My recent vacation took me (literally) around the world. We flew from DC to Sydney, did some flights in Australia and over to New Zealand, then flew to Phuket Thailand. After staying there a couple of days (it rained, my son who lives and works there got food poisoning) we flew home by way of Abu Dhabi and New York. The great circle distance between all these points is about 28,800 miles. If you allow for routing off this shortest path we probably flew 30,000 miles. Our time in the air was in the neighborhood of 64 hours.
64 hours of sitting in coach is not a really good idea. It’s really hard on your body. Your hamstrings tighten up and you back starts to ache. In Melbourne, about the middle of the trip, my lower back start to ache in sharp bursts. I managed to calm things down with some gentle back and hamstring exercises.
When I got home from the trip, I started getting the same back twinges. I decided that the best way to get back in the saddle figuratively was to get back in the saddle literally. So I rode my bike to work the very next morning. It was the slowest, groggiest bike ride I have ever done but I made it in one piece. The ride home in the rain was not anything I’d like to repeat. The back twinges were coming and going after the rides but my back felt fine during the commutes.
Yesterday I rode to work again. Again I had a few back twinges during the day but they didn’t propagate to full on back spasms. I rode home with very welcome strong tail wind. When I went to put my bike in the shed, I noticed that the grass in front of the shed had gone to seed. I hadn’t mowed it in nearly three weeks. The grass was up above my ankles so I decided to mow the lawn.
During all this riding and mowing I drank only 2/3rds of a bottle of water.
Last night at 3 am payback time arrived. I rolled over in bed and the inside thigh muscle on my right leg went into a massive cramp.
It took me a good 15 minutes to get the muscle to calm down enough to get back to bed, all the while having little aftershocks to remind me to stay perfectly still.
I thought about riding to work today. The idea of having one of these cramps on a bike was somehow unappealing.
So I drove.
What a wimp.
At least my jet lag is gone.