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So, earlier this week I saw a sweet scooter in the parking lot at work.  It turns out to be a 150cc 1963 Vespa VBB, in beautiful condition.  Well, I couldn't resist writing "Beautiful bike!" on the back of a business card, and sticking it on the scooter.  The next day, I got a business card back from the owner, a guy named Ravinder, with compliments about my scooter as well.  We ended up emailing pleasantries back and forth, and I invited him to the local scooter rally next month.

Well this afternoon, Ravinder emailed me asking if I knew how the shock absorber attached to his bike, because it had just come off on the upper side.  He was trying to figure out what to do, and who could fix it for him.  Well, I'm really not up on the anatomy of the VBB, but I was at loose ends, so I offered to meet him at the parking lot and take a peek with him.  He gratefully accepted.

I got there an hour later, and we had a look.  It was a simple problem.  There is a bolt on the end of the shock, and the nut fell off.  As I stood there, I thought "Hey, wait a minute!"  I went over to my cargo box, and pulled a spare nut and bolt out that I had been carrying.  I had them in there for my next trip to Home Depot, because I needed a longer bolt of the same diameter.  I removed the nut, and we tested it.  Sure 'nuff, it fit!    I pulled my toolkit from my glovebox, and 5 minutes later, he was back on the road.  He promised me a beer, some time.  Fair 'nuff! 

I got home to discover that serendipity had struck again.  On Thursday, I had gotten an email out of the blue from a guy in Kansas who had seen a post on a scooter forum that I had swapped out flywheels on my scooter when I installed my electric start.  He asked whether I still had the old one, and whether I might wish to sell it.  It turns out that he is upgrading his scooter from points/condenser to electronic ignition, and the flywheel was the last thing he needed.  He had blundered into my post when he was googling around about his conversion, and figured he'd check with me before going to e-bay or one of the major vendors.

As it happens, I had exactly the flywheel he needed, and had no plans for it.  I poked around e-bay, and offered him a fair price for the flywheel.  I'm just happy to see it going to a good home.  One paypal exchange, and trip to the post office later, and the flywheel is on its way to Kansas.

Well, when I got home this evening, I had an email from him.  He was out riding this afternoon, when his points and condenser failed outright.  He had no spark at all.  He had to push the bike two miles home.   He had been planning to upgrade his ignition in the fall, but now that he should have all the right parts in hand in the next few days, he's just going to go ahead and do the upgrade asap.

It must be Scooter Serendipity Day.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Britney Spears, "How I Roll"

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I spent the weekend doing lots of domestic chores.  The roof desperately needs replacing, though we haven't seen any leaking yet.  I've been anxious about it for two years, so both Jules and I agreed that this summer was the time.  I ordered materials late in the week, so they didn't arrive until late on Saturday.  That's OK, as the lawn was in serious need of cutting.  The riding mower has been suffering enough problems that we're thinking it's scrap metal, so I had to cut the lawn with the push mower.  That took about 2 1/2 hours.  So, Saturday was mostly consumed with yard work, and getting things ready to start the roof on Sunday.

I had looked at the roof on Saturday.  I recalled scraping off all the roofing in the front and redoing it, probably 20 years ago.  We left the back side, as it was newer roofing and in good shape.  Well, now the back is shot, and the front is due for replacement.   I took a look on Saturday, and thought we had two layers in the back, meaning I'd have to scrape the shingles off the back.  So, on Sunday, I went up there with a coal shovel and got started, only to quickly discover only one layer of shingles.  YES!!!!   I stopped after just a moment, as I wouldn't have to scrape the whole back of the house clean.  I put a few shingles back in the area I had scraped, and began putting on a second layer.

It was much slower going than I had hoped.  I worked for about 6 hours on Sunday, and another 5 on Monday to get about 1/2 of the back side done.  

