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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rehab Assignment #2: The Successes and The Failures

Dom Climbs To Hsin-she

Saturday morning I made arrangements with Dom, a fellow knee pain sufferer, to do "Rehab Assignment #2".

The plan was to make it out to Feng-yuan and then head back over the Route 129 through Hsin-she... if my leg would allow me the opportunity to do so.

We met around 8:00am and cut through town to Taichung's northern edge. A coffee made things a little bit better and I was feeling ten times better from the prior weekend, when that coffee stop was mainly for pain relief.

For the first time I was able to begin to really appreciate the tube tuning I had requested in my frame with a tight enough drivetrain for a little more oomph!. Wonderful... but I was still being cautious. Near Feng-yuan I let my mind get away from me to entertain thoughts that I had somehow been miraculously healed like one of the many converts to be subjected to a sport coat flogging on Benny Hinn's stage.

The Headmaster's Vestibule (Wongzi Elementary)

I wasn't so fortunate.

As soon as I started to go off on flights of fancy involving unicorns, pegasuses and equally mythic long, pain-free rides, the soreness started flaring up in the shin and knee area.

We stopped and had another stretch session, which worked for a while, but the pain returned... and in greater numbers.

A history and anthropology stop in Tu-niu for a future post allowed me the extra time to cool the knee off before the hill climb up to the Hsin-she plateau. We chatted with an elderly couple who were busy taking their own cultural tour of the area as well.

Dongshi Valley

I was dreading the hill climb and was not about to take the climb the way I would normally attack it, but it was my first chance to test my new frame's climbing skills and compare with my old bike.

Oddly, there was little sensation of pain. I made a steady, seated climb up to the top that I could only describe as "easy".

Looking down at the Dongshi valley I am always brought back to September 23, 1999, when I stopped at the same spot to see the aftermath of a massive earthquake. With all the pictures from the news of Japan, the scene was especially poignant.

Finally, it was time for the descent. My knee was really getting sore in the flats and I was about ready for some speed without having to work for it.

The twisting drop back to Taichung on the Route 129 was thrilling as always, but this time I was feeling like I was riding IN the bike and not ON the bike.

Each corner was smooth and deliberate, fast, but predictable. Fantastic!

By the time I hit the long, straight rollers at the base of the hill, the pain in my leg was more than I could endure for a mad sprint out to Dakeng, and so I had to settle for a speedy coast back to the outskirts of Taichung. Dom blew bast me on a rail. It looked like fun.

I had one more stretching session to make it back home satisfied with my rate of recovery, but still very far away from being 100%.

Let's see what happens next week if I can get Rehab Assignment #3.

Not the sexiest route, but the best I could do within retreat range.

Bike route 872207 - powered by Bikemap

Also See:
  • Cycling Satin Cesena on Ho Huan Shan. One of my favorite routes.
  • T-Mosaic has a couple new bikes ready. The steel TYA 650 is looking good, as is the Colnago C59 Italia... one of two Colnago frames actually made in Italy (The other being the Master). Check out the Madfiber Wheels on that thing.


  1. Andrew- Cheers for the ride and sharing your knowledge of the area, and the blog link. It was flattering for you to say WE chatted with anyone. My just-off-the-plane Mandarin permitted me only to smile and nod. Boy that bike of yours looked great. Many more rides ahead! Keep stretching that knee. Best- Dom

  2. @ Dom,

    The leg is feeling better and better.

    I'll keep you in the loop for upcoming rides.