I got a call from Steve-O this week. There was an energy, a spark in his voice, the kind I haven’t heard in months. I was half expecting him to tell me he was pain-free, back on the bike, and putting on the miles again. Well, not exactly...but there’s hope.
Steve-O, in case you’re kind of new here, is a good friend who lives up near Portland. We were neighbors for years, had discovered a common interest in cycling, and we sort of “clicked” as riding buddies. I’ve since moved to Salem, but we’ve stayed in touch and kept finding ways to ride together. Over the years we’ve begun to accumulate some good stories on our bikes, the kind we’ll repeat and embellish for years. Usually, I’m the perpetrator of some kind of hardship during a ride, and he just sort of tolerates me. He’s a way better rider than me, something he never would admit to, but it’s true.
It was a rough summer for Steve-O. He was preparing for some double-century rides, and racking up some good distances every day...up until the day in June when his front wheel sunk into the groove of a trolley track, which sent him over the handlebars and onto the asphalt--hard. He separated his shoulder which is no longer a problem. The fall aggravated a hip problem which has sidelined him ever since. That’s the problem.
Months have gone by with virtually no letup from the pain in his hip. It’s been so bad he’s not been able to ride--at all--since June. Cycling is an activity that he loves, and he’s really good at it. This guy’s stayed in awesome shape, is an animal on hills, a great collector of bike stories, and always up for a new adventure. To know how badly he wants to ride but can’t is, well, simply not acceptable. That’s why it was so great to hear him say he’s got a plan: a new hip.
A hip replacement sounds ominous, but these days, the results are pretty consistently amazing. Apparently the surgery won’t happen for a while yet, and getting back to riding condition will take months, he says. The point is, he’s already begun his comeback. You can hear it in his voice.