The roof is really steep.  So steep, in fact, that I can't even stack shingles on it, or they slide off.  We hung a ladder down one side of the roof on Monday to help me work up the side more easily, but it won't work well in the wider parts of the roof.  Today, I did a little research, and found "Roof Brackets".  They nail down to the roof and allow you to put some temporary scaffolding down.  I picked some up, this evening, along with some 2x10's so that I can set up some scaffolding like in this picture.    That should greatly improve my speed in working across the upper parts of the roof.

I've been having some problems with the scooter over the last few days.  I have been guessing it's heat related, but now I'm more suspicious of the Idle Jet.  The last few times I rode it for more than my normal commute distance, it was stalling at idle.  I had to let the engine cool before it would run again.  I was suspicious of heat issues, but someone in the internet suggested the idle yet might be at fault.  Well, this morning I couldn't even get the bike to start, and it was completely cold.  So, this evening I came home and cleaned the idle jet by blowing on it a little.  The engine ran better, but kept stalling at idle.  I scratched my head for a while, but ultimately fired up my compressor and blew out the idle jet with high pressure air.  That did the trick, the engine is running fine now.  Phew!  I'm hoping that the problem has been a plugged idle jet all along, but I suppose I'll find out the next few times I take the bike for a longer ride. I'll be riding it tomorrow in the Ithaca Festival parade, unless something else goes wrong.  There's always excitement when you have a 31 year old daily commuter!

Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: Rhianna, "Pon De Replay"

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It was a long day today.  After getting up and having breakfast, I ran some errands downtown and rode my scooter up to Groton for an afternoon of Motorcycle Safety training. 

It came up all of the sudden.  I'm on a facebook group of Ithaca riders, and on Wednesday, one of the guys asked if anyone wanted to go as a group to an Intermediate rider training class.  Jules is out of town this weekend, so it seemed like a good fit.  I signed up.  Interestingly, this is about the time I was also dealing with the flywheel issue on the scooter  Though I was fairly confident of my repair, I took some time to put some miles on the bike on Friday night, and some more this morning, just to make sure there would be no surprises at class.  It all worked out fine. 

I rode the scooter out to Groton.  (A few of the Ithaca guys offered to ride together, but I suggested to them that they might not want to be held back by my top speed of about 55.  The agreed, and said "Looking forward to seeing you THERE." hehe)

I was pleasantly surprised by the reception the scooter got.  People seemed genuinely interested in it.  Almost everyone in the class was on a Harley.  I noticed one Kawasaki.  There may have been one other sport bike, I didn't take the time to check.  Still, on the breaks, people kept coming over to look at the scooter.  I guess 30 year old technology is a novelty. 

I had one embarrassing moment, after one of the breaks.  I started the scooter but it was a little cold.  I should have used the choke.  I was the third bike to get rolling, and I stalled.  I didn't want to hold up the other riders, so after restarting, I over-revved the engine to keep it running but then slipped a little as I released the clutch.  The front wheel of the scooter came off the ground for an instant, as I bolted off the line and got in formation with the other bikes.  I didn't see it, but apparently this scored me some major points with a bunch of the other riders.  One of them came up to me, laughing, after we finished that set of exercises and said he and some other guys in the back, and the instructors were loving it.  I guess they thought the scooter was a wimpy little thing.  They had no idea it actually has acceleration.  I was basically just embarrassed by my clumsiness.

Class went pretty well.  When I took the beginners rider course, I was very good at emergency stops.  My skills have diminished a bit there, but it's also in part due to the fact that I'm on the scooter and not a motorcycle.  I found myself locking up the back tire several times during the practice.  I improved a lot, but I'll keep working on it.  This probably wasn't helped by the fact that I (once again) tended to be the person who got the bike going fastest before the stops.  I'm not being competitive about it.  It just seems silly to me to practice emergency stopping when I'm going under 10 MPH.  I like to get the bike moving first!

