Well, the year started off mostly good. I got myself out of bed at 6:30, left the house around 7:40, and met a few people at the end of the Eliza Furnace Trail for a pre-Icycle Bicycle ride. Five of us (led by Dan) rode about 30 miles through the South Hills, heading out Streets Run Rd, riding all sorts of places I'd never seen by bike (and maybe not even by car), and then back down Streets Run and down Carson to REI in the Southside.
As with any other ride in Pittsburgh, our route had lots of steady climbs, and by the time we got back to the Southside, my left knee was already starting to speak up. If I'd been smart, I'd have said hello and goodbye to all of the Icycle Bicycle people at REI, called Heather, and had her come and pick me up.
I'm not that smart, of course, and I decided my knee would be fine over the course of a nice easy ride around town. And really, it was a fairly non-demanding ride. We headed all the way up Carson, crossed the West End Bridge, went through the North Side a little bit, made our way down to River Avenue, and crossed the 31st St. Bridge.
At that point, I decided that I should probably just make my way home from there, and split off from the group. I went up Polish Hill (not the steepest parts) and made my way to Oakland, down to the Panther Hollow trail, and then back over to the Southside.
Actually, I'd probably have been just as well off sticking with the Icycle Bicycle group, because by the time I was crossing the Hot Metal Bridge to get over to the Southside, I could see people I'd been riding with crossing it in the opposite direction.
Anyway, by then my knee was pretty miserable, but still, I decided to just ride the rest of the way (seven miles or so) home. I was pretty close to 50 miles on the day, and didn't want to give up before I hit that mark. I made it all the way home (slowly), took off all of my gear, and got a nice hot shower. 56 miles in the bag on the first day of the year. Not a bad start.
The bad thing is that my knee is still pretty sore, much worse than it's been on the day after other long rides that I've done. The plan now is to set up an appointment with a sports medicine guy that some (marathon running) friends of mine at work use when they have leg trouble.
I'm inclined to believe that something on my left side is out of alignment, thanks to the September wreck. I've been trying to remember to do stretches before I ride, and I'll admit that I didn't really have time yesterday, so maybe that's part of it, but either way, I think it's about time that I get somebody to have a look at this. If I don't get this fixed, I won't even be able to do the MS-150 in June. That would suck.
Today looks like a nice day. It would have been a great day to ride around a little bit, but the knee is still too sore. Maybe tomorrow.