Marching onward

March, as usual, was a bit unpredictable. Weather changed from winter to spring to winter to spring. This frustrated my attempts to dial into warmer weather. It could be worse. I could be up north where this process typically happens in April. Count your blessings.

Bicycling

I managed to ride 821 miles this month. about 66 miles more than last year. Only 101 miles were indoors on my Tour Easy. (Last year I rode indoors 122 miles.) But for 32 miles on my Bike Friday and 73 on The Mule, the rest of my riding was on my Cross Check. I grew noticeably stronger pushing the big gears on my Cross Check and feel almost tour-ready. I cut way back on eating crap and my weight came down a few pounds. (I rarely weigh myself, relying instead on how my clothes fit.) My guess is I weigh about 215 pounds. I’d like to be closer to 200 for the tour in May. So far this year I’ve ridden 2,050 miles, 20 more than in 2021.

Reading

My reading started to decline as I spent more time outdoors. I read About Grace by Anthony Doerr. It’s a rather strange tale about a man who has premonitions in his dreams. The book is not quite in the same league as Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See but it’s easy to see how his writing improved from Grace to Light. I am looking forward to reading Cloud Cuckoo Land when it comes out in paperback. Having plowed through a bunch of best selling novels, I decided to revisit some of my old books. I started re-reading the Diva series by Delacourt, the pen name of Daniel Odier. I read the first three short novels, Diva, Nana, and Luna. Set in France, these are tales of Alba, a sexy underage teenager, and her boyfriend of sorts, a 40-something grifter named Serge Gorodish. (Yes, it’s unabashedly politically incorrect.) Diva involves gangsters, an opera singer, and two cassette tapes. (The books were written over 40 years ago.) Nana is the tale of how the two came together and how Gorodish comes into (well, steals) a fortune while conning an entire town. In Luna, Alba is kidnapped and taken to a secluded estate. The tale predates cell phones and the Internet so it’s rather interesting how Gorodish comes to her rescue. I have three more Diva books to go.

Movies and Such

We went to our first concert in over two years. Le Vent du Nord is a Quebec folk band that we have seen numerous times. This time everyone was masked and boosted. You have to love a band with a hurdy gurdy, I always say. I didn’t watch any movies this month which seems strange. I did watch a couple of Washington Nationals spring training games. Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a very long year on Half Street. They lost yesterday’s untelevised game by the football score of 29-8. Pitching is everything and they got none. We also watched the first episode of Moon Knight, another Marvel series. This one looks promising, thanks to terrific acting by Oscar Isaacs and Ethan Hawke. If I had to guess, the creative team is fond of psychedelics.

Medical

As is often the case, I use the winter months to catch up on my medical problems. This year’s problem is annoying pain in my left calf and my lower back. I had a CT scan to rule out another deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) in my calf. Then, my pain doctor gave me rather shocking painful injections in my spine to calm the pain in my calf. These injections seemed to work. My lower back pain lingers. I can walk about 1/4 of a mile pain free then a dull ache in my lower back develops. We tried diagnostic injections in my spine but they had no effect. I am scheduled for an updated MRI and then another set of injections lower in my spine. The diagnostic injection contained a small amount of cortisone. The stuff makes you feel fantastic, which may explain the improvement in my riding. If the next set of injections doesn’t help, I may need surgery. Eek.

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