Thursday, September 27, 2012

I May Have A Problem 

Ever since I was a kid, I was into competition. Didn't matter what it was, if it involved at least two people, I wanted (desperately needed) to win. Even if nobody else was racing. Sledding as a kid was downright dangerous.  Hiking?  I was the first to the top.  Riding our bmx's around the yard?  Fuck that, let's set up a race course.  Baseball, track, basketball (although I sucked at basketball), football, basically any sport I could get my hands on in school,  I wanted to rule whether I actually did or not. 

After college (where I competed in academics (I know, totally lame)), mountain bike racing filled that void.  MUST COMPETE!!!!!!  Now that I've been out of action for two months, I'm getting restless to compete in something.  Anything.  On Saturday, while watching B's soccer game, I decided that once I'm better I'll play soccer even though I was brought up to think of soccer as a sissy's sport (no worries, I have since repented even though I do still think it's stupid).  Then, on Sunday, the whole fam went swimming.  I suck at swimming but apparently it will be the only aerobic activity I'll be able to do for a while that doesn't hurt the hip.  I swam about a quarter of a mile.  Pathetically slow and trying to not make eye contact with the life guards for fear of having to drown myself out of shame and humiliation.  I was thoroughly humbled but felt good to have gotten an actual workout in.  As we left the community center I see this:

Hmmm, swim team.  Competition.  Juices flowing.  That is, until I saw the schedule.  Monday and Wednesday 3:15-4:15?  In the afternoon?

Do only retired folks and independently wealthy people swim?  Shit, time to take up competitive needlework.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can't Get Much Lower 

The other day I made my first trip to the grocery store since hurting myself.  Pushing a cart around was out of the question so I very meekly grabbed one of the lil electric carts because nothing says man like cruising around the produce section at 1.3 mph.  I tried not to notice everybody looking at me out of the corner of their eyes as I dropped (and ran over) pears, romano cheese and tortellinis.  Eventually, I got the whole steering while shopping thing down and pulled my shit together.  That is until I entered the dairy section and on two occasions overshot my destination and had to awkwardly climb out of my cart (even I can't handle the humiliation of the back-up beeper on the cart) to fetch eggs and milk.  As I was grabbing the milk I heard mumbling from behind me (did I mention that I had gone swimming earlier in the afternoon and had water in the ear so I was essentially deaf as well???) and turned around to find a 80+ year old woman with an obvious limp offering to help me with my grocery shopping.  At the moment, I didn't think I could get much lower.  That is, until I got to the register where the M.R. (is that the PC way of saying it?) guy who has worked at the store forever took obvious pity on me and offered to take my cart out and load it into the car for me. 

Please hip.  Heal faster.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bradbury 12 2012 

This weekend was the annual Bradbury 12, typically my last race of the season.  Of course, this year my season ended a bit early but that didn't stop me from showing up.  It was a totally different experience witnessing the race from the sidelines instead of atop a saddle sore infested ass.  In a way it was way more enjoyable.  Sitting around a campfire was fun.  Popping my first beer at 12:15 was fun.  Seeing other folks wanting to die (Hi Will!) was fun.  Did I want to throw a leg over a bike?  Sure but it was cool being back in the scene and seeing folks I haven't seen in a couple of months.  To be honest though, when the day was done I was hankering to do a solo single speed again next year.  It was just too painful seeing Will take all of the abuse by himself. 

Marcy's team, "Rick's Bionic Hipsters" represented well with no serious injuries despite the very slick conditions and the trick bridges (one that dropped as you rolled over it!).

Marcy rolling in after lap 1.

Marcy after her first lap.

Brian in his hipster costume.  In his words "argh, soooo muchhhhh cotton!"
my guess is that someone needed some fresh balls.

Hattie Freye (the much better half of the Freye family) in her aerobercize outfit

will showing us how sexy chest hair and irony is done.
he swore off plastic (ie carbon) bikes last season yet showed
up to bradbury with a set of crazy Enve carbon wheels.  
well played.

and finally, Marcy sporting her new Singletrack Sisters Jersey.  
She now has friends to play with!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

While Daddy Is Away

As you can probably imagine, and maybe even felt, there is a void in the cycling universe because of my very powerful absence.  Individual symptoms may vary, but the most common Rick-less side effects tend to be large, angry saddle sores, pulsating road rash, unexplained crashes and the overwhelming need to bitch and moan about everything.  Has Rick-less effected you?

Marcy has been touched

Sadly, the only sure fire cure is for me to get on a bike again.  We can only hope that the universe hears your universal cries for help and takes pity on you by resurrecting me from the ashes.

In the meantime, us selfless Nelson's decided if I can't ride then maybe some other Nelson's (suffering the effects of Rick-less themselves) hitting the trails could at least limit the Rick-less symptoms.  Methadone for riding if you will. 

This past weekend we took the proverbial bullet for you all by camping at Bradbury State Park, a perfect venue for kid riding and adult buffoonery.  B took up the call and rode her Kona Makena around in circles, including bits of singletrack, for HOURS acquiring some of her own pulsating road rash in the process.  

Marcy heard the call for the greater good as well and headed out for a ride with her Bradbury 12 teammates.  She is a martyr.  Things started out well enough with ribbons of perfectly dry singletrack and incessant talk of giardia and relentless shitting (hmmm, are we sure I wasn't on this ride???) but, before long, Marcy's Rick-less kicked in and she decided to ask our buddies Kev and Brian to show her how to rip through on of the trail sections ahead.    Here are the results.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Shit aint exactly rosey for me right now so I take any positive sign I get and run with it.  This past weekend, that sign was being able to climb onto our tractor to help move firewood.  Sure, I sat there and watched while Marcy and a couple of our friends did all the real work but it was better than sitting my ass on the couch.  An action packed weekend for sure.

two thumbs and crutches up.

Marcy joined in the excitement and 
then immediately regretted that decision.
I may not be able to ride a bike but I can
drive a tractor like a mother f-er.

she may never recover

I went to the ortho yesterday for my (almost) 7 week check-up.  The good news?  Nothing looks worse.  The bad news?  Nothing looks better either.  Frick.  I knew going in that the x-ray wasn't likely to show any improvement but I hoped that since the pain has mostly subsided (no pain meds for about 2 weeks now) there would be some noticeable healing going on.  Meh.  The only actual good news is that I can start some minor weight bearing now which means that when I try the trainer tomorrow (or this morning actually since I wrote this last night), I might be able to use some resistance after I get comfortable spinning.  First step though is managing to swing my leg over the top tube of my bike which might be tough since I've just gotten to the point that I can lift my leg into the freakin tub. 

Morning edit: The trainer was an epic fail.  I managed to swing a leg over the bike with some help from Marcy but bringing my bad leg from the 9 o'clock to the 12 o'clock position was definitely not happening.  I think it might be time to try the recumbent at the Y.  Double Meh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It Ain't So Bad

Despite the fact that I HAVE TO HAVE the above pictured t-shirt, I'm thinking that life ain't so bad right now.  Sure, I can't ride my bike, the one thing that has kept me sane through the years, but things ain't all bad.  Getting hurt gives you the opportunity to see how people feel about you.  I'm not the most extroverted dude around (although it doesn't always seem that way) so I was shocked at the outpouring of support I received when I fucked my shit up.  To all you folks who reached out and offered a helping hand, I thank you.  And to those of you who didn't, I still love you but just to be safe, I'd make sure you don't leave your chamois unguarded because I have cans of itching powder and cayenne pepper just waiting for a good home.

I can't let things be all peachy so I do have one bummer to discuss.  Just before the injury, I discovered the magic/all consuming time waste that is Strava.  Just long enough to pick up a few KOM's and set my sights on many more (most gained by accident).  Sadly, as the weeks of inactivity pass, so do a bunch of my KOM's.  Funny enough, most of the KOM's I've lost are those that I picked up while on my Vermont adventure that got me in this mess in the first place.  Thankfully, though, the couple from Vermont that I still have are over some pretty big names like Eddie Odea and ahhh I just realized I've lost the KOM I had over Pete Webber.  Dang it.  Interestingly, all of the KOM's didn't come on SS USA race day but on my "pre-ride" the day before with Tyler.  The dude is a hammer and I wouldn't have any of those titles if he were on Strava.   

Thankfully though, Marcy has taken up Strava and is picking up a few QOM's of her own down in Bradbury land.  Represent the Nelson name well babe.  It needs it.

Speaking of the Nelson name, Marcy has joined a team for this year's Bradbury 12.  Their team name?  Rick's Bionic Hipsters.  I'm flattered.  I think.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


It's been a week since my last post.  You'd think that there would be something of note to post about.  Sadly, there isn't.  I'm still in a holding pattern as far as the hip goes.  Will it heal properly or will I end up with a fake hip?  Who freakin knows.  The doctor's sure don't.    Easily the toughest part of this whole endeavor is the not knowing when/if I'll be going again.  I could handle this BS much better if there were a definite light at the end of the tunnel.  Sadly, there isn't.  Yet.

Meanwhile, I'm doing what I can to not go crazy.  As I mentioned before, the doc has given me the green light to go to the gym BUT he won't let me drive so actually GETTING to the gym has been a smidge tough.  I consider myself an endurance athlete but crutching 10 miles each way just doesn't seem physically possible.  Wimp.

I have been able to do more workouts at home though and can finally get on the floor so some simple crunches (and hopefully soon, push-ups) are now a possibility.  As I've resumed working out, one thing has become shocking clear.  I have lost vast amounts of strength already.  I can only imagine what riding is going to feel like when the time comes.

Speaking of, the trainer will be set up in the living room this week.  I'm not sure when I'll physically be able to pick my leg up enough to use it, but when that day comes I'll be one happy camper.  I have NEVER been so excited to ride the trainer, an endeavor usually reserved for enemies of the state.  But armed with the full Sufferfest series I should be able to pass some time while minimizing my loses as much as possible.

What else do I do to pass the time these days?  How about looking for new places to mount the GoPro?  After surgery, hoisting myself onto and off of the throne was impossible so Marcy was kind enough to get me a set of old foggie bars.  perfectly sized for the GoPro and with so many mounting options!  I bet you can't wait for this video.