I'm still pretty happy with my "130 degree decreasing radius turns".  I was fairly good with those in the first class I took, and was doing well with them today.  The instructors just kept smiling and giving me thumbs up, whereas they were stopping most of the other riders to talk to them about one thing or another.  

We also did some fun turns to practice rolling on the throttle as we see the exit of the turn.   As I got comfortable, I was having fun taking those with more and more speed.  At one point, I actually squealed the tires a little.  I decided I was probably taking those a little TOO fast, at that point.  Again, I was getting some happy looks from the instructors on those turns.

Figure-8's were OK.  I did them all without putting my foot down, and only slipped slightly out of the lines once, on the first one.  There were three boxes - 28', 24' and 20'.  The first few times, I wasn't leaning properly, or looking over my shoulder correctly.  By the end, I was feeling much better with them.  I had a big advantage on those, since my scooter is so much shorter than the other bikes.   I did the last figure-8  in about 17 feet.  I tried to challenge myself, since I know the scooter could corner tighter than the other bikes.

I still tend to dip my shoulder when I lean into turns, occasionally.  It's an old, bad habit.  I was doing much better by the end of class, and noticed I was doing more conscious of it when I rode home afterward. 

I had to leave early, as I had promised to video tape the Roller Derby bout tonight.  I left as they group began the last exercise.  I think they were going to do the one where you swerve, and then the one where you ride over a 2x4.   I'll find time to practice that on my own some time.

As I was leaving, a guy who I presume is a mechanic at the cycle center came over to look at the scooter.  He had been watching the class for a few hours.  As I was about to start the scooter, he said "You ride the hell out of that thing."  Misunderstanding, I said "Yea, I intend to!"  He smiled and said "No, out there!" pointing to the range.  "Did I?" I asked, genuinely surprised.  He nodded.

I was by no means the best rider in the class, and I still don't consider myself a good rider.  I've only got about 3000 "career miles" on a motorcycle.  Still, it was nice to know he appreciated my exuberance out on the course.  I was definitely trying to push my own skills a little.  So yea, I squealed the tires a few times, and left a few skid marks on the pavement.  That's why I'm there.  I'll keep practicing, and eventually sign up for the advanced course.  I find it really helpful to have people give me critiques and tips as I practice the skills.  

It was also fun to make friends with the other participants in the class.  Some of them may have looked down their noses at scooters in the past, but I think most of them came to believe my little shifty Vespa was pretty cool. 

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Eagles, "Take it to the Limit"

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I began my day with a run to Home Depot to get an assortment of woodruff keys to replace the failed one on the scooter.  They only carry US sizes, so I expected I'd have to dremel one down to size.  More on that below.

I spent the bulk of the day doing user support calls for our Load Balancers.  Though often the problems are somewhat rudimentary, and often outside my area of responsibility, I do enjoy helping people, so it makes me feel good to work on them.  

At lunch hour, I ducked out to play some squash.  Kacie, Vasu and I started out a little slowly, and were just kind of chatting as we warmed up.  Then we started playing "King of the hill", where two people play, and the one who scores the point stays in, and the third person rotates in.  We started a little bumpy, but near the end I think each one of us was playing our A-game, and showing definite improvement over the previous weeks.  Kacie and I had an epic rally, in which we exchanged just about every kind of tricky shot, and we each managed to return things that we had never achieved before.  It was a hoot!

By late afternoon, I was sporting a pretty bad headache, but had to teach Spinning.  I slugged some sinus pills, and gutted through.  Class went well, but afterward I felt pretty lousy.  I got home and slugged more pills, and went out to the shed to work on the scooter.  I spent about 2 hours out there, but got the woodruff keys adjusted to size, and discovered the root cause of some of the flywheel problems I'd been having.  I believe the previous owner had put an incorrectly sized woodruff key in place.  This caused wear on the crankshaft, which is going to have to be replaced the next time I rebuild the engine.  I'm hopeful it'll make it through the season, though.  I made a spare woodruff key, just in case, and stashed it in the glovebox along with the tools to make an emergency roadside repair, if necessary.  I'll haul the extra tools around for a few weeks, until I'm confident it'll hold up.

