Thursday, December 25, 2008

92Kms in 71/2 hrs and unanticipated, unexpected pain

Camera used - Nokia 6300 mobile phone camera

Being a teacher has many perks one of them being the vacations (Diwali, Christmas and summer holidays). This December 22nd, 23rd and 24th were reserved for my long distance ride. As planned earlier I hit the NH 17 connecting Ponda (Goa) and Mumbai at 5.30am on 22nd on my TREK 3700 mountain bike. The destination - Sawantwadi town, 92 Kms away.

Prawns Catch (Near Panaji)

The early morning start has advantages, you have the road all for yourself (no mad traffic) and sun is it’s cooler self. Within 10 minutes of the ride my body generated enough warmth to withstand early morning winter chill. The Konkan terrain is a challenge for any cyclist, there is hardly any level stretch, and the route is a continuous cascade of ups and downs. Some of the climbs are real steep.

At 7.30am I was riding past our capital city Panaji. Another hour and this city would come to life with office goers and tourists.

lone cyclist over The Mandovi Bridge

Barge carrying iron ore

After 60Kms and 3hrs 30 minutes of riding I halted for breakfast at road side eatery, while feasting on Bhaji-pav I felt dull pain in my ankle ligaments (both legs), I did not pay much attention and proceeded with the same enthusiasm and this was the big mistake! Further on, the pain became sharp, I had to slow down. I couldn’t understand the cause of this pain. I readjusted the saddle height but this did not help, the damage was done. Now the frequency of climbs seemed to increase and they seemed steeper too!

The pain Location

Breakfast Point

At 11.45am I reached Goa Maharashtra border, with 16kms and one challenge of Insuli Ghat on the outskirts of Sawantwadi to go. At the base of the ghat I dismounted wondering whether I should ride the ghat or push the bike all the way up. Finally I decided to ride the Ghat. The steep climb of 3Kms was painful, but I did it (I know this may seem full hardy, but this being my first long ride and I wanted to finish it on the bike).

I made entry into Sawantwadi at 12.45pm and at 1pm I reached my sister’s place, where I had planned to stay two nights. The plan for the next day (23rd) was to do 50Kms of exploratory ride around Sawantwadi. But the pain and swelling of ligaments was discouraging. I thought an evenings rest would relax the ligaments and swelling and the pain would just disappear. But I was wrong again, next morning the swelling and the pain were very much there, so, instead of bypassing riding plan I rushed to a physician. As expected the physician prescribed a painkiller and anti inflammatory tablets with an ointment to apply on the affected area. In doctors opinion the problem was caused due to continuous uphill riding.

Moti Talav (Pride of Sawantwadi)

I spent that day (23rd) lying on the couch, recuperating and watching TV at my sister’s place. The pain killer helped little, by evening the swelling had reduced but ligaments were still RAW. The next day (24th) was to be my return journey retracing all the climbs and slopes.

Pancham Khemraj Sawant Bhosle - Maharaja of Sawantwadi during British Raj

Kadak Laxmi

The idea of giving up and returning on bus was unacceptable for me; I was determined to ride back. I had another doubt regarding the injury, I felt my shoes (simple liberty shoes without laces) also played some part causing the injury, so, I purchased a new pair of canvas shoes with slightly rigid sole and low ankle cover.

Third day the alarm went off at 5am. I sat wide awake in my bed probing the ankle, the swelling had reduced further but the pain persisted. Ignoring, I took bath, had hot cup of tea and some biscuits. Against my sisters suggestion that I should take rest for one more day and leave on 25th, off I went to my bike. I had to be back home on 24th, since I was to leave for Hyderabad on 26th morning.

The return journey started at 6.15am. I rode in relaxed manner, not putting any strain on the injured part. The new shoes seemed better. I rode all the climbs using the lowest gears. The return journey took 8 hours and I reached home at 2.15pm

Before my next long distance ride, I need to educate myself regarding the anatomy and precautions to be taken to avoid such an injury!!!!!!


shaival said...

gr8 experience sir!
i would like to share mine here, we did a trip from surat to navsari(35 kms +), gujarat.

we were two chaps, after reaching thr we took some breakfast after doing some adjustments for riverside expedition.

we went on for riverside run then.
trip was considerably short so we did not find any trouble except overheated bums...

it took little less then 2 hrs oneway...

Myndscape said...

Hi Shaival!

What bike do you ride?