State of the union between man and machine

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First of all: FINALLY DONE WITH PA!  Now there won’t be anymore hills.  Unless what they say about Ohio is true…you know, high in the middle, round at both…nevermind.  I actually looked at the highest point in Ohio on the map, Campbell Hill, and laughed at its meager 1550 feet. I climb that for breakfast.

On with the state of the union.  The machine is doing ok. Its going to need new brakes soon, but I already have some ready that I picked up in Scranton.  The chain needs to be cleaned and oiled which I’ll do tonight now that I should be rain free for a couple days. There is a hole in the rear tire which I picked along with my second flat a couple days ago.  Seems to be holding up fine however, and I have a spare tire just in case.  I also adjusted the seat and braking levers, which I’ll explain in a minute. 

The body isn’t in as great shape.  My thighs are sore, but only if you jab them. So I don’t. My butt was pretty sore, though I think its resigned itself to its fate and actually isn’t as bad as it was a couple days ago.  Some slight twinges in the knees, though not pain, more as if they’re saying “don’t forget about us!”  All of this is pretty normal. The biggest problem is some faint numbness in my ring and pinky finger on my right hand.  I wouldn’t even really call it numb; when I touch something with one of those two fingers there is a mild pins and needles sensation.  After some research I’m pretty sure its ulnar neuropathy, also known as handlebar palsy.  It’s caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, in my case probably hyperextension of my wrist.  So I made the aforementioned bike adjustments. Plus I’m going to take it easy for a couple days and work on better posture.  Which should be easier in Ohio because when I’m climbing a mile long 8% grade my posture tends to go to crap. I’ve also been biking longer than I probably should.  I did 100 miles on Saturday.  I was getting really sick of the hills in PA.

Did I mention hills suck?

Thanks to everyone who has commented. I was writing this pretending people were reading it, but its great to know that people actually are and are enjoying it. Come back tomorrow when I give some stats and talk about meeting an egg bike.

19 Responses to “State of the union between man and machine”

  1. Omer Richman says:

    Yeah, I immediately thought of ulnar impingement/neuropathy when you described the nerve distribution. See? I told you medicine is easy.

  2. Guess says:

    Hills? You have heard of the Rocky Mountains, yes? And the Sierra Nevada? Remember, if you travel alone through Donner Pass, you’ve nobody to eat if you get snowed in.

    • Gibbs says:

      Sarcasm is hard to convey in blog format. If the next couple hundred miles are relatively flat I’ll be happy.

    • Guess says:

      A little lumpy across northern Indiana and Illinois, but nothing like PA. After that, you’re good to Denver. Should make excellent time.

  3. J.Ong says:

    Congrats on arriving in Ohio! Who’s taking all these pix of you? Did you bring a tripod? And hey! September 18th, smayteenth, you’ve done a century already! You win. And egg bike? I’m so curious! Looking forward to hearing about it.

    • Gibbs says:

      Its not a race. Its about doing one with you, even though I’m thousands of miles away. And yes, I have a tiny tripod that can strap onto stuff. Its pretty awesome, Jeanne made me get it right before I left.

  4. Tom Nagel says:

    Jane and I are enjoying your blog. Champion Heights, OH is only 537 miles from Elizabeth, IL. where a bed, shower and hot food waits for you. You are only 9 hours away, oh wait, that would be going 70 MPH on I80. Maybe by the end of the week…

  5. Lauren says:

    you’ve got more aches and pains than me. didn’t realize biking across the country was the equivalent to being 87 years old.

  6. Clubdel says:

    Sooooo glad you are done with hills!!! But we too had heard a rumor about those pesky Rockies!!!! Stay dry!!!

  7. Clubdel says:

    What’s an egg bike?

  8. Meagan says:

    I wish your “Where’s Gibbs?” thing had a tracker so I could follow your actual route. I love checking where you are and trying to figure out how you got there.

    And color me intrigued about the egg bike.

  9. Jeff says:

    Good job on shanking those hills Gibbs. And congrats on getting to Ohio keep the blog coming looking forward to hear more!

  10. Cohen says:

    Keep it up man! I got you on RSS.

  11. Mickey says:

    I’m checking your blog Gibbs, and it’s costing me like 3 Euro! You better appreciate this damnit… Keep up the good work!

  12. Jeff's Mom says:

    Keep up the good work, Gibbs. Remind Jeff to invite you over for dinner when you get back.