Memorial Day...

It's always hard to put it into words when one is thinking about all the men and women who have served our country and died in the process. What do you say? Thanks? Are you saying it to the dead, or to the surviving family members? Regardless, about 12 of us gathered last night at Joel and Deb's house to celebrate, potluck together and give our thanks in a toast. We swam in the pool from 3 - 6, then smoked salmon and everyone had brought a dish for the event. It was a nice time and the memories of family members who have passed were also brought up in a toast as we went around the table with each person mentioning a name. And then a final toast to all those that have died serving our country. Joel and John's father was in attendance (he served in the Navy) so we of course toasted him and thanked him for his service as well.

All in all, it was just the kind of lazy recovery day I needed from Saturday's 3 hour bike ride in the heat and humidity.

Today I have ribs out on the grill smoking (3 hours thus far), and will wrap them in foil and put them in the garage fridge while we go on a bike ride this afternoon. When we return, I will throw them back on for the final hour before we indulge in grilled corn, beans, salad, ribs and fellowship with our own family.

I did some good stretching exercises yesterday and today trying to work on the flexibility of my neck and to maintain some sort of range of motion in the right shoulder. I continue to work on posture every day on and off the bike to get the core muscles and neck muscles built back up to pre-crash status. I've got quite a ways to go, but realize that Saturday's 3 hour ride is the longest I've done since the crash 5 weeks ago and my neck did very well in that duration.

My RIP 9 is now completed in the lightest/stiffest all mountain set up I care to go with thanks to the light-bicycle carbon AM rims I picked up and had built to my old American Classic disc hubs and mounted with the 720g Nobby Nic 2.35's (amazing all around tire for the Midwest!!!). She sits at 28 pounds and is riding really well for me providing the kind of cushion my neck and shoulder needs at the moment.


The trail work I did at Banner Pits this week (mowing and trimming) has done the usual to my right hand. My hand now gets numb when on the bike and is a reminder I need to be careful doing the trail work and tools. My hand has not gone numb on the bike since last October (doing all of the trail work to get ready for the Mullet race at Lake Ahquabi). It really puts a damper on my riding and is not something I want happening out on the race course. When it happens, I can't shift, I can't brake and gripping the bar is difficult at best. I am afraid I am stuck with it for a while until I can get the irritations down and things back to normal. Rats!!! All because of 5 hours of mowing/trimming at the trail as well as mowing and trimming at my house.

In addition to that, I seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a mess with poison ivy as it is all over my knees, elbows, and wrists at the moment. No fun, but c'est la vie when riding/working out in the woods with all the plush vegetation. I failed to rinse off Saturday right after my ride which means the oils from the plants stayed on my skin and I went down into the basement to cool off and watch a movie. Showering immediately after a ride usually takes care of it for me, but this time I luxuriated in the cool basement in favor of proper post-ride hygiene and now I have to scratch.

Happy Memorial Day to all and a huge thanks to all those who have served our country - whether they died doing so or not.

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