I have one more Knockout Workout to teach tomorrow, and then I'm done teaching until June.  I'm looking forward to the break, and also to revising my workout schedule for the summer.  I'd like to work in some weight lifting, somehow.  I'll only be teaching twice/week, rather than four times, so I should have more flexibility in my workouts.  I've really atrophied since I stopped fighting.  I'm not into being bulky, but my arms and legs are feeling downright spindly compared to what they were in my fighting days.  I'm hoping to get just a little of that muscle back, as I also work on stabilizing my knee.

Current Mood: peaceful peaceful
Current Music: Hanson, "MMMBop"

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On Sunday, a cute pair of young lovers were in front of me as we waited to be served at Wendy's.  They were holding hands, and looking into each others eyes, stealing little kisses, and rubbing noses.  Others in line noticed them, and I saw a woman reach up to her boyfriend, and playfully rub his nose, too.  They grinned and held hands.  A few moments later, another couple entered and saw the young lovers.  Moments later, they were smiling too, holding hands, and leaning on one another affectionately.  Everyone in line seemed cheerful and calm, as we waited to be served.  All the couples seemed to be standing a little closer to one another, now.  I could almost feel the well-being amplifying around me.  I'd never felt so surrounded by positive energy, just standing in a fast food line.  It was a little surreal.

I love the fact that, in this town, young lovers can be heartwarming and bring a smile to your face, unconcerned that someone might object to the fact that they both happen to be women.. 

Ithaca is my home.  It gives me hope.   Someday people will stop trying to legislate love, and just let it be.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Current Music: Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"

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XrayMy knee is steadily getting better.  I'm very pleased about the progress.  I've been doing the exercises my Physical Therapist is recommending, and incorporated a few into my Kickbox class.  I've also switched to some workout shoes with better pronation support.  Probably most importantly, I've been working on my form while walking, spinning and doing my exercises.  I'm basically trying to re-learn how to walk, moving more of my weight toward the balls of my feet, and toward the outside of my left foot, to avoid pronation.    I've done just a few minutes of running practice up on the balls of my feet, and know that I'm going to have to spend a lot of time building my calf muscles for that form.  I have "good" aches in my calves and lower legs from changing my form, so the muscles are adjusting.  It's probably going to take some months to strengthen my legs and internalize the form changes, but I'm already seeing the benefits.  I haven't had a stabbing pain in my knee for almost a week.  I feel a burny ache when climbing stairs, instead of the stabbing pain.  That's great news!  I'll take it! 

On the scooter front, I had a scare last week.  I thought my clutch-side seal had started leaking.  That causes air to come in, and oil to come out.  Those are BOTH bad things.  Air intake makes the bike run REALLY lean, and can cause the engine to seize.  Obviously, oil leaks aren't desirable either.    Replacing a clutch-side seal is basically an entire engine rebuild.  I was really frustrated, but began planning, on Friday night, to make a parts order and start tearing down the engine on Saturday.  I did a bunch of research, and also posted a "What does this sound like?" query on a Vespa forum.  I'm really glad I did.  I got an immediate response to check my Idle Jet in the carburetor.  Sure 'nuff, I cleaned the jet on Saturday morning, and the symptoms I had at idle went away.  I did some further investigation, and resolved that the oil leak I was seeing is of a more normal garden variety that may be related to an easily replaced gasket or seal.  I'm not too worried about that.  Phew! 

On the down side, while doing a  little testing on the weekend, I think I reinstalled my flywheel a bit off-kilter.  I'm suspicious the timing is off, causing a lot of backfires.  I'll pull it apart again tonight, and see if something slipped out of alignment as I reinstalled it.  Hopefully it's a one hour fix.  I'm signing up for an intermediate Motorcycle class for either this coming weekend, or the first weekend in June, and I want to make sure the bike is up and happy again.


