Five months

Waiting on the “provider” at urgent care on Feb. 21. Is it just me,
or does “The Provider” sound like a third-tier Marvel superhero?

That’s how long it’s been since I broke my right ankle, getting an early jump (har de har har) on lockdown.

This one-two punch certainly restricted my movement, even without the intervention of the 101st Vanborne, which is said to be en route. Since Feb. 21, I haven’t ventured north of Tramway and Interstate 25, east of Carnuel, south of I-40, or west of Interstate 25.

In an ordinary year I would have hightailed it at least once by now, to Arizona or Colorado. At the very least I would have cycled around the bosque, ridden up to the Triangle, or even tackled a short tour. If the State is going to track me, I want the sonsabitches to work up a sweat.

But 2020 has been anything but ordinary, in terms of personal mobility, global pandemic, and creeping fascism.

Bad ankle! Bad, bad, bad! Get in that boot and stay there, thinking about what you’ve done.

Re: personal mobility. I gassed up the Forester the day before breaking the ankle, but I didn’t fill ’er up again until last Thursday.

This means that in the past five months, I’ve driven maybe 300 miles, which is what I get from a tank of gas when motoring around Albuquerque. Bum ankle notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure I’ve walked more than that.* For sure I’ve cycled more (943.8 miles).

By the way, this cycling mileage is not impressive, even for a 66-year-old gimp. My best week since the mishap saw me ride all of 80 miles. The worst? Three-point-five. Seriously. It was March 7, I was on the trainer with my Darth Bootsy footwear, and I lasted a whole half hour.

The good news is, I’m biking and hiking regularly, and the ankle continues its slow, steady rehabilitation.

The bad news is, I don’t think I can outrun one of those federales in the cammy-jammies if he catches me off the bike. And that dodgy right foot is the one I use to kick annoyances in the balls.

* OK, so I’ve only walked 123.7 miles. I had to check.

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34 Responses to “Five months”

  1. katholoch Says:

    Egads, I know the feeling. I drove to Costco a couple weeks ago (maybe 15 miles away) and then REI on Monday (again 15 miles) and that is the farthest I’ve driven since the beginning of March! I am up to 330 miles cycling so far this month and 1871 miles for the year. I would like to get back to longer rides, but all the parks are closed and, therefore, the usual pit stops and water stops. I did do what was my weekly 35 mile round trip outing once and the place I stopped for lunch would not let anyone in to use the restroom (take out only) and water was only if you purchased it. I did happen to find a bush on my very urban bike trail, and the purchased water…but it is a bit disappointing to have to even think about this shite. BUT, all in all I’m thankful to still have a job and get to ride everyday. It could be much worse. And interestingly enough, having fewer choices has actually seemed less stressful.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Weird, innit? I couldn’t remember the last time I gassed up, but I was pretty sure it was sometime in February, and so it was. Amazing how little one drives when there is nowhere to go.

      I’d be driving even less if I were biking to the grocery. But since I only go every 10 days or two weeks, the load is a bit much, since the return trip is mostly uphill. I could do it, but it wouldn’t be a lot of laughs, and what the hell, the Subaru needs to move around now and again like the rest of us.

      At the moment I’m relying on hiking to keep exercise fresh. I’ve found a few new-to-me trails that are lightly traveled, and that makes for a nice change of pace. It’s been a while since I backpacked, so there’s that to get used to, and I still have to be really judicious about how I plant my feet. No leaping and cavorting like a young centaur.

    • SAO' Says:

      Those bathroom breaks take a lot of logistical brain scratching. Add a 9 and 7 year old into the mix. Can’t really go hiking anywhere nearby, but driving further makes the need to hit the loo that much more likely. So we’re doing laps and laps around the neighborhood, hitting the home pit stop as needed. Dizzying, though. Feel like putting the family in Cutters t-shirts and calling it the Little 500.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Yeah, when the neighbors with the two girls go off for a bit of exercise it looks like a convoy in some apocalyptic post-industrial flick. Bicycles towing Burleys loaded with more bicycles and scooters. …

        • SAO' Says:

          Dragging around two infants was, let’s say, interesting at times.

          There was a 2-3 year period where they were old enough to know what’s going on but not old enough to be left alone for 30 seconds, so I got used to never be able to pee, no matter how long the trip. Now I can start a road trip with a 128 oz Big Slurp and hold it until dinner time. They just don’t tell you that in Parenting 101

          Ortleib and Lowe and those folks totally missed the obvious market: parents with disposable income. Not everyone will bike tour, not everyone will need a high end camera bag. But lots of folks have kids, and (checks math) I’m being told most of us were one once. And there’s no such thing as a good diaper bag. My idea was something like a Chrome Citizen, with a zip or snap in liner with the diaper stuff. As they get older, you swap out innards until at some point you just have the basic messenger.

