walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Reflections on (Not) Riding

I mentioned yesterday that I've been feeling under the weather. It turns out that I have an ear/sinus/throat infection — so the week I've spent saying, "Oh, it's just a cold" might have been better spent getting it sorted. It's all one, though — after several hours of really annoying and sometimes intense ear pain, I finally decided to see a doc last night. She prescribed a course of ciprofloxacin to straighten me out.

Cipro has some interesting side-effects (some potential, others fairly immediate). It's part of the group of antibiotics known as quinolones, which sometimes cause spontaneous tendon rupture. Fortunately, thus far, I have yet to experience such a disaster (which is good, because I am allergic to penicillin, amoxicillin, and erythromycin).

Cipro can also cause dizziness, which I have experienced (and am, in fact, experiencing at this very moment, in a mild and rather disconcerting fashion). Combine that with the disruption in balance and proprioception (okay, it may not actually affect proprioception, but I love the word 'proprioception') that comes with the ear infection (and the fact that I can only hear about 50% as well as I usually do), I decided I probably shouldn't ride today, what with that whole 'safety' thing and the fact that I prefer to arrive at work in one piece.

I suppose the fact that between the eight million medications I'm taking right now and last night's random 4-hour waking stint in the middle of what should've been 9 hours of sleep, the many drivers — and pedestrians ... and other cyclists, cats, dogs, and squirrels, for that matter — in the fair city of Louisville, KY will probably appreciate that decision as well :)

Upon deciding that, yes, I should probably not ride my bike today, my first impulse was to feel deprived and crabby. I may still opt for that route :) I am, however, trying to take advantage of the opportunity to ... err, well, perhaps the best way to put it is 'recall with particular savor,' shall we say, all the reasons I love riding my bike.

First and foremost, of course, there's that wonderful soaring feeling that you get almost nowhere else — and the head-clearing effect of a good swift sprint or a nice descent. Normally, my work day begins and ends with some of those. Today, it began with a stumbling slog out the door and to the nearest stop on the bus line that goes most directly to my office, followed by a twenty-minute wait in the rain because I misread the bus schedule (doh). I normally wouldn't mind the rain, but ear infections make me touchy, and the sound of rain pattering on my vinyl poncho was ... less than heavenly.

Next, there's that whole 'fastest commute in town' thing. I normally make it to work in twenty minutes (often a bit less). The fact that I waited twenty minutes for the bus — and, yes, that little voice in my head kept a running tally the whole time, with the occasional snide, "If you were on your bike, you'd be there by now!" — was not so fun. Besides, it made for a total commute time of nearly forty-five minutes. It also made me late for work, which irks me (particularly because it was my own fault: planning failure FTW).

Third, there's that whole thing where, when I ride my bike, I'm actually awake by the time I get to work, and I actually sleep at night. Not riding leaves me much less alert upon arrival (unless that's just the meds again — who can tell?). Likewise, I slept very poorly last night — and while it would probably be more accurate to blame that on a rib-cracking coughing fit that woke me out of a dead slumber at 1:00 AM, it's more topical to stubbornly assume that I would've slept through the coughing fit if I'd only had a little more exercise yesterday. I could argue, at least, that I might not have then been awake until 4:00.

So I miss all these things.

That being said, it's nice to occasionally sneak in a change of perspective. I have enjoyed my bus rides the past couple of days. As someone who tends to be a bit of an asocial loner, it was nice to hear people talking to each-other, being friendly and silly.

I plan to get my fanny back in the saddle this weekend, though I don't plan to ride a bazillion miles, because that would be dumb. I'm thinking a couple of light rides (between rain storms) will about do me.

Next week, it's (possibly) Balloon Wranglin' Time, and then (possibly) Century Time. I'm not feeling sure about the century, right now. It comes down to how this infection clears up. I'm not great at taking it easy when I get sick, so I'm trying to be a stickler about it this go-round. I don't really want a repeat of last year's deathless strep infection, which hung on for something like three months and wound up in my lungs /:

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