Newsletter #18 From Givet, France…(UK)
Just a hasty update from Givet, northern France where I’ve been staying for two weeks now due to a knee injury.
To the late-comers: I Bourges, France - beginning of January - I got some new and heavy winterboots ‘cos I couldn’t keep my feet warm on the bike. The boots have a thick 3-4 cm sole which, naturally, affects the distance from my crotch to the pedals. I was aware of this, but couldn’t be bothered doing anything about it (e.g. adjusting the saddle height accordingly). My bad.
After a few days of cycling in hilly and cold central France my knee started feeling sore. I had the accomodation situation planned well ahead, and thus didn’t really “have time” for listening to this sudden knee soreness nor to stop and rest/find out what was wrong all of a sudden, after more than 60.000 km on the bike.
The pain was pretty bad when I arrived here in Givet 14 days ago, knee swollen and the stairs caused me a lot of trouble etc, and further pedalling didn’t really seem like an option. Luckily, I was invited by Elodie to stay in her apartment for as long as I wanted. As I said, French hospitality never failed on me.
It’s been a great rest here. New friends, WT-projects done, lots of Australian Open tennis from Melbourne, eating well, drinking ditto, resting, thinking…Looking back, I can’t really believe that I’ve been here for so long - actually the longest break where I’ve stayed in one single place since Sydney in March 2008.
The pain in my knee didn’t really get any better within the first few days, so after a long research on the internet I realized that patellar tendinitis was the name of the game. Off the the pharmacy I went, and over the next 9 days I swallowed more pills than ever before (50!). The swell is gone, I’ve been doing basic exercises for my knee everyday, I’ve been on gentle rides (5 and 20 km) to check the knee, and everything seems (knock-on-wood) to be fairly all right.
So I’ll be off very shortly. My bike’s been crying loudly lately (from the laundry room next door) for me to come back and caress it/her. Belgium is just a few kilometers down (north) the Meuse River, and it will be my country #50 in WT-time. Namur, then Zonhoven is the first stops in Belgium - the remaining route through the Netherlands and Germany hasn’t been planned yet.
Thanks for the perpetual support, guys and girls. It (still) means everything to me.
Thus perceived - and with love,