Easy Rider

Sunday is a rest day. I’m on the couch. It’s 3pm and it looks to me that I’m not about to do anything heroic today and that’s a good thing. It gives me time to think about how the summer has gone so far and what I can plan for in the future. 

My twice weekly training sessions with The Cycling Centre and the group of cyclists who train with me are ending. I am going to miss these mornings immensely. A little over 60 days ago I couldn’t keep up on the rides out to the training hills let along train well. There are some days I still lag behind but there are more days I keep up with the big kids. This is an enormous achievement and all of the growth is solely due to the coaching I received from Petrina Tulissi of The Cycling Centre. 

Marion is also taking lessons from Petrina and we’ve both signed up for spinning classes with Petrina this winter. There are a few spaces left if you want to get a head start on next year. This program sells out so if you’re thinking about it make your decision now. 

Despite a painful shoulder injury from last winter (I’m getting help from Dynamic Health here in Oakville) I have become much stronger thanks to being allowed to chase the training session riders all over the back roads of Halton. I’m starting to understand racing techniques and be able to apply them on my rides.   

There is something very special that happens when we ride properly. On Saturday I took Marion up to one of our training roads where we has an eight kilometre circuit that included one valley section.  Marion was drafting me and I kept my speed around 24 kph and Marion kept dropping off the pace. She asked why we were going so fast?

I suggested she try pedalling using more of the lifting motion rather than the downward pushing motion and (using Petrina’s advice to me) I suggested that despite the gusty headwinds that Marion fight to stay within a foot or so of my back tire no matter what. 

I started up again and this time I actually increased my speed to 30 kph and Marion stayed tucked into my draft and as both of us focused on the higher speed and gave more emphasis on more effective pedalling we flew into the valley and zipped up the other side. 

It was like magic. We both felt the difference. Sometimes speed is an essential ingredient to easy riding. 

So with classes ending I will be returning to the Oakville Cyling Club rides I found so daunting at the beginning of the summer. I am changing my diet and working to rehabilitate the shoulder and add perhaps as much as 20 per cent more strength and drop another 10 pounds over the winter. 

The difference that cycling has made to my overall health and happiness is enormous. It’s been a great summer so far. 

I’m In A World Of Pain

Yes I’m in a world of pain …but there’s also a certain measure of what: Pleasure? Satisfaction? Insanity?

I’m back from four hours of hard riding. I put in a 60 km day today and I’ve never done that before but that’s only a contributing factor. 

(Btw I’m using my IPad so forgive any typos.)

I rode with the big kids today. I even caught one of our best aero riders and chased her for a kilometre or so and that hurt…a lot. But that wasn’t highlight of the morning.

I think it was the part where my coach tried to kill me (Remember everything I say here is in jest. Petrina from The Cycling Centre is by far the best coach/teacher/sensi I’ve ever had. If I’m very lucky she might even consider me a friend.) and the fall didn’t help. 

Maybe I should start from the beginning. 

On Sunday as I was riding up to a half day hill training session put on by the Oakville Cycling Club I found the climb out of Oakville plus the 35 degree C heat and the overwhelming humidity too much for me. As those who know me know I had open-heart surgery 10 years ago. It was, and remains, a big deal. I was very lucky that a chance chest X-ray detected a life-threatening problem that had me into surgery within days. 

It took me two years to recover and I was frail and needy during most of that period. (I’m just needy now.) Then I went back to yoga and my overall conditioning improved. But last winter it became clear that the couch in our front room was trying to kill me and I had to do something dramatic as my weight soared. 

And I found cycling or maybe cycling found me and a new love affair blossomed. 

And then I found Petrina and I joined an amazing group of elite recreational and racing cyclists who put up with me twice a week all summer long. 

Riding a modern carbon-fibre, race-ready 18-kilogram cycle is way different from the 10-speeds we used to ride. Riding takes way more technique and finesse than outright strength (although I wouldn’t mind being 20 per cent stronger) and learning how to draft, ride in groups, and use the right gear at the right time as you descend, climb and peak hills is golden. 

Anyway back to Sunday I had a significant and serious cardiac event. Fortunately my GP had insisted I carry a nitroglycerin spray with me. I knew if the discomfort I was feeling was heart related then the spray would be effective. It was. 

Oh. Oh. 