Late breaking edit:  The flywheel woodruff key was shredded, causing the flywheel to rotate out of position, throwing off the ignition timing.  It's possible this was just a "normal" wear and tear failure.  It's also possible that I tightened the flywheel nut so much that the crank wasn't rotating well.  The starter motor turns the flywheel to turn the crank.  If the crank was stuck due to the nut being too tight, the woodruff key would have been the point of failure. 

The nut was supposed to be tightened to 45 lb/ft.  I tightened it to 35, and that seemed like plenty, so I stopped.  I didn't think to try turning the crank with the kickstart lever, though.  My bad.  Lesson learned.

I don't have a spare woodruff key kicking around, so I'll grab an assortment at Home Depot tomorrow.  It should be a 15 minute fix to put it back together, unless I have to dremel a US-sized woodruff key to make it fit.  Still, under an hour, hopefully.

Current Mood: good good
Current Music: Beyonce, "Ave Maria"

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Many great works of prose have an underlying theme which binds it all together.  This blog doesn't.

I had an entertaining day at the office, working on a coding project.  I've been mostly ignoring all the incessant water-cooler talk about our upcoming reorganization.  People are pretty spun up, and I've been chanting the Covey mantra about "Circle of Influence" and "Circle of Concern".  There is nothing about the reorg in my Circle of Influence, so I'm ignoring it, and working on things I can influence.  I was doing pretty well ignoring all the rumor-mongering, but I did mention that I saw one of the Directors as a potential person to begin leading our division, and that I thought it would be tragic.  I personally think the guy is as dumb as a box of rocks.  Well, not really.  He's quite intelligent.  In fact, so intelligent that he doesn't seem to feel the council of people with knowledge and experience is worth his effort and time to hear.   He has a reputation for ignoring technical people in his organization.  As an egotistical technogeek myself,I find those kinds of managers to be infuriating.  Well, today, the CIO announced that this particular Director would be heading up an initiative that I had hoped to be involved in.  I'm now hoping I can find other challenges.  As far as I can tell, our division has been set up to fail in a big way, based on promises being made without any input from us.  Maybe I can find another project to keep me busy?  Ahh well.  CIOs and Directors come and go.  After being annoyed for a few minutes, I stuck my head back in my coding and made some progress on a Disaster Recovery project that will probably be de-prioritized to non-existence, but it's fun while I can do it!   I'm going to call it "Proactive Focus" and be proud of myself!

I've been sticking with my physical therapy regimen.  I don't expect to see overnight changes, but I'm feeling good about having something proactive I can do about my knee.  I'm doing exercises with a theraband every day, and have managed to get on the treadmill every day to do a few minutes of running practice.  I'm literally starting from scratch.  On Tuesday, I ran for two minutes on the balls of my feet.  Three minutes yesterday.  Four minutes today.  By the end of four minutes, my calves were done!  I walked for a few more minutes, and went to a weight machine, and did a few more calf presses.  It's obvious that I'm going to need to strengthen my calves enormously to be able to sustain this new form.  It does feel pretty smooth, though. 

I've been noticing that my knee pain is slightly less acute this week.  I can sometimes take 4 or 5 stairs before I get a twinge, and when I do, it's not as bad.  I haven't been hopping up on one foot this week! lol.    It's interesting that I catch myself actually tensing up when I approach stairs.  I hadn't realized how much trouble I was having with them, until I actually stopped to think about it.  I'm actually considering my form as I climb stairs now.  It's helping.

Good 'nuff for now.  It's past my bedtime.  Squash tomorrow!

Current Mood: productive
Current Music: Doyle Bramhall, "Lost in the Congo"

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I had PT again yesterday.  Dan started me on a few different exercises, and monitored me through the range of motion on a few things.  I can see a point very soon where we might just reduce visits to every other week, or something, just to keep feeding me ideas, while I go off and work the exercises.

