Sunday, May 25, 2014

Best laid plans

So today I went up to Twenty20 in Hampden for the first Sunday group ride of the year.  Unfortunately the ride leader failed to show, so I ended up riding on my own, which was okay too.   I rode up through Clipper Mill, then up the switchbacks into Druid Lake Park, it really couldn't have been a nicer day.

Then around Druid Lake, lots of people out running, walking, and using the parcourse equipment that is around the lake.

Then I rode through Johns Hopkins Homewood campus and across 33rd street to Lake Montebello, it was also hopping there.

Eventually I made my way down Hartford Road to North Avenue, where I spotted this mural.

A little further along on North Avenue, I spotted this mural as well, it's hard to read but there is a note to scan the barcode :)

From there I made my way down to the farmers market under I-83 and availed myself of some freshly made donuts before heading for home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First ride after surgery

So, this is a bit of a long story.   I had an accident at work at the end of January where my left index finger was crushed between two of Steve Miller Band's cases while we were crossloading there stuff back off our truck and onto theirs at our loading dock.  But being a guy, I assumed that because the joints were still working it wasn't broken.   A month later I went to the Patient First, because I felt that the swelling should have gone down more by then.   The docs there took a series of xrays and of course it was broken, into 4 small pieces in fact and had started to heal incorrectly.  They referred me to Greater Chesapeake Hand Specialists, who it turns out are the leaders in hand surgery, and come from the Curtis Hand Center at Union Memorial here in Baltimore.

The doctor there started me on physical therapy to loosen up the finger as much as possible, so I did a month of that, where the therapist discovered that in addition to the break, the tendon that runs on top of the finger was fused to the bone from the accident.   So April 8th I had surgery to correct all this stuff, the result was this:

5 tiny srcrews and a metal plate down the side of the finger.  I was in a cast for a week, then a protective splint, and started physical therapy again, which is ongoing.   The only downside was that to avoid having to use general anesthesia, they do a nerve block where they deaden the nerves in your lower arm, then they just give a sedation via IV for the surgery.  Unfortunately some people, mostly skinny folk like me, have longer recovery times from this.   So up until this weekend, full extension of my arm resulted in a fiery pain in the palm of my hand, which sucked.   I also still have a numbness in my hand, like when your hands are freezing cold, which means I don't have any real strength in the fingers of the left hand still.  The doc says worst case a couple more months for that all to work out, but it is temporary.

So as a result I haven't been on my bike since the Miami vacation.   But today I was feeling like I wanted to try and get out, so I got my act together and headed out for an easy ride to test the waters.  I decided that a run around to Fort McHenry would be a good test, fairly flat and all.  The first thing I discovered is that my left hand is too weak to operate the upshift for the front derailleur.   I resorted to reaching across with my right hand if I had to go up to the big front chainring, kinda of a hassle but not the end of the world.  As I rode around the Inner Harbor it was hopping, lots of tourists and such.

Some sort of fair thing going on across Light Street from the Inner Harbor too.

Further up Light street along the bike path was this carriage, all it needs is a pair of white horses and Cinderella.   No idea what it was doing there, but certainly was not expected.

Over at Rash Field the Baltimore Beach Volleyball courts were busy, it was a truly beautiful day today.

I swung by Race Pace to get some jellybeans and shoot the breeze, then out to Fort McHenry and around the circle and back towards home.  On the way back around the Inner Harbor I paced this golf cart thing, didn't have a lot of option to pass him since he took up most of the bike lane, and there were lots of people walking on the path.

A quick stop at Canton Market for a soda then back to the house.   But my day wasn't over yet, Kathleen is buried between work, and her internship, so I pumped up the tires on the Linus city bike and headed over to Harbor East to hit the Whole Foods there and get the shopping done.   Here is the bike with all of the groceries in the saddle bags ready for the ride home.

No drama with that, although I discovered that as a result of my limited ability to bend my finger still (they had it pretty opened up for the bone work) I ended up whacking my index finger against the brake lever on the bumps, it wasn't an issue on the road bike, but on the city bike it was.  Just required some additional attention to the road to avoid most of that.   I am planning on going on the casual shop ride from 20Twenty tomorrow morning, so more to follow.