Human Mechanical - Vermilion - 7/23/2006

Since we already spent 2 nights at Jerry's, I really wanted to get out early this morning so he could have his house back to himself again. We opted to take the train from Shaker Heights into Cleveland and start pedaling from there because Jerry didn't really like the neighborhood in between.  Fine with me since I'm not really in the mood to cycle through city traffic again.

Once we arrived in Cleveland, Dave managed the bikes since they weigh so damn much.  As I got off the train, I must have jumped off the last (high) step and landed in a way that wasn't just exactly right because the minute I landed, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I couldn't move. Something just went wrong in my back.  It was terrible.  MF!  Ouch!  I just stood there for quite a long time, completely unable to move.  It was so painful.  When I was able to massage or just hold the painful area for a bit, I was able to walk like an old woman, barely.  It took me something like 30 minutes to walk from the platform to the inside (something like 30 yards).  Then, I took me another 30 minutes or so to walk to the Renaissance Hotel (inside the mall that is attached to the train station) to use their bathroom to try to rub some medicaded oil on my back and apply some hot patches to my back/butt.  Oh, I was in so much pain.  F!  We really wanted to pedal a lot today to make up the mileage lost yesterday from the museum.

When I was finally done in the bathroom, I went outside to Public Square (it's probably now 9:00am) to sit down and rest.  Sunday morning at 9:00am in downtown Cleveland, there's only homeless people.  Dave went to find breakfast and I tried laying down on the bench to rest but I felt so much like a homeless person that I just couldn't stay down very long.  The whole time, I had Bob Dylan's song, Like a Rolling Stone, song in my head:

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

I was definitely on my own, with no direction home, a complete unknown and like a rolling stone.  Well, not exactly any of those are true, but it kind of felt like that for a bit.

I called my on-call medical staff and the doctor told me to take a day off and rest in bed.  Take Tylenol and ice my back.  By my description, the doctor (guess who...) thinks I pulled a ligament or strained my back.

After eating a large breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast and biscuits and gravy, I ignored the doctor's advice and I got on my bike to see if I could ride.  I just couldn't call Jerry and ask him to spend yet another night at his place.  He already graciously hosted us for 2 nights and I just couldn't impose, not to mention I wanted to ride!  So, I pedaled a bit in Public Square and tried to stop and step off the bike.  It was ouch, but doable.  We talked to a very nice homeless man, David, who had a Trek OCR3 bike with panniers, carbon fiber forks and seat post, and even clipless pedals.  Um, how does a homeless man have all that fancy gear, down to the clipless pedals? He said he got the pedals so other people can't steal and ride his bike.  Too funny.  But, this is even more funny.  He noticed my 30 ounce water bottle and asked where I got that - I said a friend gave it to me.  He said he'd look in his Nashbar catalog for one.  It cracks me up that a homeless man gets the Nashbar catalog and I don't.

Around 11:30am, we finally leave Cleveland.  Thankfully, the ride today was nice and flat and no lights/stopping.  Riding in the hunched position is fine.  It's when I have to stop and stand erect that it pains me so.  Seriously, the ride was completely flat, along the water with no stopping.  It was exactly what the doctor ordered; well, not exactly, but perfect for my condition.  We were riding on Lake Road and the houses were amazing.  Mansions.  Since hitting Lake Erie, we've pretty much been on Lake Road, Lake Drive, Lakeshore, Lakefront, Lake this, Lake that.

For lunch, we stopped at a small coffee house which also served sandwiches.  It was great because I was able to sit on a couch. Exactly what my butt/back needed.  I didn't want to get out of that couch.  But alas, I had to.  The store owner saw me take my baby steps to the bathroom and asked if all was okay.  I explained to her what happened and she told me that the guy that just won the Tour de France is getting a hip replacement or something like that, so she understood.  Hip replacement, I hope not!

When we finally made it to Vermilion, OH (40 miles), I called it a day because I wanted to stop while I was ahead.  I also wanted to have maximum rest time to ice down my back.  And ice down my back we did at the motel.  We bogarted all the ice from the ice machine and I took a nap with ice on my back as Dave went out and bought dinner.  I felt better when he came back with the food.

While watching TV, a commercial for Propel water came on and I made the statement, "if it ain't Gade, it ain't good."  How's that for a new slogan for Gatorade?  Man, have you ever drunken Propel water? It's gross.  Gade is the only way to go!  [Actually, Propel water is from Gade but it's nothing like the classic.]

Anyhow, when I went to bed, I put more ice on my back.  Oi...

By the way, no pictures today because it was too painful to do anything.