  2. Libby Says:

    You have made a remarkable recovery, Patrick!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I got lucky, eh? I was afeared of knives, plates, and pins. Also postoperative infection. I’ve heard of two postoperative staph cases recently among acquaintances unfortunate enough to require hospitalization and surgery.

      I’m still short of a full recovery, but I’m mostly able to do what I want to do. I just have to put a little more thought into it, is all.

      How are things with you?

      • Libby Says:

        We barely got COVID under control in NYS and we were doing ok but now going in the other direction. So mostly a “safe at home” scenario here. Also, a very, very hot summer. No surprise.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    So far, the Portlandia dumpster fire has not descended on Fanta Se or Albuquerque. And I sure as shit hope it does not. Damned if I want to have to start watching for both the Governor’s Crack Covid Mask Police Detachment and the 101st Vanborne Division chasing me down (with due respect to my college friend, Officer Fred “Woody” Woodard of the Rochester PD, who got shot up at Bastogne while serving with the 101st Airborne and chronically flunked the airport metal detector quiz).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The whole law-and-ordure thing is more transparent than Casper the Ghost’s crotchless undies.

      The smart thing to do would be to ignore the 101st Vanborne. Shun them. Don’t give them anything to react to. And don’t serve them food or drink, or provide a place for them to lay their pointy little heads. Treat them like a lesser version of The Bug®, which is what they are.

      Alas, some of us will insist on the dick-waving, which is exactly what the Waffen-Twats want.

      • khal spencer Says:

        A bad case of a lot of immature twits trying to out-twit each other. We have Orange Hitler waving his dick, the 101st Vanborne waving their dicks, and some of the protestors waving their dicks. All want to get in the last dick, er, word. What can possibly go wrong when you basically are dealing with a situation where everyone wants to have the last “oh yeah, your mother swims out to the troopships too?”

        I just hope that shit stays far from here. Last thing I want to see is the Vanborne folks driving around, or a bunch of hotheads declaring the Santa Fe Autonomous Zone, all the while the Mayor pulls a Portland and lets nature take its course.

        Its bad enough dealing with Covid without having to deal with mass bad behavior.

      • SAO' Says:

        Wife: What’s so funny?

        Me: (giggling like a 2nd grader) Casper’s crotchless undies

        Wife: Huh?

        Me: You had to be there.

        Kids in the next room: Casper’s crotchless undies!! Casper’s crotchless undies!!

        Wife: Oh, great, look what you’ve done!

        Me: Me? It’s all Patrick’s fault!!

        Wife: Huh?

        Me: Oh, bother …

  4. carl duellman Says:

    i saw this post and thought you broke your foot again.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      What Carl said. Anywho, in spite of my best efforts, 2020 is mostly a throw away year. No one can afford to do that.

      Instead of miles per gallon It’s months per tank full. But, that’s me anyway. RAV4 is 3 1/2 years old and has 14k miles on the odometer.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No further injuries at the moment, Carl. Herself and I were scouting a trail up in the Sandias the other day and it required a bit of bouldering, which had me as skittish as an old burro.

      “Fuck’s that? Where’s it go? Is there some other way around? Hell, no, I’m not going up/down that.” Etc.

      As regards the driving, I was starting to hate that anyway. It’s no fun here in ’Burque, where everyone drives like they’re mad at you. That’s one reason the Vespa only gets out for short hops.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Ah, for a world where Vespa was the first choice in transportation after bicycles. A mid-life crisis would only require 150cc instead of a 500 horsepower beast.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        It’s been a combination of Sandy’s HOA responsibilities, some health issues, and the stinkin’ virus. I have improved my guitar playing, albeit not fast enough for my impatient ass. And, our double bubble has had some good hikes, a few rides, and lots of guitar playing, drinking, eating, card playing, and movie watching. I have an extra 5 pounds to prove it. So, the year is not a complete loss, but it felt that way this morning. I guess I need to HTFU.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Health issues? Nothing serious, I hope. A friend is enduring the shingles. Man, I don’t want any part of that. Give me a nice clean broken ankle any ol’ day.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Did you get your shingles shots? I had chicken pox as a kid (as well as just about every other kid disease) so they said I better get my shots, which I did.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            No, I haven’t. I don’t remember if I had chicken pox. I had every other goddamn thing except polio, rickets, and a lazy eye, though, so I probably had the pox.

