HCMC Dining Guide

Monday, February 27, 2012

H2H Days 23-25: M.I.A.

I was in the late group to leave Buon Ma Thuot on Saturday after our rest day, and since we had a short, fairly flat ride ahead of us we decided to enjoy the afternoon and ride together, instead of at our own pace as usual. Since I'm one of the fastest members of the ride, this meant I would be able to take it easy.

About 10km in, while effortlessly cruising, a strange burning sensation made itself known in my right quadricep. Unsure of what it was, I kept going. The pain worsened until, about 15km into the ride, it felt like I was being stabbed every time my right leg moved up with the pedal. I was getting nauseous from the pain, so I stopped and discovered that I couldn't pick my leg six inches off the ground without it badly hurting. There was no way I could continue, so I hauled myself into one of the support vans and hoped it was nothing serious.

I showed up in Lien Son, our stop for the night, and had to hobble around like a war invalid. We stayed at a resort on Lak Lake.
The next morning, after rest, painkillers, and a salonpas pad, I felt close to normal, though there was still some stiffness in my leg. However, the ride that day was over 100km with a long climb towards the end, and as much as I wanted to ride I didn't think it would be a good idea to risk further injury with Saigon just a few days away. I resigned myself to another van day. Here are some pics from along the way.

the pet baby monkey at the restaurant we ate lunch at
My day was horribly boring. The climb looked hard, but in Lam Ha, our stop, everyone was in good spirits and said it was a great ride. The scenery had been fantastic, and I was determined to ride the next day.

Everything was fine the following morning, but as I was walking back to the hotel from breakfast, pain flared up in my right quad again. I was worried, but after laying down for 10 minutes the pain subsided. I mistakenly thought everything was alright.

As we were gearing up to go my left quad started complaining. I thought it was just a small cramp since I had been favoring it to rest my right leg, but after 2km it had exploded into dazzling pain, sending daggers up to my lower back every time I pedaled. Utterly deflated, I went back into the van.

A cyclist with malfunctioning legs is like a bird with clipped wings, and I was dejected. Furious at my body for failing me with over 80% of the ride done, I couldn't figure out what was going on. I've felt great for 1700km of cycling, yet suddenly I could barely walk. I don't know if these are muscle strains, tears, or severe cramps, but I am riding into Saigon on Wednesday no matter how much pain I'm in, consequences be damned. Missing that after putting in so much effort would be devastating. I've had more than enough of the rear support van and Mr. Cuong's endless CD's of love ballads. The time spent idle is starting to mess with my head - last night I had a dream involving Ridley Scott driving a taxi, and me getting attacked by a pack of feral raccoons on the shore of a lake overlooking a bright city skyline. I really need to start riding again. Tomorrow, I give it another go.
from today's 105km ride from Lam Ha to Bao Loc

chillin' on the stoop

a very drunk Vietnamese man
17 pizzas
If you would like to lift my spirits by making a donation to H2H, please visit:  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/michaeltatarski/bikeride.

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