I reduced my effort and after a rest I rejoined the workshop without incident. (If the issue had continued I would have stopped immediately and called for help. I might be determined but I’m not stupid and I am seeing my cardiologist for a stress test in two weeks.)

Monday was good as was Tuesday’s training but I was being super cautious. Yesterday was a rest day and I rested. Today I went for a 7:30am blood test then ate a sandwich, drank a couple litres of water and went for a 15 km warmup ride before class. 

As the group set out we had to ride into and out a couple of challenging hills. The other riders, who are way better climbers and some way better technical riders, rode on. I struggled a bit but by 10 km out where the group slowed for a roundabout I caught them. 

This was a pretty good effort on my part and I rode with the group to our staging area.

Today Petrina had us riding an eight-kilometre circuit chasing each other and practicing correct shifting down hill and back up the other side. This is technically pretty hard to do right but when you get it the magic happens. 

After Sunday’s event I was still being very cautious and I was wearing a second heart monitor which I could see as I was riding. I was keeping my cruising heart rate to 120 and my exertion rate to 130. Whenever my rate hit 140 I took a rest lap. 

Things were working pretty well when one of our faster riders passed me as she started her circuit. 

I can’t tell you enough to times how grateful I am to these fabulous riders for putting up with me and this rider was no different. As we rode down the road I set myself in position to draft her. She knew I was a foot behind her rear wheel and slowly she began to ramp up her speed. 

I could tell she was accelerating as my heart rate was climbing and my breathing was laboured. I guessed I was hitting around 140 bpm when I fell into the zone. While drafting reduces drag by as much as 30 per cent and I could feel there was also a place where the effort was the same but it was an easier effort. Does this make sense? Suddenly I was in a magical space where time and energy output just fell away. Even my heart rate dropped. 

We were flying even after almost hitting a squirrel that ran out in front of us. We re-engaged and flew down the hill and due to my extra mass I had to back off a little at the same instant the other rider kicked herself up and over the hill leaving me behind.

I watched as she faded down the road. But I was learning the ways of the racing cyclist. 

I needed recovery time and I cruised up the road and rested until another one of our younger cyclists started her run back.  An athletic tall girl in her 20s this rider is learning her craft and she can move but today I stayed in tandem with her. I moved as she moved. I watched the cadence of her pedalling matching her gear for gear. Anticipating her next move I was doing about 34-35 kph and after a few kilometres thought it wise to break off again and rest. 

And then I made one of my mistakes. 

One of my favourite riders is a tall, strong, lean but muscular woman who rides an aero bike. An aero bike is a triathlete’s ride. It’s designed to do one thing and that’s go fast – really fast. It forces the rider to assume a highly desirable but painfull position of lying almost horizontally over the bike with arms in handlebar supports. The bike is unforgiving and the ride is harsh but boy can a powerful rider ever make it go.

So my favourite rider passes me going the other way and I make a turn and give chase. I caught her in about 500 meters and started to setup to draft her. If I hadn’t spent so much energy chasing her I might have been able to stay with her but within a kilometre I could feel my heart banging its way out of my chest and I broke off my attack.

I checked my heart monitor and I was hitting 155. I’ve seen 160 when I first started riding so while I wasn’t terrified it was a good decision to give up. Still to even catch up to this wonderful rider and draft her and keep up even for a short distance was a significant achievement. 

On the ride back Petrina and one of our better riders (actually they’re all good riders) rode together and I tucked myself in between them and drafted them all the way back to Hwy. 25. Everything should have been okay but it wasn’t. I was sore all over. I was especially sore any place where I had been sore before. My injured shoulder ached. My butt was killing me. Everything was sore. I managed to stay with the girls but it was a struggle. Petrina told me later that what I was experiencing was lactic acid buildup from not cooling down properly. My guess is chasing down the aero rider might not have been one of my better ideas. 

Patience as now we’re getting to the place where Petrina tried to kill me. (Remember this is in jest although all the facts are real and all the errors are mine.)

There’s one really big hill we race down and then pedal up the other side hopefully peaking with speed and race off down the road. Unfortunately the road at the bottom of the turn angles off in an odd way that can cause the bike to move toward the retaining fence. This can be very disconcerning especially if your feet aren’t setup right on the pedals (inside foot up – if you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle this is counter intuitive).

