After two punishing years with record-breaking snowfall, we’ve finally had a mild winter on the central Great Plains. Every roadie I know has been bragging about his or her winter mileage. Sure, it turns cold sometimes, but the bad weather lasts only a day or two before the sun returns and the south wind blows and you can get in a reasonably warm ride.
Like many other cyclists in these parts, I’ve been spending lots of time in the saddle, riding the local trails nearly every day. Things took a decided turn for the worse, though, after a long ride last weekend. At first I thought it had something to do with the trail’s difficulty, but my condition continued to deteriorate until finally, on Thursday, the doctor’s office diagnosed a sinus infection. Two prescriptions later (antibiotic and steroid), and I am beginning to feel human again–from the neck up. From the neck down, it’s a continuing battle.
Today the sun blazed away in another beautiful day, more like late March than February. I wanted badly to ride in the fresh air after three days of napping and watching old movies, but I was still fatigued, had a headache (going on about two days now), and a sore neck. Strangely, I felt fine in every other way. So I picked up the prescription fact sheets and read that the possible side effects were exactly the symptoms I was having–ironically, nearly the same symptoms of the pre-medication sinus infection. “Contact your doctor immediately,” the instructions read. I considered my doctor’s response in similar previous situations and decided she would tell me to get on the bike.
It was not one of my better rides. My head ached, I still had no energy, and I panted like an overheated dog for the entire half-hour. I thought about lying in the grass for awhile on a sunny slope, but rumor has it the ticks have survived the mild winter. Funny thing is, the headache was gone by the end of the ride. My friend Anita has wondered how you can feel so terrible on a bike that you think you’ll fall over and die, then just a few minutes later you feel fine. It’s cycling little miracle.
I’ll call the doctor tomorrow. Today, I’m good.
Entry filed under: Bicycling.