A week without riding in August- che vergogna! First I was ordered to paint a bedroom, then it started raining everyday, then I decided to go ahead and replace the Merckx rear rim. Though now the wheel is all laced, trued and tensioned, it's still awaiting new bearings and a cone. I disassembled the hub and checked it out- a couple of bad pits in one cone. The pressed-in caps and other cone looked good, but I decided to replace the bearings while I'm at it. Then I noticed the freehub grinding- has a shot outboard cartridge bearing. Once this stuff arrives I should be able to throw it together in no time and be back on the road.
In the meantime, today was too pretty to stay home so I hauled my spare bike out of the attic, a 1990's Trek 1220. I haven't ridden this bike much, but it was very important to getting me healthy again a few years ago. In 2003 I had lost my 1996 Pinarello Dyna Lite in an encounter with an unexpected Men at Work sign, and was bike-less. A very kind colleague, Clint Holm, had a spare Trek 1220 since he had bought a new bike, and very graciously gave it to me. I barely rode it though.
I was feeling weaker and weaker and very blah, without any motivation. I thought I was just getting old. After retirement in 2005, my wife finally insisted I see a doctor. I was very fortunate because Dr Tracee Ray took the matter seriously and knew which tests could narrow it down. Then an MRI confirmed it- I had a 3 cm mass at the base of my brain. My new doc, Dr Michael Kenney put me on some drugs to reduce the size and control the tumor. These made me feel even worse for about a year, but finally I became habituated to the side effects and started improving in 2007.
Now that I was feeling less blah I needed to do something about the weakness. I got out the old Trek Clint had given me and took it for a spin around the block. I was tired and couldn't go any further, but it was fun and I wanted to ride more. So I started taking little flat rides to Malnisio and San Leonardo etc. I gradually increased distance and even was even able to struggle up some small hills. Clint's gift of a bike had been a godsend- it was reviving my former fitness which was lost to the tumor.
Eventually in late 2007 I bought a used Merckx bike and installed easier gears for climbing. I've been steadily increasing my mileage, difficulty of climbs, etc. Hope to keep it up!
Back to the present- I took the old Trek on a short ride from Poffabro to Meduno . Very pretty weather today- not as hot as most Augusts. Water is still flowing through the rapids of Bus di Colvera and in Torrente Muiè thanks to our daily afternoon showers.
The 39-26 gear wasn't too bad for the short stretches of 10% up to the tunnel and climbing out of Meduno gorge. Still glad I've got compact gearing on the Merckx though. I'll probably take several rides on this bike before the parts arrive and my other bike is ready. I'll try to post a pic when it's done.