Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ok, so I thought going to the chiropractor was going to be a good thing! Didn't make it past Christmas and had a set back, lasted about 2.5 weeks. Signed up for another 12 weeks at the gym and missed my first three weeks. More chiropractor, still says were on track I don't know who we are is? Pelvis is straighter but can't sit at work.  I now have to stand all day to work, I have an adjustable standing workstation. Everyone is envious, they want to stand too ... really, I think they are nuts! My latest set back is on week 5 or is it 6, stopped counting, too depressing.  My family doctor wants me to talk to my surgeon again to see if I'm a candidate for surgery again. Started new routine at gym and actually made a full week, then  laid around all weekend not able to do anything.

If I make it through this, I'll write a book on how to get better. Who would have thought that exercise and fitness would lead to this ... too much biking!

Still no biking, maybe by fall!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Well ...... It seems like its been forever since I was here.  Back in 2009 I noticed I had a back problem and couldn't cycle anymore.  I have gone from being a candidate to having back surgery to being very close to (fingers crossed) being able to ride my bike again!

I found I could only bike for 45min. max and then I would have minor back discomfort, anything longer and I could be laid up for a day or more.  I took my bicycle to a professional cyclist to get "bike fit". They have you cycle on a trainer for 20min. to get warmed up and then put you through your paces. They want to see how you move on the bike, is your alignment correct are you seated properly do your knees and ankles move properly. After all this the pro said he could find no faults with me or my bike and felt bad taking my money, which he did anyway.

I started doing Pilates because everyone I talked to said I had a poor core and a good core helps your back. After that only made things worse, I went through 3 physio therapists, 3 massage therapists, one chiropractor who could not find the cause of my back problem. I was rear ended in two separate car accidents which did not help any. My chiropractor said I should join a gym and recommended "Slim Gyms", by this time I was in bad shape, I couldn't even break a sweat at the gym. For 2 years I have been going to the gym and when I felt I was doing good my back would act up and I would be out of commission for a few weeks. A couple months ago I was having a horrible time at work, could get comfortable, always had back issues and thought I can't live like this any longer. My doctor said I should walk more, I did, I walked 5km each day for 3 days and then I was off work for a week, what does he know! Maybe a little OCD on my part here.
My wife and I went to a trade show and there was a Chiropractor there, we talked to him and I made an appointment. I was stuck, I had to do something, I couldn't live in my condition any more. After my initial visit he was confident he knew what my problem was, I had a common hockey, bicycle injury! He suggested 2 visits twice a week for 12 weeks. His diagnosis was that my Psoas muscles were so tight, they are causing my pelvis to be tilted forward to such an extent they herniated a disk in my back. I can report I am doing great, I am able to increase my workout at the gym and I do break a sweat now. I'm not guarded in what I do, I'm in my workshop on the weekends doing stuff, I haven't done stuff in years. I have the bike on the trainer waiting for my last visit with the chiropractor, I've promised him I won't try and ride till I'm done the 24th visit. Fingers crossed that I will be biking this spring.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vacation 2009 Part 3

I want to go see Fallingwater tomorrow, an Architectural creation by Frank Lloyd Wright. I tried booking tickets online but the site wasn't working and it's too late to call. Up at 9:30am, booked tickets for 12pm a little later thn I wanted but we will still get to go on a tour. We were on the road by 9:40am headed for Fallingwater. We past by Ohiopyle and Cucumber falls and stopped for a look, the falls were not that large but pretty none the less. We first stopped at Kentuck Knob the only other house in the area created by Frank Lloyd Wright. After Kentuck we made it to Mill Run, PA and Fallingwater and had our tour, spectacular. 1:30pm back on the road and headed to Niagara Fall, ON. 5:30pm Erie, PA 3000km and ate at the Bob Evans Restaurant. In Erie, PA one enterprising business is selling Pepper Spray, Stun Guns and Sugar Free Fudge. I guess they don't want you hopped up on sugar and going off half cocked with their stun guns. We know where all the corn comes from, Erie, PA that's where, miles and miles of corn fields. 7:30pm back in Canada 3172km, still sunny, 7:50pm through customs. 8:30pm Niagara Falls, wow there are a lot of people here and know we know why, wow the falls are amazing. 9pm stuck in construction which they do in the evening so it doesn't disturb daytime traffic, smart. Three lanes of traffic down to a crawl, then the traffic started driving on the shoulder making it four lanes of traffic. We soon found out why, there was an exit up ahead and the traffic was exiting to another parallel route to avoid the construction, Seeing as we didn't want to impede the traffic flow we followed. 10:00pm arrived at Kitchener, On and Tony and Kerry Rajottes house. Past KIN Canada National President Bruce Lloyd and his wife Mary were visiting as well.

Tony and I went shopping for a toilet. They have a program in Toronto where they want people to save water The program credits your account if you buy a low flow toilet and with the credit it only cost
Tony $44 for the toilet. We went to a huge outdoor market that runs every day through the summer, not like the markets back home that only operate on Sunday. Arlene bought a necklaces and two table runners. We had a wonderful BBQ for dinner and Arlene was in bed by 9pm. Gordon the hedgehog was out for a visit running around the yard and paid no mind to the Rajoettes dogs or the rowdy people on the deck. Arlene had heat stroke throughout the evening and didn't sleep well. Mon. 30C and off to KIN Canada National Headquarters in Cambridge, ON. 12Pm 34C, smog alert, 839km, $70, welcome back to high gas prices. Toronto Zoo, very hot and all the animals were hiding from the heat. I don't get it they charge you money for entrance and money for parking, how did they think you were going to get there? We passed a horrific car crash on the 401, a Winnebago was rear ended by a semi-truck. The semi's bumper was at the side door, where you would exit the Winnebago. There was debris for about a 1/4km behind the accident and traffic was backed up for about 5km, I hope no one was hurt.

5:30pm arrived at Sean, Karen's in time for supper with their family, Kendra, Megan, Conner and Madeline. Tues. french toast made on the BBQ for breakfast. On the road at 9:30am headed for Ottawa. We past an anorexic jogger who must have been shuffling at a walking speed, maybe he was going to get food. Kingston, ON $90.6/L, why so low? 12Pm Ottawa, ON and the Canadian National War Museum. 1:20pm we went to Parliament Hill and went to lunch nearby. We had a short visit with a past co worker of mine, Alex Cleremont.

2:30pm onto Montreal, we passed a lot of farms and more corn. Who eats all the corn? 3:35pm 4000km, highway sign $895 fine for traveling 160km/hr and 10pts., they have to advertise this because there is a problem, wow. 4:30pm stuck in rush hour traffic in Montreal, it's at least better than screaming by at 110km/hr. 5Pm still in rush hour traffic, buses are the way to go, they even get their own special lane. 5:40pm stopped for a bathroom break and had to speak french to communicate. Arlene is the better of the two of us at french, all I could muster was merci. 5:50pm 4185km first rain since Hfx. it was still sunny and we saw two rainbows. 6:25pm turned onto the 55 south and boy are the roads bad, I can hardly read Arlenes notes.

6:35pm US border and we were the only car for miles. 7:30pm Litteton, NH white mountain, very scenic and we even saw some deer. 9Pm Best Western, clerk gave us a room and when we went to the room it was already occupied. We went back to the front desk and got another room and they felt so bad they gave us a $20 per night reduction. Apparently the maintenance mad wanted a room but didn't tell the front desk. 8:30am on the road to the White Mountains, on the #302, breakfast at the Twin Mountain Trading Post. 9:00amd 22C and at 10it was 29C, it's going to be hot today. We saw two wild turkeys on the side of the road near North Conway, NH. 10:30am entering Maine #302. Arlene stopped at Payless for cheap shoes. 1Pm Augusta, MA, 2pm Bangor 31C and lunch at Quiznos. “John” says we will be home by 11:30pm. 4:30pm 537km $37 last cheap gas, we crossed the border and are in Canada by 4:35pm. We were the 17th car in line and they opened a new line and now were #3, woo hoo. 4:40pm 5000km somewhere in NB.6:30pm Fredericton, NB and headed to Moncton, NB. 7Pm Gagetown, NB 27C, still no moose. If two goose are geese, why are two moose, moose and not meese? “John” now says we will be home by 11:09. 8pm saw a coyote on the side of the road, alive, still no moose. 8:10 Moncton, NB 8:30 Sackville, NB, 8:35 we entered NS and home smells much better. We drove through a swarm of bugs that were hitting the windshield like rain. I didn't dare turn on the wipers because I figured that would make a bigger mess. 9:13pm Wentworth toll, last toll. 10:30pm home, 5530km 16C. I have TomTom on my phone and it works off of satellites and cell towers. With the high cost of using a cell phone we relied on the gps part of the phone, the gps reception wasn't very great and the TopTom didn't work very well at times. You can customize the voices on the TomTom and I have John Cleese, so we affectionately call the phone John. The great road trip is over. I want to go again tomorrow, Arlene, not so much.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vacation 2009 Part 2

Tues. up at 8am, breakfast at hotel, here we go again. The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg doesn't open until 10am so were not in any rush to get going this morning. 10Am The National Civil War Museum, we were the first through the doors. The Americans sure do history in a big way. I guess if we (Canadians) had to fight for our freedom we would have a different outlook on history as well. We are off to the Wildwood Lake Sanctuary to see the butterflies. For some reason the butterflies didn't want to be seen and they were outside. We expected to take a walk through a butterfly cage like the Calgary Zoo butterfly enclosure, don't believe everything you read in a brochure. The Wildwood Lake Sanctuary is free, paid by local tax dollars. We went to the Antique Auto Museum in town and had a good viewing of some very old cars. After the Museum we went to the Hershey Mall and bought some shoes. We looked at clothing but the prices are really not that much different than home. We ate lunch at Subway and now were on the way to Gettysburg. We have covered 2092km so far. While driving to Gettysburg, PA we traveled over a lot of concrete roads and there was a lot of roadwork. 2:10 we went to the Gettysburg, PA military museum. The Gettysburg museum is primarily dedicated to the three days of battle in the town of Gettysburg, PA. The Gettysburg museum has more information than the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. After the museum we traveled the local roads and you can see where the battles actually took place. There are monuments with the name of the division and the number of fallen solders. There is a graveyard not far from the museum where the fallen are buried.

4:15pm we enter Maryland and at 5:30pm we made it to Washington, DC just in time for rush hour traffic. “John” brought us into town and had us going in circles, I made an illegal left turn on a yellow light and screamed tourist as I went through. We made it to the Hotel Harrington and used our coupon book to get a room on the 6th floor. The view from the room was less than spectacular and I had visions of seeing spider man hanging on the exterior walls. We looked out into a mechanical courtyard of mechanical units, pipes and exhaust vents, just like some of the scenes in spider man. We had to go park our car in a lot a few blocks away as they don't have parking on site and on the way by the front desk I inquired about upgrading our room for a better view. After we parked the card and made it back to the hotel we were upgraded for free to a corner unit on the tenth floor. The Hotel Harrington is definitely not a new hotel but it has clean beds and a good working shower and extremely friendly front desk and cleaning staff. The Hotel Harrington is located at the corner of 11th & E Streets, N.W, a ten minute walk to the heart of the National Mall. There is a weird smell in the lobby of the hotel, seems to be either the laundry or the restaurant nearby.

Wed. up at 7:30am, couldn't wait to hit the “Mall”, Arlene wouldn't let me run ahead. We were headed to the Lincoln memorial and passed by the WWII memorial and the reflecting pool on the way. The Lincoln memorial is just as it is on T.V. who new! We walked all over the “Mall” , we stopped at the Vietnam Memorial and Constitution Gardens. Our first Museum was the Holocaust Museum, upon entering you have to get a free timed ticket for entry. We got our tickets and had an hour to wait but there are three other mini museums regarding the holocaust in the same building. We toured the other exhibits and were awe struck by the lengths the German government used propaganda to make the citizens believe that what the Nazi's were doing was a good thing. We heard the story of Dan who was a child when the Germans evaded Poland and started sending people to concentration camps. Imagine a school, say the school you were in when you were six. Well the number of children that the Germans killed was equal to your school a day for eight years. The Holocaust museum was definitely and eye opener especially in seeing all the information up close. We were now off to the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art. There were a lot of children on supervised trips in the museums and each group of children had all the children wearing the same colour t-shirts. There were children running around with oversized purple, orange and green t-shirts all day. Before you could enter a Museum you had to show picture ID, walk thru a metal detector and either have your purse searched or put your belongings on a conveyor belt just like at the airport. We stopped by the Canadian Consulate while walking along Pennsylvania Avenue heading back to our hotel. We had supper at the Hard Rock Cafe and our waiter was Jay and he showed us a fabulous time. We had beef nachos, beer and fruity drinks and were able to keep the glasses. After supper we tried to get a closer look at the White House but that was easier said than done. On the way to the White House we passed some local young men playing hockey in the 34C high humidity. A delivery truck arrived at a side road to the White House and the driver had to get out of the truck and open the hood while a secret service officer and a dog searched the inside and outside of the truck. We took a bicycle carriage ride back to the hotel which was well deserved due to all the walking we had done today.

