no fifth ride, hips, knees and beer

I did not ride in April and my R-12 counter has been reset. I will have to ride till March 2013 if I want to officially complete an R-12.

I had inflammation of knee caps after each ride since December. I had slight knee pain towards the end of the January ride, early on during the February ride and only on the left knee towards the end of the March ride. Inflammation took a few days to heal, while it did not bother me much except for the day after the ride. I conveniently blamed the cold weather. As the pain came back during the last ride in mild weather, I decided it was time I listened to my wife & saw a doctor.

Turns out even small imperfections in knee position or operation can give you trouble after thousands of repetitions. I was bending my knees in a non-ideal way, be it for bike fit or weak hips or bad pedalling technique, about 10000 times on each ride (10 hours on bike, pedalling at least 70% of the time at more than 50 rpm means about 20000 pedal strokes on each side. That is 10000 bad strokes assuming I had bad form only half the time).

Have been going to physical therapy, stretching & strengthening muscles above and below knees, so that they keep the knee in proper position while cycling. Improvement of the left knee in particular was clearly visible, as it seems to have weakened much since a soccer injury 3 years back.

Hence, no fifth ride.

Instead I went on a 50 mile ride of brewery hopping with a group of nice people most of whom I met for the first time. Chief is one of those people, and we rode the first brevet of the season together, more about that on another post.

And yes, beer makes cycling even more fun 🙂