It's time to cease the blog, or at least slow it down a tad. After all it is entitled "a journey back to the bike" and today marked the second day in a row that I rode a road bike.
I'm nowhere near full fitness but today I managed about 90 minutes on my Litespeed through the rolling terrain of Nongsa in Batam. I'm here to volunteer tomorrow at the Nongsa Challenge bike race put on by the good folks at Cycosports. The roads in this tiny corner of the Indonesian island are well-surfaced and almost traffic free, so I thought a lap or two of the 12km circuit would be a good test of the leg.
There are still a few limitations to "proper" riding. I can't clip in on the left leg yet for fear of damaging the barely heeled joint, so I installed pedals that are SPD on one side and flat on the other. This half in, half out approach made for a strange pedaling action but it felt like I was back. The power isn't there yet, my fair wife Ruth was easing by me on some of the rollers, but it'll come in time.
More importantly, there was no pain mid-ride or swelling post-ride. I iced straight after for 45 minutes lying by the pool (I'm still not allowed to immerse the leg, but stitches out on Monday) then a few more times throughout the day as we hung out at the Turi Beach Resort, which stands quite magnificently on a hillside overlooking a stunning South China Sea vista.
Tomorrow will be a test as I'll be on my feet most of the morning at the race. I've found that it has been the standing not the cycling that has caused my knee to swell most during the past two weeks, but it honestly almost looks normal so I'm hoping the worst is over.
The weight loss experiment aspect had been a revelation to me. Nearly 3kg in 18 days, just by cutting down. It hasn't been that hard but I can't wait until I can consistently knock out a couple of hours on the bike as I'd like to be able to eat a little bit more and keep this weight off.
And so that's it for now. I'll still post the odd update, but only when significant events occur. Thanks for reading. Writing this blog has helped me deal with the recovery process and it was good to know I had some support.