Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Watching the Back

Martin Luther King weekend, being a federal holiday would normally be a three-day weekend. It turned into a four-day weekend, for me. Friday morning I woke after a very restless night. My back was already aching and my legs feeling the kind of shooting pain that I had not felt for many weeks -- since my third epidural. So, I called in sick.

I did not get to stay home and rest all day, though. My landlady's car was in the shop, and she needed to get to the bank to cash a check to pay her mortgage. I also had a doctor's appointment at 4:00 PM. I put her on the back for the trip to the bank, brought her back home, then headed to the doctor's appointment. Still I managed to spend most of the day catching up on the sleep I had missed the night before, napping in my easy chair.

Saturday I got a short ride in, but Sunday and Monday I was not up to it. I commuted the five-or-so miles to work and back, on Tuesday. While I was not feeling comfortable at work, back pain was not unbearable. I called my doctor and asked whether they could send a prescription to a drugstore near my home, but they prevailed upon me to pick it up at 4:30 in Laurel. After the ride out there, I knew it was as short a distance to Bob's BMW as to go home. Knowing there was a Ride-to-Eat with the BMW club in Elicott City, just a short ride from there, I planned to take a long sitting break at Bob's then get to the restaurant.

On the way up Highway One, from Laurel, after stopping for the medicine and resting for many minutes in the waiting room, I noticed that electric gear was not working. I switched accessory jacks, but it still was not working. Good thing I was going to Bob's.

Indeed I had blown two fuses, one for each outlet. The first was a fifteen-amp fuse. The second was only ten amps. I had two 15-amp fuses in my tool bag in the right saddle bag, so replaced both fuses with 15-amp fuses. Next week I may upgrade them to 20 amps. I only had 10 amp fuses for back-ups left, but did not want to spend even two dollars for more fuses.

After an hour of rest and a warming cup of coffee, I headed to Elicott City by back roads. The GPS does a good job of finding them if I set it to give me the direct path instead of the fastest. I noticed, however, that my GPS kept losing power and switching to its batteries. At one point, I had to stop and replace the batteries. I had some rechargeable ones in my tank bag.

Arriving at the restaurant early, I took out my flash light and took time to investigate the trouble. The repairs to the bike, the last week, had apparently pulled the new fuse box that I installed a few months ago loose and the power wire was only making intermittent contact. I completely disconnected the power, and decided to wait until Saturday's tech day to fix it.

I had a bowl of vegetarian chili and several coffees while chatting with other riders and enjoyed some budding friendships. Then I beat feet home and went to bed. The temperature was falling and by morning was at 27.

At work, my back immediately started complaining, and the pains frequently shot down my leg. It is weird, but riding the motorcycle, I seldom notice such pains. However, there is a pain that hits me in my right hip that mostly occurs while riding.

More than one friend has speculated with me that my riding days may be numbered. I suppose that is a good excuse for being a bit grumpy, lately.

No comments: