Anyone got a spare right leg I can borrow?

Day 3

  • Rochester to Olympia 30 miles (48km)
  • Breakfast: oats, some left over cracked barley from the night before, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds and boiling water
  • Snacks: cold boiled potato
  • Lunch: left over remaining beans, pozole, pasta sauce – which was starting to get a little tangy
  • Dinner: left over cooked root vegetables from night before, lentils and rice in onion soup broth and desert of big bowl of onion soup broth (drink basically)

Was lovely to have dinner with the family I was staying with who felt guilty eating normal food but were very involved in conversation around the concepts and lessons that can come from LBL.

I’m very sad and sorry to say sayonara to the bike. The tendonitis in my right knee is unbearable and stopping me from achieving my goals so I will let it rest as I reinvent myself, this trip and my purpose (for the trip, not completely).

It is a huge disappointment and really just pissed off that all I can think about is the sharp crippling pain in my right knee, instead of the wonderful experiences and insights I should be having from riding 1000 miles while Living Below the Line.

A pretty nice starting point this morning from Wobbly Cart Farm where I stayed last night but not enough to make the pain go away...

If I put myself in the shoes of the extreme poor then I have used their resilience to do two days beyond of what I should have (with some help from anti-inflammatories) and deal with the circumstances that face you, and face up to them. But now it is a bit beyond that as I know I could not cycle the 65miles (105kms) require tomorrow for me to complete the entire journey as organised and deliver presentations as promised. So as I think again as the people I have learnt so much from in developing countries, then what would they do in the same position? To me they would and must fight the situation with courage, creativity, resourcefulness and make the situation work for them or they would go hungry, sick or helpless.

In this light I will now have to recreate what I planned to do for this trip with the same outcomes but a different method. I don’t know what that is at the moment but I have tomorrow to come up with something, after getting over the disappointment of being bike-less and I will make it work for me.

Stayed tuned tomorrow for the mach-II version of the 1000 mile cycling Live Below the Line trip… (likely to have a new name as I won’t be cycling).

If you are interested to see the torment of my decision making of whether I was being soft or using too much common sense, see below… The tipping point however was staying with a doctor and bike mechanic this evening and them both diagnosing that I MUST toss the bike for benefit of me, and the world!

Excited to see what plan hatches tomorrow and throw lots of suggestions my way…

Joseph the friendly Wobbly Cart farmer who hosted me for the night's stay.

This is the email I sent to a few friends for their feedback and to soundboard what was swirling in my head

Cycle on or Recreate?

Hey Folks I know which decision I need to make but I would like your feedback – not to make me feel better but to possible face the hall of mirrors. I know in the current pain I am in I cannot go on but is there something I am missing… Have a look at my reasoning and let me know what you think…

I can not say how distraught, distracted and disillusioned I am to be considering to end my bicycle trip. The pain is getting beyond management and I am now relying upon the unknown quantity of ‘it’ll get better’ which I have been waiting for since I first jumped on the bike for training rides on Saturday.

Recreate the trip…?

  • Choose LBL or biking – LBL is more important and significant
  • I can continue to achieve my goals of advocacy and awareness just without the bike component
  • Get to recreate this trip and see where it will take me
  • I know inspiration and creation will come from a forced change of events just as someone living in extreme poverty would have to do – I don’t feel I am dishonoring those in extreme poverty by not working through the pain – they have to have some sort of cut off point and have to recreate themselves
  • I can more clearly focus on what it means to Live Below the Line and not be distracted by pain, logistics of drugs, ice and masking pain
  • Doing LBL and taking ibuprofen not good
  • I know that I am risking permanent damage and future use of my knee as I am only masking the pain not dealing with it
  • Medical insurance dramas and the US is the last place I need knee surgery on a volunteer salary!
  • I think I have tried as many ways as possible to deal with the knee – change of seat position, riding style, cadence, attitude, etc but can’t get over the pain
  • This more than just a sore achillies tendon, hamstrings, back, neck and hands from a normal cycle tour it is crippling, limiting and I have no choice for shorter distances or a few days rest with my presenting schedule
  • Checked a lot of bike forums and tendonitis sites and they all say the same – pain is not good and leads to permanent damaged and since this is certainly not the first time and it is in the same spot as always when I over do it – I should STOP.


Cycle on…?

  • I am letting down a big number of people who have already helped me, are supporting me and want to see me succeed
  • It feels a failure as I can not complete what I said I would do
  • I am not sure what the reception and perception of me ending the bike trip will bring – do people really care? As long as I keep Living Below the Line, blogging and presenting it shouldn’t make too much of a difference…?
  • With enough ibuprofen and ice I can probably make it work as any hard-core cyclist would and as I have done previously but I don’t have as many rest days and have longer distances than previous trips
  • Personally I am going to miss the freedom and natural and physical inspiration this trip would have brought
  • My message will diminish and the novelty but I will just have to get creative
  • This trip has been in my mind and planning for well over 4 months and I am struggling to let it go
  • Could I be pre-maturely pulling the pin – will it just sort itself out in a day or two!!!???

    That damn right knee!


2 thoughts on “Anyone got a spare right leg I can borrow?

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