We were in bed by 9pm and up at 7:30am, downstairs for breakfast and off to the National Air and Space Museum. We saw a replica of the Wright Brothers airplane and the spirit of St. Louis. There were a myriad of airplanes, space capsules and satellite models in the museum. We were told that there was another Air and Space Museum four times the size out at Dulles Airport, so after we check out we will check it out. 12:30pm National Aquarium, which was not a really great experience, kind of like the butterfly experience, don't believe what you read in a brochure. We wen to Arlington National Cemetery but with all the walking we had done yesterday and today we didn't get out of the car. 1:30pm we were at the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport and boy is it big. There are dozens and dozens of aircraft hanging all around like models in a kids bedroom. There is a concord jet and WWI and WWII planes on display and many other types of aircraft. 3Pm on the road to Somerset, PA, 2555km since leaving home. There are a lot of trucks on the road and Arlene was surprised with the number of women drivers driving those trucks. 6:30pm arrived in Somerset, PA at ate at the Pine Grill which had a few interesting items on the menu; Orange Ruffy (fish) and Calves Livers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vacation 2009 Part 1

We are on the way, Sat. Aug 8, 2009, left home 7:40am, filled up at the Irving on the Prospect Bay road. We made it to the Wentworth tolls 9:00am and Moncton 10:20am. Gas prices in NS $1.05 and NB $0.99 / litre, why? Sunny and uneventful so far. 12:50pm NB/US border, 1:06 we entered the US at Houlton. We stopped at the tourist information booth in Houlton and met a very nice funny eccentric employee. She asked where we were going and if we had a place to stay. We are headed to Augusta, Maine and I had visioned us staying at either the Econo Lodge or Holiday Inn in Augusta. She gave us a travel magazine which was filled with coupons for accommodations. If you ever have the opportunity to travel in the US stop by a tourist information booth and get a coupon book, they have them arranged by region and state, it became invaluable for our journey. We ate our previously packed lunch and were on our way again, 1:30pm. Next stop, Bangor, while traveling to Bangor we went through 56miles of construction and 10 miles of pylons, first the left side was closed then the right then the left then the....well you get the idea. Clocks back an hour, arrived in Bangor 2pm. “John” took us to Circuit City in Bangor to buy a new camera, they were out of business. 2:20pm on the road to Kittery, ME. 2:45pm stopped at Dysarts for gas, $748.7km for $47.43 7.4L/100km. On the I95 southbound Max. 65, Min. 45, passed through Scarbourough 5pm. Stopped in Kittery, ME, no hotel rooms. Kittery is the shopping outlet mecca of Maine. Thanks to the eccentric lady at the tourist information booth we have a coupon book, woo hoo! We stopped at a garage to pick up a calling card as using your Canadian cell phone in the US is very, very expensive. At the garage we me Apu, which was not his real name. In the coupon book we found a place that was not to far away and very reasonably priced. When I tried to use the calling card to make a reservation I discovered the number was toll free, so our first purchase in the US besides gas is a $10 calling card that we can't use. Our driving experience so far has been double lane traffic similar to home and this was about to change on the way to Manchester. The closer you get to Massachusetts the more lanes of traffic that open up, before turning north to Manchester we were driving on 4 lanes of a divided highway. Were off to Manchester, NH and a stay at the Airport Hilton $69. We arrived, checked in with our coupon, ate dinner at the 99 Restaurant in Manchester and then headed back to the room for some well deserved R&R. We covered 1130km 2 provinces and 2 states on our first day.