            I got the mumps during a summer vacation road trip and gave ’em to the old man. That was a fun few days in an Oklahoma City motel room. Maybe not. During another trip, to Acapulco, I contracted a violent case of the turista that had me curled up into myself like a shrieking pink armadillo.

            I don’t remember many family vacation trips after that.

          • khal spencer Says:

            My doc said if one had chicken pox as a kid, one is at elevated risk for shingles. So I got the shots, which sucked.


        • Says:

          Bone spur in the neck and a hernia. You know, the kind of shit where the doc tells you it’s normal for your age. I’ll get there from here; it will, however, take a little longer. Thanks for asking! A little over a year ago I was riding a half century with you guys. WTFO?

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            I told you about my old doc in Bibleburg, right? Also a cyclist and a tad short with anyone who asked silly questions.

            Showed him my left thumb, the one I bollixed in a mountain-bike crash (and never sought PT for afterward) and I sez to him I sez: “Can’t do much with it anymore. Whaddaya think, Doc?”

            He sez to me he sez: “We call that ‘arthritis,’ Patrick. It doesn’t get any better.”


            Meanwhile, the neighbor with the kids recently had surgery for two hernias. It was hard to watch the big fella trying not to lift anything over 10 pounds with two lively young daughters who love their daddy.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Take care of yourself, Pat. I had double hernia surgery in 2016 after my doctor said mine was getting bad enough that it might land me in an ER. Had chronic problems with the hernias over the years but so far the mesh seems to have cured that.

            The first few days after surgery were awful. They pumped me up like a basketball to insert the heavy equipment and do the arthroscopic surgery. I told the nurse afterwards that I felt like I was instantly eight months pregnant. She laughed.

            Neck bone spurs? Sounds painful. Plus, it won’t keep you out of the army since you already did your time…

  5. Shawn Says:

    Ah! But if los federales con camo do come chasing after you, you have the Boot. Toss that sucker out in front of them and one of the camo trotters is bound to trip on the damn thing and perhaps …… mess up his ankle…

    It’s great to hear about how you are recovering. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be “screeing” down a mountain slope. Woohoo! There’s nothing like testing your ability to surf on a steep field of rocks ready to slide away from their temporary angle of repose.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Screeing! I remember that fondly. There was a spot in North Cheyenne Cañon, in Bibleburg, that was perfect for it. A long, steep section of scree between Gold Camp Road and the paved road to the visitors’ center. We used to lace on the high-top hiking boots and bomb that sumbitch.

  6. John A Levy Says:

    Comgratulations on 300 miles. I spent 27 days in the hospital with an infection in my blood stream and two very nasty anerobic bacteria abcesses in my right glute. Just finished 6 weeks of IV antibiotics and next Friday start 8 weeks of physical therapy for rehabbing my right leg and butt. Memorial day I spent in ER and surgery and intensive care. Still 17 days in hospital I have no memory of due to brain inflammation and high quality pharmacuticals. But as my infectious doc said it’s not cancer. The old steel Lemond is tuned and ready but 12 stitches in my butt have made that a dream for laterl

    Stay safe you violent criminal or DHS will FBI you like in the 60’s and 70’s. no fucking country has lost it big time

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Jeez Louise, John. Somebody shoot you in the ass with a poison dart? That sounds awful.

      I keep hearing stories like yours — one of them is the aftermath of an electric-scooter crash — and they make me want to buy an Iron Man suit and then fly it to Mars.

      But I don’t expect the Daedalia Planum General Hospital will honor my UnitedHealthcare insurance if some little green nativist zaps me in the keister with his laser Glock.

      “Earthlings go home! Speak Martian! Somebody build a Wall! Make Mars Great Again!”

      Man. I hope you’re feeling better. Ow wow yow zow, etc.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Good lord, John. I’m glad you are here to talk about it and all the best.

    • SAO' Says:

      Damn, John, sounds like you can shot at and missed then shit on and hit, then shot at again just for good measure. At least you got a real steel steed waiting for you when you’re up and at’em, which I hope is ASAP.

  7. David McB Says:

    Sorry about your ankle. I hope it heals quickly. By the way, whose idea was it to have Lance on last years Tour De France?

    • Libby Says:

      Uggh, I didn’t like that. Plus, Christian Van deVeld has presumably gotten permission to speak about Lance and his own time on the team in detail. I didn’t care for that “it’s safe now to talk about that” vibe. Let VandeVeld make a living but please don’t remind me of that time. And how VdV admitted to doping in a very limited manner and received a token 6 mos. sanction that began in late summer and was over by the early mos. of the following season.

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