Our frequent guest poster, Don Blount, is dealing with a setback.
My cycling year has gone sideways.
I had planned on building on what I did last year, riding a total 6,500 miles and completing a bunch of challenging rides, including the Tour of the California Alps Death Ride and my first double century.
This year my goal was to complete three double centuries, which would give me a California Triple Crown and to complete the Death Ride again.
But man makes plans and God laughs.
Instead of preparing for my next ride, I am readying for major surgery in March and rehab with hopes of being able to complete a double century by the fall.
The problem is osteoarthritis in my left hip. It is something that I have been tracking for nearly two years. X-rays taken about last May showed no cartilage in the joint, which meant there was bone on bone grinding.
My doctor described it succinctly: “You have a crappy hip.”
Cycling is a non-weight bearing activity – except for standing when climbing or making a hard effort – so the only option was to live with it until it became problematic.
So I rode and for the most part without any significant problems.
In October I had a quick consult with an orthopedic surgeon who looked at the x-ray, and told me to come see him when I was ready. Ready meant ready for hip replacement surgery.
The hip was balky but it provided no real indication that it would fail.
But over the Christmas holidays it took a turn, becoming increasingly difficult to use until one morning after New Year’s I got up and could not walk at all.
My hip had not just deteriorated; it felt as if it had imploded. I can ride, I can work out. But the pain became constant and I needed a cane to walk.
It was time for hip replacement surgery.
I spoke with my doctor who referred me to the surgeon and a surgery date was scheduled.
I may view this major surgery a bit differently than other people since I had my right hip replaced in 2004. People do not know I have a replacement hip unless I tell them. The surgeon says I can be on bike trainer a few days after surgery.
That’s my new starting point on which to build and hopefully I can complete a California Triple Crown in 2016.