Back in the Saddle

Bicycle Botany: Bloodroot ( Sanguinaria candaensis  L.) blooming on a roadside in Chester County on 26 Mar 2012. 

Bicycle Botany: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria candaensis L.) blooming on a roadside in Chester County on 26 Mar 2012. 

At long last, I have our new site up and running! On my last post on the old website I stated that I was having some health issues, which included, but was not limited to, joint pains, cramping, extreme fatigue, numb toes, general malaise, to name a few. 

My bike riding was going great up to December then it fell of quite dramatically. Before December I could do 40 mile plus rides and maintain a healthy pace of over 18 mph (a good pace here with all of our rolling hills). Then in December I was struggling to do a 20 mile ride in an hour and 45 minutes. And when I got home from those epic 20 mile rides I was absolutely drop dead exhausted as if I had ridden ten time that many miles. 

My best guess as to what was going on was a tick illness. Back in November I did get a tick bite from an Ixodes tick, the type known to carry Lyme Disease. So, I went to my doctor to get a blood test. The test came back mostly negative (these blood test for Lyme Disease of not very precise). However, what it did show was that I had a severe vitamin D deficiency. Humm....

The doctor said that normal levels of vitamin D in your blood were 33-100. Mine was seven. The doctor said that many of my symptoms could be attributed to low vitamin D. So, they put me on some heavy dosages of vitamins.

This turned things around almost immediately. I have now gone through an eight week course extra D and I'm felling pretty good. Last week I managed to do a 50 mile ride with a 17.5 mph average without any issues as before. So things are looking up!

Another thing that I talked about in one of my last post was my goal of riding my bike on February 29, April 17 and September 23 as they are the only dates on the calendar in which I have never ridden my bike. I have already failed at this. The whole week of February 29 Paddy was home sick and I just wasn't able to jump on my bike at all that day. Oh well. My next chance to close out that date will be in 2016 when I will have a high school senior, high school freshman, and a fifth grader! Holy Mackerel. 

My riding thus far this year is at a much reduced pace with only about 900 miles logged. One reason for this is stuff like the photo above. As spring unfurls in my first east coast spring in tweny years I am seeing many plants that I haven't seen in a long time. When I see a new and interesting plant, I just have to stop and check it out. So you can expect more bicycle botany in future post. 

This one is commonly called bloodroot because of its reddish-orange sap. The genus name Sanquinaria comes from the latin word sanguis which means blood. This is amongst the eariliest blooming wildflowers that I have noticed here. It is also a native plant to North America. Most of the flowering plants that I have seen so far have been introduced. More on that later. 

That's it for now. Ride lots and stop often!