've had plenty of experience dressing for bad weather because I simply hate to ride indoors. I always have. Give me 0F and gale force winds over the boredom of a trainer anyday!
I don't ride for exercise. I ride a bike to take in for beautiful scenery and enjoy pleasant company and conversation, and as my local riding companions will attest, for the great coffee shop and bakery stops. But this year, I've been faced will a whole new set of challenges.
Newcomers to the blog may not be aware of my apparent need to have as much titanium in my body as possible. Just as dogs and their owners start to look alike, I seem to be on a quest to be made of the same material as my bike. In June, I was hit by a wrong way cyclist and broke my collarbone. But thanks to a titanium plate and 6 screws, I was back riding within a couple of weeks.
Then three months later, a careless driver in a truck hit me from behind while I was riding, and enabled me to add to my titanium collection. I now also have a few rods and 8 screws in my back as a result of a burst T11 fracture, along with multiple other vertebra and rib fractures.
I've been wearing a fairly restrictive TLSO back brace since September. I've been very limited in what I could do, with no bending or twisting, and no lifting anything heavier than a half gallon of milk. I've been doing more pain relief than exercise at PT, but I have been walking lots. I had considered doing a Festive50, with plans to walk 50 miles, but then I started thinking about what I might be able to do on the indoor bike, and how a big week could really help motivate me and get me back to riding.
Then last Friday, I was finally given the green light to get out of the brace. I am now allowed to do more and can finally start doing some strengthening work in PT. The bones are not fully healed, but the progress is on schedule and good. The hardware is secure and stable and I can now finally bend and twist and ... ride my indoor bike. But I've lost considerable upper body strength, so one of the big challenges now is I have to use my own muscles, rather than the brace, to hold myself up. But I am so happy to be out of that brace, that I am coping with any extra pain.
Now I never thought I would be so excited to be able to ride a trainer, but I am. And while I know that the fine folks at Rapha intend for Festive 500 challenge participants to ride outside, I'm hoping for special dispensation! Besides, it's a hell of a lot harder to ride indoors. It's boring and it's hard work.
I've got my belt drive fixie (still sporting the Mt Washington race number) set up on a fluid trainer. Next to this I have my laptop and a series of DVDs. I've been thoroughly enjoying rewatching episodes of Jeeves and Wooster. Today included an awesome episode where Bertie was forced to ride his bike 9 miles in pouring to and from a servants party to collect a key, when he caused the entire household to get locked out while trying one of his silly matchmaking schemes. So while I rode in the relative comfort of the 50F degree garage, I watched Bertie ride his bike in the rain - close enough, eh?
In keeping with tradition, I stopped for lunch and coffee, and apparently a leg massage from Cocoa...
Then I headed back down for part 2.
Day 1 - 88km, 17% complete. Stay tuned...