Over the past 40 days I have only been able to ride a grand total of 31 km due to injury. My latest injury wasn’t even cycling related. I simply burnt myself out & screwed up my knee walking of all things. This is the longest period of time I’ve ever been off the bike. I tried not to mope around feeling sorry for myself. Fatigue was the catalyst so I reasoned that my body needed rest more than anything else. Monday I finally woke free of pain in the knee. Finally I could dream of getting back on the bike.
I ramped up my rehab exercises and was doing up to 2 hours of stretching after work in order to get myself right to ride. Sadly I still couldn’t do any hills and had to look at flat road to ride instead. I am a bit of a sick puppy, and the idea of riding 100 km popped into my head as a recovery ride….. After telling a couple of mates that pretty much said the same thing “you’re a dick!”. I believe that if you set your mind towards a goal and are hungry enough you can achieve anything. Even being a “dick“.
“If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price”
-Patrick Swayze: Point Break
My knee still wasn’t 100% by the Saturday and when I headed off I was treading eggshells starting this ride. The wind was ferocious & I had to fight the bike just to get to the Eastlink Trail. I could feel fluid moving in my knee & it was painful. The thought of not riding my bike was more painful. I pulled over & taped up my knee which seemed to fix the problem.
Getting back on and heading south with a strong tail wind pushing me along.
Any little rise hurt & I had no strength to climb but that’s why I chose to ride the bike trails. My legs warmed up after about 15 km & I started to ride well. I came upon a rider up ahead and my first thought was “carrot up ahead”. I knew that was a good sign that my competitive spark was still there. When I turned onto the Peninsula trail unfortunately I had what was a perfect tail wind. I was cruising without effort sitting on 41 km/h & I knew I could get some very impressive times. Common sense was thrown out the window and switched onto TT mode. Stupidly I no longer milked my body. Smashing it instead and was able to sit comfortably for about 5 km at an incredibly high tempo.
That was until my body started to remind me that it was still hurting.
I knew I was on a really good time, and shouldn’t have but kept the pressure so high on an injured body. No surprise that I started hurting everywhere. My knees were screaming & my quads were dying trying to take up the slack. After 10 km I hit a series of small climbs. Struggling up the first one but kept some form of tempo. The second one cracked me & I was battling waves of nausea. I was deep within the pain cave & on a mission. A voice was whispering “dickhead, you have 50 km to return into a headwind”. I didn’t listen, and made it to the end of the trail & collapsed in exhaustion.
The trail finishes right outside of Two Bays Road. This is one of the Peninsula’s most popular climbs which is 2 km long with a 5% average. I climbed it and mega thankful that I didn’t see a single rider on the climb. I’ve never climbed that bad in years.
I could only sit on about 6 – 8 km/h & it was quite a humbling experience.
The ride home was a complete nightmare. Running on empty, with muscles screaming in pain riding into a solid 30 – 40 kmph head wind.
40 days off the bike made me appreciate a number of things, and I know I shouldn’t have done such a hard ride returning from such a serious knee injury. It was a rewarding feeling when I finally made it home, and I was blown away by the responses I received.
Christian Purnomo – Welcome back bman
Shane Harold – Great to see you back 🙂 well done
Larry Bird – Welcome back, 100km come back ride. Awesome work
Dylan Nicholson – For anyone else that’d be a huge ride Brendan but you do have a reputation!
This will take me quite a few days to recover from, but hopefully it will be the start of a whole new adventure.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: