That is my bike in the messy trunk of my car, all tuned up and ready to go, sharing space with jumper cables and other junk. The one thing I missed during this long period off the bike, is I didn’t get the opportunity to complain about the weather. When I picked up the bike, there were some storms in the area. Rather than expose it to the elements with the trunk rack, I decided to keep it sheltered, and ready to ride.
Now for the good news. I AM CLEARED TO RIDE!!!
The doctor examined me, was impressed by my mobility, and said that I am okay to go. I need to go easy, not overdo it, and make sure to give myself a couple days to recover afterward. I’m still planning on heading to The Good Ride the weekend after next and most likely will ride one of the shorter routes. I’ll be the guy kitted up with an expensive Cervelo, riding with some friendly slow riders. Slow, social rides are pretty awesome.
While I have made a lot of progress, especially in the last three weeks, I still have a ways to go. He said that I should expect to be sore as I ramp up my activities, and that it’s okay to take some occasional pain pills to take the edge off. The hip has not healed completely yet, and still gets sore if I do little things like climb stairs, stand for long periods of time, or walk more than I should. I still cannot move my knee to my chest, and it’s tight when I try to move it inward.
Probably the best case scenario is that I’ll be at full activity in about 4-6 weeks. Since I’m going to be preoccupied with that whole Jeopardy experience during that time, it’ll probably be more like 8-10 weeks before I really get back. But I’m not in a hurry. If I can climb a couple mountains in the fall, then I’m good.
The “Return to Sport” for this type of injury is 6-9 months from surgery. That means that if I were a professional athlete, that’s the time period at which I’d be able to compete again. These injuries are rare in the cycling world, but they are more common in baseball and football. Percy Harvin, a Wide Receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, had surgery for a torn labrum before the season. He had to sit out the entire season and was ready for the playoffs. Lady Gaga had the same procedure, and her recovery time was about the same. Alex Rodriguez’s labrum made the sports and tabloid headlines. He recovered pretty quickly, but I suspect he had some assistance.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking at the calendar and thinking of the future.
Cycling is a little different because you reap the benefits by putting the time in. I cannot be a Percy Harvin. I’ve missed an entire offseason and the beginning of the spring. If I return to the sport in the fall, I won’t have enough fitness to accomplish the things I like to do. But I’ll still put in some time, but more with a focus of getting strong next year. And yes, I have some exciting plans for next year that I’ll be sharing soon. Rest assured, I’ll be in elevation again.
For now, just being outside is going to be paradise.
The bike will stay in my car. Today wouldn’t be a good day because of the rain and some soreness from doing a lot of little things. One day, maybe tomorrow, maybe Saturday, when I feel up to it, I’ll drive somewhere flat and do some spinning. And it’ll feel amazing.