Ah lets just say I was so fatigued I wasn’t thinking right and at just over 50 kph with my inside foot down (dumb, stupid, suicidal) I found myself loosing control as my bike got very loose under me.  I could hear Petrina screaming behind me. With the whoosh of wind in my ears I couldn’t tell what she was saying but I guessed it was something around whether my insurance was paid up.

Have you ever watched the police motorcycle escourts in news clips when just after some catastrophic event happens (like the assignation attempt on President Ronald Regan) the riders drop back into the saddles, look towards where they want the bike to go and then they gas it and takeoff at warp speed with ambulances and other emergency vehicles struggling to keep up?).

I’ve ridden a fast motorcycle too and I know enough to look where you want to go rather than where you think you’re going to end up and that’s what I did…twice…and I made it…but I’ll be honest.. It was a close thing. 

But I still had Petrina yelling at me. I had no idea what she was saying but half way up the hill I realized I hadn’t made the prerequisite shift from my big chain ring to my small chain ring. Now I could hear Petrina yelling “Unclip! Unclip!”

It’s sort of like hearing someone yell”bail out” except your foot is stuck and you know this movie isn’t going to end well for somebody. So in slow motion I fell into the hillside rather than into the path of a passing car. Large drama!

So I looked up and Petrina was over me straddling her bike, keeping me safe and offering a hand up. 

I can’t imagine the story she is going to tell her husband tonight about the old guy in her riding group. 

I know the story I’m telling myself. 

I am becoming an athlete. It hurts and that’s okay. I am becoming a way better cyclist. It’s going to take some time.  I am blessed to be part of this wonderful riding group and I have coach who is always there when I need a helping hand. And maybe she wasn’t trying to kill me. Maybe she was just trying to save me from myself. 

I wouldn’t have missed this morning’s adventure for anything 🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼

I Hate My Coaches

I can hear myself arguing with my coach Petrina. What is the matter with me? I hired the girl (Again if you don’t like my phrasing then go away. She’s young enough to be my daughter should I have been so blessed in life.) to teach me to be a better rider and my first response is to argue with her.

And Petrina is not a young woman you want to argue with. It’s not that she’s harsh, it’s that she’s right…pretty much every time and she’s teaching me to be a way better rider. She also doesn’t suffer fools gladly a characteristic we share even when one of us is playing the designated fool.100000140_large

I’m also back to yoga now (The Clarity Centre) and my first class was with Zhanna Zeleke a woman who has been classically trained in Iyengar yoga and has been teaching since 2006. Like Petrina, she is demanding and sees everything…all the time. The woman has eyes in the back of her head. There is no hiding from Zhanna. I studied with her at another studio and had the same experience.

And I hated her.

No that’s not right. I don’t hate her. I hate the fact that I can’t hide from her and, like Petrina, my protests fall on deaf ears.

I mean no disrespect to qualified and trained yoga teachers but there are a lot of half-baked yoga teachers out there I wouldn’t let cut my lawn. Undertrained, over-inflated egos and completely unaware of the needs of the ageing body I avoid them whenever possible. They do dress nicely though.

Zhanna is not like that. She took my physical inventory right away (something most child-yoga teachers forget to do) and within seconds had me extending my posses way beyond anywhere I would have gone on my own.

As an example, to enter into Warrior Two, she stepped in front of me and order me to put my hands on her shoulder and then she moved my forward leg into a much more aggressive and stretched position.

When my first impression is I really don’t like this person then I know my coach has found me. LOL

Today Petrina noticed that I had made one of the difficult hill climbs with relative ease and then I went on to catch and draft one of our better riders who dragged me behind her for seven or eight kilometres. (Drafting makes pedalling as much as 30 percent easier and is essential in group rides.)

It’s awfully nice when your coach notices you’ve finally done something right.

I tell you something is up.

I have found two coaches this summer. This is downright spooky. Now if I can just stop arguing with them (if only in my head) maybe I’ll learn something important.

Silence is a source of great strength – Lao Tzu

Hill Climbing

Thanks to the Oakville Cycling Club and Oakville’s Cycling Centre for the excellent hill climbing workshop they put on this morning for this super group of riders. 

