1999- Setbacks: 96 miles.

The docs put on the brakes.

I started having chronic pain in early 1999. There were days I could only hobble around, and days I couldn’t stand up or bend at the knees. Everything hurt. It was as if my muscles couldn’t fully relax any more, even in my sleep. I usually felt like I’d been beaten up. I got bounced around between a dozen or so doctors. Initially, one blamed my “excessive cycling” the previous year, and another said I had to give up cycling. Fat chance. I pleaded with the doctor to let me switch to a recumbent bicycle, which would be gentler on my neck, shoulders, hands, back and legs, and she agreed. It would take a few years until we finally found a diagnosis and medications to manage the pain.

Fortunately, this year wasn’t a complete loss for getting out to ride. I did manage to get out for 7 rides in June and July, but after only 96 miles, I’d pushed myself as far as I could. I felt terrible, achy and exhausted. My body needed a lot of rest, and like it or not, it was going to get it.

On the bright side, I had just started a wonderful new relationship with Jan the December before, and so I did have a happy year after all. Jan and I are still together, now five years later.

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