Posted by: twistsoffeet | June 4, 2011

Riding Through Pain

Today I rode, even though I am still in pain from my arthritis.

Usually riding helps, but the last couple of rides it has not helped.

In fact it seemed to aggravate my arthritis. Weather is not supposed to affect RA, but it does.

I just do not know what weather will affect it in what way. Today is once again brutally hot with very high humidity. I was just told that rain is predicted for tonight, so maybe that is causing the pain and inflammation.

I really did not want to ride today because of the inflammation and swelling and pain, but I forced myself to ride through it anyway. For a while it seemed the right decision but then the RA came roaring back into my life, like a freight train. It may not have been the riding; it may have been the pushing my bike up hills that really does me in.

Walking has more impact and the angle I hold my body as I push the bike may help to irritate things. You would think that after living with this for ten years, I would have it figured out by now. I guess in some ways I may be just a little bit of a slow learner.

I got up at 5:00 AM this morning and, moving slowly, broke camp.  I went up to a pavilion in the park and charged my phone and computer and filled my water bottles.  I finally hit the road about 7:00 AM, hoping for a casual day.

My hopes were in vain;  I was thrown into the cauldron immediately with a 2.5 mile, fairly steep uphill climb. I ended up walking more than half of it. That really got my joints to screaming at me.

Then it was downhill for a while before level riding out on an unopened section of new highway for ten miles. This was so pleasant and Arthur (my arthritis) calmed down a little bit.  I changed directions and started heading north on a two lane state highway, but it had a great shoulder and was flat for about eight more miles.

I was actually feeling pretty good at this point. Unfortunately, the next twenty miles were all hills: usually long and moderately steep, but occasionally more severe. To ride these, I had to use more power which exerted pressure on my joints and that caused Arthur to wake up with a vengeance.

Top it off with high heat and high humidity, and once again I am feeling pretty well beat about now.

I rode exactly forty miles and I am now in Decatureville, TN, at a little burgh in the middle of nowhere on Hwy 69.  There does not seem to be much going on… no restaurants, just some gas stations with convenience stores and little tables where you can eat some pizza or whatever.

I was running short of water and what I had was scalding hot, so I stopped by the BP station and store, where I enjoyed a few minutes of air conditioning. Ellen was kind enough to let me fill some water bottles with water that was at least a drinkable, but not cold temperature. I asked about a park to camp in, and she suggested the city park, but was uncertain if camping is allowed.  That is where I am at now and I see no signs prohibiting camping so I will try it.  Unfortunately, there is no water or other facilities and no electricity.

But at least I should have a place to sleep.

I have been daydreaming about the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and when I get there I am going to do my “man thing.”  I am going to thump my chest and bark like a dog.  I will howl at the moon and swim naked in a clear, cold Rocky Mountain stream or lake.  Heck.. I may run naked with the little mountain critters, just because I will be so happy to be back in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.



  1. I just zoomed in for a street view of Decatureville, saw the benches and wondered where you might have stayed. Have you figured a daily average to date? How many hours a day can your body take? I’m not Larry, but, Get er Done.

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