Friday, July 14, 2017

Back, Bike and Lunch

This morning we got the MRI results.

The MRI was not surprising, but it was disappointing.  L4 and L5 seem to be the primary scene of the crime.

The disc is bulging out about 1/3 of an inch.  There is also a pinched nerve, and there is some question as to whether it's the nerve that goes out the side of the vertebra or out the bottom.  The reflex when the doc taps the knee is significantly less in the left leg than the right, and the leg is weak.  So, we'll have 10 more days of Prednisone to get him through until when he gets an epidural steroid injection.  An interventional radiologist will do that and it takes awhile to get on the schedule.  Aaaaaaand they don't use any pain meds when they do that.  The GP wants to give the epidural a chance rather than going straight to surgery because sometimes discectomies lead to more discectomies because the change in the one disc weakens the others.  I must have missed medical school that day because I had not seen that on the interwebs.  However, given the size of the bulge, it may be inevitable.

Here is one of the views from the MRI.  The bright white stripe down the middle is the spinal column.  If you look towards the bottom of the photo (about a quarter of the way up from the bottom) you can see where it narrows. That’s where the bulge is pushing out.  This is a photo of a screen print, so resolution is not great.


After that bracing conversation with the doctor, we went to a very nice bike store in Renton, Center Cycle.  We’re thinking about buying new bicycles.  Thinking, not doing.  We’re not riding mountain bikes all that much anymore.  McDowell Mountain is really the only place we enjoy.  They’re Goldilocks trails, not too hard, not too easy, they’re just right.  We’re also not that fond of riding with cars on road bikes.  The problem with riding the Serottas on flat paved trails is that we don’t get enough work.  So, we’re considering owning heavier bikes that will make work for us.  Today we learned something about endurance bikes (designed for comfort on long rides).  Road bikes are migrating to disk brakes.  Along with the disk brake migration, they’re moving to through axles.  Here is an excellent article on the subject.  Quick release brakes on bikes with disk brakes are going out the door.  The advantage to the through axle is preventing torsion at the hub and of the left fork leg during braking.  However, here’s the down side of the disk brakes.
… the disc caliper must be aligned precisely with the rotor otherwise the brake pads will rub and slow the bike down. The clearance between the pads and the rotor is tiny (<1mm) and very sensitive to minor variations in the position of the rotor, which occur often even for otherwise identical wheels.
Changing a flat is going to be a bear.  You must have the tool that is required to get the wheel off with you.  And forget bike racks that use a fork block to secure the front of the bike.  I think I’m not too happy about this latest technology.  This would be the end of putting the bikes in the back of the truck.  So that is my technology update for today.

Then there was lunch.  We went to the Red House in Renton.  It was a glorious day, and downtown Renton was looking particularly nice.  It makes a person think, maybe we should come back to the GPNW.  Then one remembers it rains nine months out of the year, so maybe not.


It’s an old boarding house that has been remade as a lovely restaurant.


We ordered too much food.  The crab cake sliders would have been plenty.  The hummus and pita were good, so we were obliged to eat them, as well.  It was very pleasant after the morning’s discussions.


That’s it maties, that’s all I have.  Back, bike and lunch.


  1. looks great. You had me at crab cake sliders! Barry hates the disk brakes on his MTB. They are so hard to align, and he has had problems with them since day 1. For some reason, mine have been less troublesome. Both our bikes are Jamis Dakar models, so who knows why his are so much more problematic. Does give me pause on buying a roadie with disk brakes, though. Sometimes the new innovations add a degree of complexity I'd just as soon not deal with.

  2. Stumble don your blog...they make adapters for the through axles which make it possible to keep using fork block type mounts in the back of your truck. The through axles also make mis-aligning the wheels impossible vs qr skewers which its easy to be slightly off when attaching. This mis-alignment is usually the culprit for disc brake rubbing and the angst that follows. Disc brakes are really nice and the through axles makes them a little more fool proof. The tool to remove the wheel is a simple 5mm allen key which most cyclists carry any way. Nice blog by the way :-)