Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week Ending July 16, 2011

I finished the week with a total of 1810 miles, for an average of almost 260 miles per day. But with the heat coming this way, I don’t expect to ride as much. Most of my riding has been in northern Dutchess, Columbia and Rensselaer Counties. The photo below was taken a mile or so west of Shekomeko, a tiny historic hamlet in northern Dutchess County that was once a village of the Mahican Native American people. In 1740, some Moravians from Pennsylvania founded a mission at Shekomeko and began to convert the Mahicans to Christianity. In 1743 they built a chapel there and this Mahican community became the first Native American Christian congregation in the United States. It's a beautiful area.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I got out for my daily ride at about nine and decided to try riding in five states on the same day. I'll figure out my route as I go along. I headed first for the northern tip of NJ, where I thought earlier of making it a pit stop and maybe having a quick second breakfast. But since I wasn’t ready for a stop, I headed across the state line into Matamoras, PA and back across the Delaware River into NY via the old US 6 / US 209 bridge at Port Jervis.

When I got to Ellenville along 209, which was my next option for a pit stop and quick breakfast, I thought it might be too late for breakfast (almost 11 AM), so I thought maybe I’d stop in Red Hook for gas and lunch. But after crossing the Rhinecliff Bridge, I blew right by there too and took NY 199 to the Taconic Parkway and headed north. I stopped for gas at the Hudson/Ancram exit, but the only thing they had at the gas stop to eat was a cheese Danish, and I didn't want to take the time for a sit-down breakfast or lunch at the diner next door.

So I ate the Danish standing up and got back on the Taconic for another few miles and took NY 23 east straight into Great Barrington, MA. Since it was early when I got there, I got the idea to head north for Bennington, VT and add a sixth state, which I figured would add only about 125 miles to my cay. So I went back to NY 22 and headed north. Route 22 was quite rough for about 30 miles through Rensselaer County and I was almost sorry I included it, but by that time it was too late to turn back, so I pressed on for Bennington via NY 22, NY 7 and VT9. I turned around and came back via the same rough section of Rte. 22 and cut over into Connecticut via County Road 62 and US 44 near Canaan. From there, I turned around again and followed 44 back to the Taconic Parkway and rode that, NY 301 and US 9 to get home.

 I got home at 4:45, having had only the small Danish to eat all day and I didn’t drink anything because there wouldn’t have been a place to stop and let it out along my route. I carry water in case of emergency but didn't feel I needed it because the temperature only got up into the low 80s yesterday. I rode 387 miles for the day in 8 hours. Considering my 86 years, I thought my ride, which included six, rather than five, states was a pretty good day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I finished up last week with a total of 1681 miles for the week, which gave me a daily average of 240. I saw the spinal specialist on Tuesday of this week and he took several X-rays to confirm an earlier diagnosis, which is that the radiologist “over-read” the MRI and that an operation is not necessary. He said physical therapy MIGHT help and he would prescribe it if it bothers me. I said the thing that bothers me most is my lower back and legs, and that I’d like for him to focus on that area, which would raise my quality of life considerably. I told him that my primary internist and the pain management specialist have said that there’s nothing they can do, and I mentioned that I had injections in both SI joints 4 months ago with no improvement. He said there wasn’t anything he could do for that either except possibly PT, although at best, it might give me minimal relief. He then asked if I was still riding the motorcycle. I told him how many miles I put on last week, which brought a big smile to his face and he said, “Then keep doing it, which is better than anything I or anyone else can do for you at this point!” I asked, to be sure, “You mean that the best treatment for my pain at this point is to keep doing what I’m doing?” and the answer was, “Yes. Keep doing it.” So we shook hands and exchanged big smiles and I was out of there! It was very good news to me that I didn’t need another operation, so the first thing I did was to take a ride, which put the total mileage on my bike over 100,000. I got the bike 3½ years ago. This week I clocked a total of 1470 miles for a daily average of 210 miles. I suppose now that I know it’s the best thing for me, I’ll be spending more time doing it! If you look closely on the photo, you’ll see the odometer mileage of 100,001.