Random News from the Rootchopper Institute

House Renovation: While I was on my tour, Mrs. Rootchopper hired a contractor to update the lower two levels of our house including my man cave. My man cave consists of the TV corner of the lower level of our house. It has the TV, the modem/router/ a recliner (for me), and a reclining sofa for visiting couch potatoes. It also had a really crappy little bathroom with a shower that I took to using years ago to avoid the early morning traffic jam on the bedroom level.

The new man cave will look pretty much like the old one but the walls will be insulated so that I will be able to sit in my comfy chair during the winter months. The bathroom is about 50 percent bigger and is way too nice for me. Every time I use it, I feel as if I’m in some hotel on a bike tour. I have flashbacks to East Jesus, Missouri.

The basement level has a finished section that will house a monster sewing machine for my wife’s quilting addiction.

My Wonky Knee and Hip: I’ve had a messed up left knee since the Reagan administration. It bothered me now and then during last year’s tour. My left hip had a strange tendency to feel like it was popping out of the joint on long climbs. During this year’s tour both the left hip and knee were very painful. I felt like I was riding with only one leg, especially in the mountains.

Last week my doctor referred me to an orthopedist. The strategy is to work our way up so the knee is being treated first. They took my history and examined my knee. Then they took a bunch of x-rays, all of which looked just fine. The doctor started to talk about sending me for physical therapy. I explained to him that if riding a bike thousands of miles ought to be plenty of physical therapy. He agreed. Then I asked for an MRI. At first the insurance company denied coverage. The doctor persuaded them to cover it and I had my MRI last Friday night. I go back to the doctor for the results on Wednesday.

Deaf from the Neck Up: I have noticed that my hearing, especially in crowded spaces has deteriorated over the last couple of years. So I am going to an hearing specialist to have it tested, also on Wednesday.

Big Nellie Returns:  A couple of weeks ago my lower back started to give me little warnings that it was going into spasm. I decided it was time to bring out my back fixer, my Tour Easy recumbent. I call it Big Nellie. I’ve ridden it about 90 miles in the past three days. My left knee is not amused, but my back is happy.

I Am Not a Muggle: My head wound has nearly healed. Well, the scab has fallen off and the swelling is gone. It still hurts to touch it. I have a small gash just above my left eye. Someone pointed out that it looked a bit like Harry Potter’s scar.

Fall Bicycling Events: Because of my knee situation, I have signed up for only one ride this fall. The Tour de Mt. Vernon is near my house and, for me, it’s free because I won a raffle last year at the finish of the ride. For everyone else it’s $25. It’s on Saturday, October 19 and begins and ends in Lorton, on the grounds of what was once a DC prison. (It’s now an arts space of some sort.) Info and a registration link can be found here.

I skipped the Great Pumpkin Ride in Warrenton last year to ride the Tour de Mt. Vernon. This year the Great Pumpkin Ride is on Saturday, October 27. It’s $70. Details and registration are here.

I am also hoping to do WABA’s 5th Cider Ride. Follows trails along the Anacostia River to the north of DC. It’s November 2. You have to be a WABA member or come as a member’s guest. It’s $45 if you sign up before October 1.

Fall: Daylight is dwindling. I rode to Friday Coffee Club and caught a pretty nice sunrise over Dyke Marsh on the Potomac River.

Image may contain: bicycle, sky, tree, motorcycle, outdoor and nature


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