We were practicing on one of the big hills on Lower Base Line when Scott, one of the excellent coaches from The Cycling Centre, (which btw still have a few spots left for this winter’s spinning classes held upstairs at Gears of Oakville on Trafalgar Road) had us ride down and back up the hill using only our small chain ring. 

So as we charged downhill we ran out of harder gears and had to coast into the rise. As we continued uphill we kept going into easier gears. Suddenly I realized I was going to peak over the top without being noticeably slowed up by the effort. 

This was nuts. 

Usually I’m in my big ring and red in the face, pulling a couple of g’s as I pedal as hard as possible into the valley and up the hill. As I rise I go into easier, easier, easier, easier gears and then I derail my chain back down to the small ring and simultaneously shift two gears harder (to keep the cadence the same despite changing chain rings) and start again going into easier gears as the pressure of the climb demands. There’s usually more hill than gears. 

I’ve never crested the hill using this method but today I crested staying in my small chain ring because my timing was perfect according to Petrina. 

What a super training workshop. Thanks so much to the OCC and coaches Petrina and Scott. 

I Almost Killed A Cyclist Today

I’m struggling so much on my days off I’m seriously considering no more days off. 

Let’s take today for an example.  It started with my back going out I’ve been having twinges for days but today was the day it went out and didn’t come back. Fortunately I had my regular Monday morning appointment with Dr. Jeff Weekes at Dyamic Health. So today along with the shoulder he had a back to contend with.

I like Jeff and he is doing my shoulder and now my back a world of good.

Came home and watched the clamanity of a blown rain pouring on the Tour de France. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty and a few guys Olymic dreams aren’t going to be realized. 

Was driving around thinking of what to have for lunch when I went to make a right turn onto Rebecca and after looking both ways I started to pull out into a very large man on a mountain bike crossing in front of me. Not only was he going the wrong way on Rebecca but he was cycling on the sidewalk.

In the ensuing adult and reasoned discussion that followed the rather rotund lad complained that he had been hit three times already this summer.I suggested illegally cycling on the sidewalk (wheel size determines whether a bike can be legally driven on the sidewalk.  Adults accompanying children on bicycles are exempt but must still obey the laws of the road) might be a contributing factor to this dangerous pattern. I also suggested that he not cross in front of turning vehicles whether or not he had the right of way. 

The man is very lucky he’s not spending a few days in hospital. Such were my lightening fast reflexes as the cyclist came to the roadway from behind an obstructive wall. A pedestrian would never had been in any danger but a faster moving cyclist doing this stunt was an accident waiting to happen.

Decide to go to Maro’s on Kerr Street and again had a 5-star lunch for under $20 including the tip. Had the Mediterranean Delight plate. Superb. 

Jeff wants me to get back to yoga so I went to the Clarity Centre to sign upbut they closed early today as the near 40-degree C weather kept people away. 

Missed my appointment at Sandbox Fitness as I had the time wrong. Rebooked for Monday.

Decided today was as good a day as any to get my blood work done but forgot I have to be fasting so a hot trip up to Hwy. 25 and Dundas went to waste. 

You can see why I don’t like days off!


Fast Women

Before we set out this morning I stopped Petrina’s (www.cyclingcentre.ca) training session to thank the dozen or so advanced amateur riders and the profoundly talented road racers on their super fast aero bikes for allowing me to train with them this summer. 

When I started training with them I was not very good. Actually I sucked. I didn’t understand how to shift. I was afraid of going down hills too fast (and I still am). Every once in awhile the bike would get loose and scare me.  I thought I’d knock my partner over when we did some of the riding exercises. My heart rate was going too high. I questioned my own sanity but Petrina kept coaching me and the riders allowed me to tag along. I kept showing up and riding twice a week.

But after Tuesday’s amazing club ride I just knew I had to tell my fellow students how very grateful I was to be allowed in their company.  After crushing a ride that only three months ago had crushed me I was so so grateful and happy and I wanted them to know how much they all had contributed to my small success. 

And then as we started to ride out for our two hour hill climbing session in 35 degree heat one of the women said I was looking pretty good!

When I got home Marion asked if I was going to ride off with one of women in my group? I told her she had nothing to worry about as I still can’t catch any of them. 

