Many people have heard of motorcycle riders doing hundreds of miles in one day, even as many as 1000 in a day. These people are known as “iron butt” riders. I will assure you that I am no iron butt rider. In fact I do have some physical pain from riding. That keeps my mileage down everyday but that is kind of a beautiful thing in itself if you want to look at the positive side of the pain. It allows me to see more and visit with more people.
I have made no secret of the cancer that I have and where it is located in my nearly 60 year old body. I have four areas where the cancer has decided to park itself and two of these areas that lead to some physical symptoms of riding. One of these areas is known as the axilla. The axilla is basically your arm pit or an area close to under your arm. There are many nerves that flow through the axilla to your arm and down to your hand. I have 2 tumors located in this area (left arm) that measure at last look to be between 2 and 3 centimeters. They cannot tell me for sure but the speculation is that these tumors are either growing into or pressing against nerves and causing my arm and my left hand to go numb. After holding onto the handlebars of the bike for long periods, it becomes bothersome. In high wind especially when your gripping the bars a bit tighter it makes it difficult at times. This is the worst symptom I have when riding all day. I stop and take many break about every 50 to 75 miles just to get off the bike and try to get things flowing to the arm once again trying to make it feel normal. The other area I have issues with is my neck. I have had two cancer related surgeries to my neck. The first one was know as a radical neck dissection. This is pretty much a cut from your right ear to your left crossing under your chin. The second was not as dramatic but every time they cut into you a new nerve symptom pops up. Again in a heavy wind my head gets pushed around pretty good and the strain of that can be difficult to deal with. Yesterday after riding about 275 miles and not even in heavy wind I had pretty severe neck pain leading down to the top of my spine. This was the first day I noticed a burning sensation in the upper part of my back, basically caused from the neck strain. These are not fun without something do kill the pain but I use no pain killers while riding. I just push on a bit and when it’s time to stop, I am ready.
When I started all this I planned a route that I could travel between 250 and 350 miles a day My first day out I did 365 in heavy wind which is the greatest distance traveled. So Far in 9 days I have traveled 2374 miles which is an average of 264 miles per day. This is probably the average I will continue to have. Some days more, some days less. As I look at the map from Susanville California this morning, Myrtle Beach South Carolina seems like a long ways a way. But I will assure you I will get there. One day at a time, a little pain and all. I have always said I would be flexible in my schedule and I believe I have done that. Today I will only go a shorter distance, maybe only to Reno or to Fallon Nevada. I’ll be looking for a place to get a massage along the way for sure. Ridin On in western Nevada today.