Last night, I finally got time to try the running drill he'd like me to work on.  I got on a treadmill and walked for a few minutes to warm up my legs.  I then removed my shoes, and jogged for one minute.  This REALLY forces me up onto the balls of my feet, which is utterly and completely unnatural for me.  I then put on my shoes, and ran for 3 minutes trying to emulate that feeling with shoes on.  Within 3 minutes, my calves were on fire.  I'm definitely not used to holding my weight off my heels like that.   I take this as all great news.  It gives me exercises I can build on.  Also, this correction is a very rudimentary correction to my very bad running form.  I'm hopeful that not only will this get me back into running without pain, but it may help me get down to less ridiculously slow running times.  Anyway, my current goal remains to be able to run for 3-5 miles, without limping for 3-5 days.  Getting more speed will be a lovely side-effect, but it's not my primary goal.

So, meanwhile, back at my scooter adventures.  After PT, I decided to roll by the auto paint store where I got my supplies for the scooter project.  There are problems with the paint job, and I wanted the guy there to give me some advice for next time.  I had some suggestions, which were pretty much what I expected, but was very nice and complimentary (and probably laughing to himself, but that's OK).  He was grateful I brought it by to look at it.  He rarely sees the end result of the paint he sells.

I started up the scooter, and began to leave the shop when I stalled it.  The clutch was acting funny.  I started it again, and the scooter lurched as I let off the clutch, and it stalled again.  I finally got it rolling, but on the first shift I knew something was amiss.  So, out in the parking lot, still, I stopped the bike to look into it.  

I keep my tools in the glove box, and I suspected that my clutch cable had just slipped.  There is a nut that screws into the end of the cable to adjust the length.  I'm not fond of the design, and assumed it slipped a little.  Sure 'nuff, as I looked at it, I felt a lot of play.  I tightened it up and thought "Great!" back on the road.  I put all the tools away, started the scooter, pulled in the clutch and SNAP.  The end of the cable in the clutch lever snapped off.  Apparently, it had started to slip out, and that's why I had more play.  The last pull of the clutch yanked it off completely.  I was dead in the water.

I stood there for a moment, thinking, and realized  "Hey, I bet a bicycle cable would work!"  I pushed the bike from meadow street over to the Commons to where the bike shop USED TO BE.  Doh.  They moved.  I pushed it 6 more blocks to their "new" location, on the west end.

$3.78 later, I had a bike cable that fit the bill nicely.  It's a little lighter-duty, but it should hold up.  In fact, after confirming it was going to work, I bought a second and just tossed it in the glove box, just in case.  I've been meaning to order a full set of replacement cables anyway.  This is a routine repair on these old scooters, though I wasn't expecting one this soon.  I used all new cables with the rebulid.  Ahh well.

Current Mood: listless listless
Current Music: Santana, "Oye Como Va"

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Work has been fun and interesting lately (sorry, coworkers who are feeling less so).  I've been amused by how spun-up people are getting, as the new CIO starts talking about a reorganization.   I guess I'm fatalistic to the bone. In my mind, it's been coming for two years or more.  I'm actually looking forward to ripping off the bandaid and moving on.  Our management has been decision-constipated for months because the re-org is looming.  Let's get 'er done!  I like change.

So, while I've been busy NOT fretting about that, I've been occupied with other things.  I'm still having a blast playing Squash with Kacie, Scott and Vasu.  I bought my own racket last week, and bought the next "level" of squash balls - single-yellow-dot.  The are a bit less bouncy then the single-red-dot we were using as we started learning, but still a LOT more lively than the double-yellow-do balls the gym issues by default.  Those things are like rocks! lol.  Anyway, it's been fun, since I can see improvement myself, Kacie and Vasu every single time we play.  Scott is much better than us, and I also enjoy it when he gives me wake-up calls, reminding me I still have a LOT of room to learn.   I've also been pleasantly surprised that my knees really don't seem to mind squash at all, compared to spinning or kickbox.

On the Knee front, I'm continuing the physical therapy.  I also picked up a pair of pronation control shoes, which I wore for kickboxing on Thursday.  They felt really good!  I keep that pair in my gym locker, so I've ordered another pair already, so that I can use them for other exercise I do.  I think they'll help a lot.

I also got some running tips at PT, though I haven't had time to practice them.  He suggested I come prepared for a workout next week, so I imagine I'll get plenty of opportunity to work on my form during that session.  I'm looking forward to making some time to work on my running form and try to restart running again.   My aerobics schedule will be reduced to 2 classes/week for the summer, so I can take the other days and try some running or other cross-training.

Vespa p200e
Well, the weather has sucked, but it didn't prevent me from riding my scooter to work every day for the last 2 weeks.  It's running fabulously well.   I adjusted the clutch cable, and tightened a mirror, but other than that, I've had to do nothing for the first 200 miles to keep it on the road.   I do have a few little issues to address.  The headlamp is dim, and not properly aimed.  I need to sort that out.  I'm looking forward to wrapping up those minor issues next weekend, and then I'll get started on Jules' 1957 scooter.  I've resolved how to address the "irreplaceable headlamp" issue with her scooter by modifying the light bulb with a technique I learned while rebuilding mine.  I just have to get it done, and put all the wiring back together.  My goal is to have both scooters on the road and inspected in time for the Ithaca Festival parade this year.


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Current Mood: optimistic optimistic
Current Music: The Kinks, "Destroyer"

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So, the orthopedist and my physical therapist are both convinced I'm suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome in my left knee.  That's actually really great news, since it's fairly treatable with physical therapy. 

Basically, the muscles in the leg can be unbalanced, causing the knee cap to be misaligned during some motions.  The back of the knee cap gets aggravated, causing pain.  My knee is quite stable, and X- rays show that the cartilage is in good shape.  So, I started physical therapy last week.   I told the PT that my goal for therapy was "To be able to run 3-5 miles without limping for 3-5 days".  The therapist checked things out and noticed a few things.  My hip abductors are considerably weaker than my adductors.   Also, I have pretty flat feet, especially on the left.  This is causing over-pronation at the ankle, which is turning my knee in a little bit, causing a good bit of the trouble.

So, I started on some hip abduction exercises last week.  The PT also put me on an exercise bike, and noted a form issue I had, again over-pronating on the left.  That probably explains why I sometimes come away from spinning class with pain.  He had me work on it a little, and I concentrated on my form last week in class.  I was pain-free after spinning.

This week, the PT put me on a treadmill and watched my running form.  He video-taped me running, and showed me a few form issues.  I land way to heavily on my heels, with my leg ahead of my hip.  I need to work on getting my weight closer to the balls of my feet, and landing with my foot below my hip.  He had me run barefoot for about 2 minutes on the treadmill, which makes the heavy-heel landing VERY apparent.   He doesn't recommend running barefooted in general, but thinks it's a good tool to identify form problems.  I'm inclined to agree.

So, the plan for this week is to continue the hip abductor exercises, and to practice a few minutes of running every day, working on my form.  In fact, I've even been working on my walking form.  I walk with heavy heal strikes too.  I've also been referred to a shop in town that caters to runners, and can sell me some pronation-control running shoes.  I'll try to get them this week.

My knee was hurting after kickbox tonight.  I noticed, as I went up stairs, that if I tried to put my weight on the outside of my foot, that the knee pain was dramatically reduced - again, pointing to the pronation problem.  

All in all, I'm feeling fairly optimistic that I can address these issues, and perhaps get back into running this summer.  

Current Mood: Analytical
Current Music: John Mellencamp, "Hurts so Good"

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