But I do keep trying. LOL 😇

The 90 Day Wonder

On April 20 I report here on this blog my profound disappointment on finishing DFL (Dead F**king Last) on my first ride with the Oakville Cycling Club. The 25 km ride seemed impossibly hard and ever other rider seemed so amazingly better than I was that I found the experience crushing.cropped-3098_10153538706381169_7552897096369745097_n1.jpg

If you’ve ever heard “the voice” in video games that after something really bad happens to your character says “Humiliation” well that’s how I felt.

Here I had this new expensive bicycle that clearly I had no idea how to ride and now I had the ride to hell to prove it.

So I went and took lessons.

One of the guys in my Toastmaster Club had a coach and suggested I get a coach and through his coach I found my coach.1

Petrina Tulissi of The Cycling Centre here in Oakville was teaching cycling classes to a variety of riders from really new riders to really experienced racers. I got very lucky and Petrina allowed me to train twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with a group of highly skilled, very fast and awfully nice women who could ride way, way better than I could and who were kind enough to put up with me.

Twice a week Petrina would ride us out to our training roads in Milton and she’d give everyone their task for the day and for the most part she had me join right in with the training.

Somedays I wondered if I’d live as it seemed as if my heart was about to burst, that I’d never catch my breath and that I would do permanent injury to my knees and be so numb as to make the chances of having children at my advanced age not possible.

And yet I persisted and Petrina kept working with me on improving my technique, my strength and my endurance. There was occasional yelling and flinty stares but that was part of the deal.

There was very little that got passed this amazing young woman who has raced bicycles across North America and I was blessed to have found such an accomplished (and patient) coach.

I’ve said this before on this blog but riding one of the new carbon-fibre road bikes is a way different experience from any of the other riding I’ve done at anytime in my life. It’s harder, it’s trickier, it’s more fun but it requires training. This isn’t your father’s 10-speed.

So what has happened in 90 days of training with Petrina?

After a 50 km training session this morning I decided to return to the Oakville Cycling Club’s rides and try the same 30 km ride that been so difficult before and something amazing happened on the road.

I found the ride easy. I had way better technique than most of the other riders. I was as strong as most of them and I was way faster and, if I do say so myself, way safer in how I was riding. With Petrina it’s always safety first.

It would not be going too far to say that the ride that crushed me 90 days ago was the ride that tonight I crushed.

One of the older male riders even decided he’d be the first back into the parking lot and we began to race the last kilometre back to the cars. it was just like a stage of the Tour de France.

I could see his shadow as the sun set behind us and every time he attacked I accelerated away from him. He attacked again and again I accelerated away and this time I kept accelerating and only slowed enough to make the corner into the parking lot.

I had arrived first back at our cars.

I had arrived first!!! I could have wept with joy but instead I came home and sent my coach a thank you email for being such a good coach and for seeing what I was capable of achieving and or persisting on making me a way better cyclist than I had ever dreamed possible.

And all this in exactly 90 days.

I’ve signed up for 23 weeks of spinning with Petrina this winter and who knows what wonders may yet befall us (Marion signed up as well.).

So thank you Petrina and thank you ladies of the Tuesday and Thursday morning classes.

You have made me the man that I am today – the 90 Day Wonder 🙂


Return of the King

It was an epic day. It didn’t start out that way as I dragged myself out of the car and did an extra 10 km warmup before Petrina  (in photo) and the girls showed up. I need all the warmup I can get just to keep these awfully good riders in sight.

Cool and clearing it was looking like a perfect day.DSCF1731

There’s one hill that crushes me right off the bat overtime and as we set out I thought I’d give it my all.

Today was a day that will live in annals of extraordinary days. I peaked it and rolled on keeping up with the four riders ahead of me.

Whether it was the new S-Works tires or new found strength in me or a combination of both it doesn’t matter I did it! I felt like the king of the mountain.

Fortunately the other riders got stopped at the stoplight at Hwy. 25 so I had a chance to recover before we went about another 8 km or so to our training area and I, more or less, kept up with two of our better riders and arrived well ahead of most of the rest of the group. Not that anybody knew there was a race on but I felt good.

Training went well and aside from almost taking out a 25-pound wild turkey as I was speeding down an incline the morning was very good. On second thought maybe the turkey would have taken me out. Oh well all’s well that ends well.


Listen To Your Coach

Coach Petrina told me not to leave my bicycle in a hot car as there’s a likelihood that the tires will blow in the heat.

Well Coach Petrina was right. I got a flat. Then I got to work to change the tube. Everything was going really well right up to the last push to get the tire back on the rim and I pinched the tube and now I had two flats.DSCF1776

The tires I’ve got have a Kevlar layer and are really stiff to get on and off the rims. On the other hand they’re bomb-proof out on the road.

So back to Racer Sportif where I’m having new faster tires put on. I’ll keep the old tires for use this winter and look forward to the faster new bike. The new tires will be easier to get on and off the rims.

While I was at Racer Sportif I got an opportunity to try on new Oakley riding glasses. These are the same glass that the riders in the Tour de France use and cost what you might expect (over $250) but they are really pretty wonderful.oakley-jawbones-03

Maybe for Christmas Santa?

As for the training ride today it went well despite the drizzle. There were only three of us who showed up so we had essentially a private class with Petrina.

And best news of the day I climbed a hill without stopping that has crushed me before. i’m really really pleased about that small achievement.DSCF1774

And I got a sticker from Petrina for showing up today.



May The Fates Have Mercy

It’s really important to realize that when I don’t feel like doing anything on my day off then it’s time to do nothing. Not wanting to do anything means I’m tired and I shouldn’t do anything. Tomorrow will be another day and with the rest day I’m more likely to be feeling better.

Hard to comprehend but days off mean not doing anything physical. Despite the 35 degree day I keep thinking about going for a ride…just a short one…honest…around the block 🙂

Okay I’m not counting this morning’s physio for my shoulder (which is improving) but the rest of the day is a rest day so no riding today.File 2016-07-08, 9 21 48 AM

I’m wondering what I’m going to do for dinner (eat in or out as Marion is having a dinner with her work mates). Decisions. Decisions. Maybe I should ride over to a restaurant!

On the other hand, as I commented yesterday on Facebook, it’s kind of fun to have totally freaked out my GP who I saw yesterday.

She’s always been super cautious and conservative and straining (I actually typed straining when I meant training but the serendipity of this typo is too wonderful not to keep.) during my cycling training has her on edge.

While I’m not exhibiting any symptoms from my open-heart surgery nine years ago and the workouts with the master-level athletes are hard, daunting and exhausting, I am getting stronger (according to my coach) and my technique on the road bike is improving (I almost peaked a hill using momentum and proper gear selection on Tuesday. This is a critical skill as it’s here where the other riders drop me. I also almost crashed at speed but that’s another story.)DSCF1745

The end result of my doctor’s visit is I’m now carrying a nitro spray and aspirins on the bike. The only thing missing is a portable defibrillator. I’m basically a highly mobile paramedic first-responder.

Slimming what?

Worse is my doctor is going to query my cardiologist for his opinion. He’s more conservative than my G.P. (Likely a good thing in his job.) I don’t expect he’s going to be overjoyed.

It’s going to come down to how much actual crap I’ve got in my arteries. Everything I read says people without symptoms can and should exercise. Okay maybe not with master class athletes (see photo above) and a profession-level coach who sets the bar pretty high but exercise builds up the heart muscle and I have lost over 15 pounds already.

My GP asked if I was likely to follow the cardiologist’s recommendation and I said it depended on what they were. My GP pretty much just roller her eyes and took my blood pressure and pulse which are showing significant good signs of the 1500 km I’ve put on the road bike since spring. At least she was somewhat impressed.

BTW if you’re in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga or Brampton checkout The Cycling Centre. There aren’t too many pro-level cycling coaches who will actually work with ageing newcomers like me. Petrina offers a spinning class during the winter which sells out and that includes the 5:45 am classes!!

Remember I am the worst-case scenario. If you’re younger than late 60s, not had open heart surgery in the last decade nor ripped off a muscle in your shoulder falling down a staircase you should do just fine.

Marion is training with Petrina on Monday nights in the  beginner’s class and that’s a great place to start. There’s way more to learn about riding a modern carbon-fibre road bike than just pedalling and changing the gears occasionally. Take lessons and do the spinning classes with someone who knows cycling and isn’t some gorgeous leggy 28-year-old who brings her own music to play and keeps shouting faster! faster! as you collapse over the handbags.

Getting a full blood workup done as well in a week. This is going to get interesting.

I’m back in the saddle tomorrow morning for my second riding class of the week.

May the Fates have mercy.