Up at 7:00am, ate breakfast and on the road by 8:30am heading to Waltham, MA. For some reason “John” doesn't like to work today so we are resorting to map reading. We are trying for another Circuit City and a new camera, and this one is out of business as well, I see a trend. We are headed to the Sony Sore in Waltham, MA for a new camera. The Sony Store is closed until noon, a camera does not seem to be in the cards. 9:45am “John” decides to turn on, 10:40am arrived at Mario and Lucille's for a visit. Lela, Lisa, Paul and Rosanne, Lee and John also came and it was wonderful. We had a great visit and a meal and celebrated two birthdays. 3:00pm off to visit Billie in Warren, MA. I90 3 lanes full of cars, we were slowed in the mysterious highway slowdown, no accident or dead animal, just slowed to a crawl and then full speed again. We even witnessed the mysterious slow down on the other side of the median, cars slowed by some force field for no reason. We had a wonderful visit with Billie, we admired his roof addition to his porch all made from Oak. We backtracked to Sturbridge because we had a coupon for the Quality Inn, well we had a coupon for a Quality Inn but it wasn't in Sturbridge. Apu was at the desk and told us we had the wrong book, our book was out of date and no good. What he meant was the coupon was for the wrong hotel, some sort of language barrier I guess. We got it all figured out and got a cheap room and then went to eat at the Piccadilly Pub. Filled the car, emailed mom and in bed by 9:30pm, 597km $32.36.

Up at 6:00am, breakfast and on the road by 7:30am. I84 South through Connecticut and into New York. We entered Pennsylvania at 10:30am, 11:00am 327km $17.18, 11:25am Scranton, PA, 29C with a lot of trucks on the road. We passed a car with a crate in the back seat with a hole in the top and a head sticking out, the head of a duck to be precise. The duck was positioned in such a way that it's head was was between the seats looking forward out the windshield like a dog would. No towns or houses, just trees and ski hills. We had a state trooper behind us for a while and he wasn't interested in stopping any speeders. We were doing 70 miles/hr and there were people passing him and us. One memorable thing about driving in the States is that people in the outside lanes will move over when faster traffic comes up behind them, this does not happen very often in Canada. 12:30pm Leighton, PA, 31C and a tunnel with warning to turn or your head lights while entering the tunnel which was expected. But a warning to turn off you head lights while exiting is a little much don't you think? Listening to the Spinners, is there a girl in the group, I say its a back up singer Arlene says they were no girls just guys, will have to Google when we get home. 476 to Allentown, Pa, you remember the town made famous by Billy Joel. 12:55 Allentown 32C, 222 toward Lancaster which is our first secondary road. We were slowed by construction and got see some scenery not blowing by at 110km/hr. They sell “Frieworks”, Quilts and Pigeons and have lots of grape orchards in the area. 2:10pm Lancaster, PA, 33C, Amish families with horse and buggies. Lancaster is the town where Harrison Ford filmed the movie Witness. There are a lot of concrete highways in the area. 4:00pm checked into the Comfort Inn in Harrisburg, PA. We had an amazing dinner at an Indian restaurant next door to the Comfort Inn. 6:00pm the local news was having a slow news day, they were reporting that it was hot enough to cook cookies in your car and they did. 8:00pm we planed our next day and booked a room in Washington, DC from our coupon book.

Not Very Productive

This biking season has not been that great. I started out strong but as of late have had some lower back problems, hence the lack of reporting on interesting bike rides. I was tiling the floor in a bathroom I had just built in the basement and I must have twisted or strained my back since then I can not ride for longer than 1-1.5hrs without discomfort. I have been doing exercises and going to physio but it doesn't seem to be getting better. I still want to cycle and I am going shopping for a recumbent bicycle as I am hoping that it will be more comfortable to ride than my standard diamond frame bicycle. There are no dealers in the area so I might not have much luck finding a recumbent bicycle in the area. I am planning a vacation in October so I may have to travel to find a new ride. Road Trip?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stanley Cup

Sometimes it's not what you know but who you know. I have a very good friend who is the brother in Law of the assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings. Since the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley cup it has been a tradition for each player and coach to have the cup for a day.

Since I am sidelined from bicycling I thought that going to this event would be fitting.

The cup arrived in Antigonish, NS Tues. and was at their residence for a private party. On Wed. the cup traveled into town to the local arena where he had started his hockey career for a public cup viewing. Earlier in the day the cup was at the local hospital for patients that were unable to travel to the public viewing. Later in the day it was back at his residence for a final party. We all got to get photos of the cup, with it, drinking out of it, reading all the names on it and just being overjoyed with it's presence.

Thank you to the family for the once in a lifetime invitation to share in this special event. Until the Red Wings win again!