Monday, January 28, 2008

Train in the rain

Ride Ataxia II will begin March 15. During the month of march, the weather in California is unpredictable. In July, one can count on sunny skies from north to south. In January we will always see rain, fog, snow and cold temperatures (especially up north). However, in March the weather can go either way. With this in mind, our team is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
On Sunday I had a drizzling training ride. I think it is important to try out all the gear to make sure you have everything you need to survive 50 miles in the rain for days on end. So I tried out my rain pants and jacket and my gloves. However, I forgot to reinstall my fenders and I ended up all wet after 12 miles.

The Good News: Thanks to Dirk my Physical Therapist ( and Yoga classes, my knee is starting to shape up and is bothering me less and less.

The Not-So Good News: The rain will continue all week...Maybe the skies will dry up by March 15.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Teammates

Check it out. If you look to the right hand column you will notice that we have added quite a few new teammates. We now have over 30 teammates. Some teammates are cycling for one day and some are cycling for all 13. We're going to have a lot of fun fighting this disease.

Team Training:
We are all on our own for day to day training but our preliminary goal is to be ready for our Team Training Ride, Feb 16 from Discovery Park to Folsom Lake and back. See a map of the 60+ mile route here: We will start the training ride at 830am and we will try to treat it like a normal day on the road.

One more thing: Thanks to team members Linda and Andy Johnson, we have this sweet elevation profile of the route: This map gives you a pretty good idea about what we are up against...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I have not been training for the past couple of months because my knee has been acting up again (a dull pain underneath my kneecap that gradually gets worse as I ride). So I visited an orthopedic surgeon who performed my Dad's arthroscopic surgery just a month ago (Dad is recovering quickly and should be ready for the ride to Vegas). This doctor took some x-rays, poked around a bit, said everything looked fine and referred me to a physical therapist friend of his.

I visited the Physical therapist a week ago and he poked a bit more, adjusted my hip joints, watched me pedal on my trike and determined that the problem was that my kneecap is misaligned. The reason that the knee cap is off is that the outside portion of my left quadricep is more developed and tighter than the inside portion. The result is that when I flex my quad, the kneecap gets pulled more to the left than the right and it rubs on the other parts of my knee. Does this make sense?

The initial remedy was to tape my knee so the cap is skewed toward the inside. So he taped it and the tape immediately came off because my legs are too hairy. So he used even more tape which held but we both knew it wouldn't be for long. So he told me to "thin the forest" before our next visit. He told me to leave the tape on for at least 48 hours and try to ride 10 miles with the tape in place.

I was not able to get on the bike within 48 hours and when the tape became moist and stinky, I took it off (I also took off a hunk of the "forest"). So this weekend I decided to retape and try a short ride. However, experience told me that I should remove some of the hair on my knee before applying the tape:

I did not have any medical tape so I used old standby, Duct Tape:

Another part of the remedy is to strengthen and tighten one side of my quad and loosen and elongate the other side. Deep massage is the best way to loosen muscles so I use a foam roller to elongate the muscle in the left side of my quad:

All of this preparation just for an hour of stationary cycling in the garage. The weather wwas insane in Northern California this weekend so I had to settle for the garage:

The next day I took the trike outdoors for a 12 mile ride...The knee felt ok during the ride except for the fact that it was all taped up creating all sorts of strange pressure where there probably shouldn't be pressure. The day after that (Monday), my knee did not feel very well. It was painful just walking around.

So for the past couple of days I have been doing some strengthening exercises and working with the foam roller. I have another appointment with the physical therapist tomorrow, stay tuned...

In the meantime, please check out this article in the Grass Valley Union and no I am not in a wheelchair...yet: