Although I started mountain biking in 2000, my riding has been interrupted about four times (1-2 years each) due to knee surgeries, and ultimately knee replacements. One year ago this weekend, after sitting on the couch for nearly two years with sore knees, I was contemplating quitting mountain biking. But I decided to try riding one more time. It felt pretty good to be out and the knees felt no worse afterward. So I decided to continue riding while still seeking various treatments. Over the past 10 years I've seen every type of specialist imaginable and the final solution was to try blocking the pain with a spinal cord stimulator (SCS). It doesn't help that much while riding, at which time I take drugs. But it makes life mostly tolerable in between riding. Despite two months off for the SCS implant last summer I managed to get in 82 rides, a long one on Saturdays, and a much easier one on most Tuesdays. I'm always on the verge of quitting and I have to be very careful when I ride, what trails I ride, and what obstacles I ride. So I'm pretty difficult to ride with. Special thanks go out to Tahoetic, T Horse and especially Cohenfive, for putting up with me.
Today I had a fantastic solo ride on my favorite "local" trails at Auburn, California. It was supposed to rain, but it turned out to be a great day. It is especially green for this time of year and I've never seen so many understory wildflowers in California. The abundance of the Lily family indicates a cooler and moister spring than usual. I've never seen so many Fairy Lanterns. It was also one of those days when you break out of a plateau and make a lot of new things. I kept preparing for the "difficult" spots, only to realize I'd already passed them. But much of my recent success is due largely to the 29er Stumpjumper I bought last fall. A few weeks ago I was forced to ride my 26er Stumpjumper, the first time since getting the 29er. It's too bad the 29er fanboys hype them so much that it turns people off. But the 29er really does all they claim. It feels much more stable, I can go a lot faster, I can go over a lot more, and all with much more confidence than on the 26er.
Special thanks to the FATRAC crew out doing trail work! Android app for my wildflower, wildlife and bike racing photos.
Me, taken by a kind stranger
Fairy Lanterns everywhere, Icon for my Android app
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