Cycling Series: 29 Miles

Something very profound happened today.

Today was the day when I’d decided to try 5 laps around the neighborhood. 14.5 miles. The roads are finally clear (enough) of debris from Irma. I started my Strava session and set out.

I thought of a clever name for my ride. I took photos of my bike next to a downed tree and a sign to the energy company (some houses are still without electricity). I was officially Strava-ing, just like the real athletes. And, oh yeah, I also completed my five laps.

I was all set to save my activity. But wait, what’s this? A glitch! Son of a bitch! Strava said I only traveled 2.2 miles. The map was ridiculous. Apparently I hopped fences, cut through yards, took a shortcut through the golf course.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.21.49 AM

Crestfallen, I went into the house. I was tired, sweating and texted a friend for moral support. I was hoping to get a reply along the lines of, “aw, it’s ok, you did it.”

Instead, this was the reply:



That means I only had one choice. I had to do it again. I hydrated, ate some gummy snacks, refilled my water bottles, started Strava again, and set out for another five laps.

The session recorded successfully the second time around.



Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.22.17 AM

Holy shit. I rode my bike 29 miles. Twenty- nine miles!

And then it occurred to me: this was the first time in over three years that my right ankle didn’t dictate, much less inhibit, my activity. My brain didn’t even think about my dumb crippled leg. It wasn’t a factor in the decision to redo my ride. I cried.

My right leg is still very much afflicted by CRPS, but I think I might actually be starting to adapt. I think I might have found a way to hold on to one of the beloved passions that defined who I was. I might be able to reclaim just a tiny bit of my identity. I cried some more.

The one cleat idea was the best idea I will have all year.


2 thoughts on “Cycling Series: 29 Miles

  1. Now there’s this whole strava backlash going on, wherein all the cool kids don’t record half their rides anymore and it’s not cool to be all into your stats and your maps. Some of the cool kids have even quit strava entirely, because social media is not cool anyway. Which makes me horribly uncool because anytime I have a data glitch, or my ride doesn’t link with my partners’, I go nuts. I almost entered 3 miles into my strava manually because I had a 3 mile glitch the other day. 3 miles. Sheesh. So… sometimes I get what the cool kids are trying to say. And when it’s not my stats I come down on the side of you know you did it, so it counts. Absolutely, most especially, for you. Your 29 miles are incredible.


  2. Thanks. And yeah… I’m still trying to find my place with Strava. I love tracking my cycling progress. And it is definitely inspiring, even if I only have 2 followers and only follow 8 athletes (my 2 followers and a few of my world-famous cycling heroes). But… It is frustrating because I don’t go anywhere interesting, my photos are lame, and I’m always alone. I also have to fight the urge to get caught up and become competitive with myself. I manually enter my swims. I have a very un-smart watch that merely tells me how long I swim. I know my time is several seconds under a minute for 50 yards, so I count the number of times that I do two laps within one minute on the pool’s clock. I take the number of minutes I swim, add the double minute’d laps and that’s how I get my yardage… It gives me something to think about while I pass the same rust spot, hair tie, bandaid, etc. ad nauseam. But it’s horribly inaccurate because counting is hard. And *then*, I get a bit of device envy and start thinking that I *need* one of those super fancy Garmin watches that all of the Ironpeople use… I didn’t enter my swims in Strava when I wasn’t cycling, so there is a ton of missing data… I’m trying to be better about it now because I feel like I’m finally getting into the groove with my riding. Mostly, I guess for now, I just use it as a way to mark my progress. I dream of the day when I can swim in different bodies of water and am able to leave my parents’ neighborhood for a ride. 🙂


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