I have been taking things easy and doing some interesting stretches which seem to be working, and so I decided to test my knee in the hills of Dekeng above Taichung city. I figured I could easily coast home if things went poorly. As of today, all signs are pointing toward a solid recovery.
I took things easy and got a late start with an easy warm-up out to the 85C on Dong Shan Rd. near Dakeng. The weather was already oppressively hot and humid, so and iced coffee made things a wee bit better. I also had a chance to stretch my hip. What you can't see in the picture above is my leg tucked up behind me against a railing.
I followed the road up the Buzi River toward the CKS Campground and hiking trail No. 4. I casually retraced my first excursion out of Taichung City many years ago, when I discovered mountains and hills had been hiding behind a veil of mist and fog.
When I ordered the parts for this new bike I had been feeling confident and self assured. I had been doing some great climbing with a standard 39/53 tooth crank with a 12-27 cog. I decided I would harden up and abandon my old compact crank. I was missing it today. After 3 1/2 moths of limited riding my strength and endurance is suffering. I could keep above 20mph in the flats and 10mph climbing, but I was getting tired. I also was not going to try and push or really stand on the pedals. I already put myself out an extra month by trying to climb too much too soon.
I made my way up the hill and stopped to stretch the hip BEFORE it turned into knee pain.
My New Friend
I was surprised to be able to push up over the hill and it was over sooner than I remembered. I was feeling pretty accomplished.
Feeling On Top Of The World
I took a few minutes to rest and then "Ka-thunk!" I shifted to the big ring for a fast descent along a twisting, narrow road.
I was flying along at about 35-40mph. One thing I really love about this bike is that it descends like a guided missile. You pick a line and stick with it. On the old bike I was always over-shooting my turns. This bike slices through them like a scalpel. So much fun.
I slalomed down to Taiyuan Rd. and then headed up to the Warehouse 185 for a coffee. The knee was feeling great. I headed out for a family function in Daya and then stayed in the big ring for a fast, but tiring, stretch back home. I pushed my knee and it felt healthy. Today was huge for me in getting back into form.
Distance: 42 miles
Max Speed: 40mph
Average Speed: Never Mind
Knee: Pain Free