I fell off.

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I got fucked up. Pain pills and cough meds. Stuff I failed to mention in my last post. In fact, I was pretty loaded up on a bottle of hydro-codone cough syrup when I published that post. Shit happens. Bike crashes. Pain pills. I got no control over it. I was in pain. That was for real. I just can’t take one. I have to take several. So I took 20 vicodin and started my whole sobriety date over.

I have several dates now.

10/08/1999 – last shot of heroin.
05/08/2001 – last drink.
03/01/2011 – last bong hit.
10/14/2011 – last pain pill(s).

The amoxicillan took a toll on me. It led to some nasty, ummm, gynecological issues that I won’t go into to too much detail about. Let’s just say, pissing blood hurts like a mother fucker. Cipro was rx’ed and I started feeling better. I got my stitches out, and stayed off my bike for 14 days. My knee felt awesome. I tested it out on my rollers and the range of motion actually helped.

So yesterday, I rode. 50ish miles, real easy.

I was so fucking happy to be on my bike, 14 days is a long time away. I don’t do well without my bikes. I am sure many of you have had to be off your bikes for much longer. I dread the day that happens to me. You might as well cut off my air supply.

Chip and me on Route 8

And today, my knee is infected – AGAIN. It sucks.
Off the bike again.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about racing. I remember my first bike race. It was a CX race, just 2 weeks after the Ironman and I needed something else to do. I remember I had two goals: 1. Don’t crash and 2. Don’t DFL. I had so much fun that day. These days, it’s not as much fun. The pressure to podium and the teams and the drama and the bullshit have all kind of ruined it for me.

But I LOVE to ride bikes.
Racing, not so much.

The sickness that comes after a hard effort just isn’t worth it. Crits and CX are fun, but it’s even more fun to go ride my bike for 5 or 10 hours and just pedal. No pressure. No whipping my dick out to see who can go the fastest. No trying to hang on someone’s wheel. Just ride my fucking bike.

You know what I am saying?

Shit like this, Reverend Dick, riding his bike with his family. That shit is cool. Makes me smile. I dig that stuff.

So, I’ve come to a decision not to race next year. No USAC license for me. Endurance mountain biking – The Whiskey, and most likely Mohican, will be the exceptions. I’ve got a kid living with me now. She needs me. I’ve got to make sure she graduates from High School and then on her own from there.

Priorities people.
Pedaling a bike.

Racing? Not so much a priority.

I hope all of you got to ride this weekend. Have a great week.

L7 – Off the Wagon
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About Judi

Bicycles are my salvation. They are my way of life. If you don't like it, then you can go straight to hell. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

54 thoughts on “I fell off.

  1. Judi-
    Pain meds don’t count as long as you’re taking them for the intended purpose. I have 11 years on the wagon, but still keep a supply of pain meds in the bathroom for emergency use only.
    Don’t dwell on the fact that you NEED the meds. They will help you heal, and get on with your life. When you’re done with them, put em away…or throw ’em away…

    Chin up Buttercup! Hard is as hard does…and you’re hard!

  2. @MM – no, if you take them 4 at a time and then manipulate your DR to give you more, its not being honest to yourself. my sponsor asked me straight up – “did you take them as rx’ed?” meaning, 1 pill every 4 hours AS NEEDED, the answer was no. i took 20. ten one day and ten the next. plus a bottle of codeine cough meds. good for you that you can take them as needed.

  3. Glad to hear you knew and manned up on your fall from sobriety. That is big. If your bike keeps you sober, then I hope you never have to part with long term. I got t-boned by a car and this year is first time I’ve ridden in about 6-7 years. re-hab and pain management for last 5, so I get it. 2 percs don’t cut it after a few years. you want a fentynol pop and fistful of oxy. to get by. I’m back riding without pain, so my doc has weened me off over last 2 years to get me ready for life again.

  4. I underwent cancer treatment in the winter/spring of 2010. That went ok. Killed the cancer anyway but the resulting damage from radiation froze my jaw so I couldn’t open it to eat. Got a little beauty called Commando surgery that essentially cuts your throat then took out part of the jaw then sewed it all back up. That was Nov2010. Got an infection in the back of my throat that eroded my carotid. Tiny little pin prick hole that bled out 2 liters but then clotted on its own. Second commando to fix that up and this time they used part of my right pectoral muscle to rebuild the right side of my neck and throat. That was Jan 3 2011. Now I can’t lift my arm past shoulder high turn my head more than a few degrees and feed through a tube directly into my stomach but got a recumbent to take the pressure off the shoulder and I can still ride recreationally. Where there is a will there is a way. Now I’m trying to get off Hydromorphone, a synthetic morphine but life is still going on. See you on the road someday. Stay strong.

  5. Fucking shit Judi. You are a badass chick. It’s weird the connections you begin to feel to someone through these interweb things. Day one is always the only day that matters. Keep your chin up and your nose clean.

  6. I just took vicodin for the first time this week due to an abscess in my intestine. I’ve never taken any pain meds in my life because I’ve never needed them, but envision a searing hot golf ball being lodged between your legs and you’ll understand why there’s a first time for everything. After taking the recommended 2 pills every 4 hours I was woozy as shit and throwing up. I looked at my girlfriend and asked how anyone could actually take these things recreationally, let alone drink with them. They did help with the pain however, and seeing that you were in legitimate pain and only exceeded the recommended 8 pills in a 24 hour period by two, I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. We are all human and no one likes to be in pain.

    I had surgery today. Its 4:30am and as I type this I am trying to pass gauze from an open wound in my large intestine. The blood is a reminder that my ass will not be reacquainted with a bike seat anytime soon and it is depressing as hell. The next few days are supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny, the last of which before the winter and I will be inside reading bike blogs instead of riding, but it could always be worse. I met a 10yr old in the recovery room after surgery who was having a tumor removed and although I had been in extreme pain for a week and wont fully recover for many more, I realized just how lucky I really am.

    Get well, get back on the bike, and good luck.

  7. Judi, you are a huge inspiration. In these times of hype and bullshit it even more important to hear real, true stories like yours. There’s no “fall from grace”, you made a decision and it had it’s consequences and you worked it out and moved on. To me, that is the greatness.
    Racing? Podiums? Not my cup of tea at all. Maybe you and Dom take some of those kids on Rev Dick style camp-out? That wound will heal.

  8. Judi, i feel ya on the pills, I struggle on stuff like that to. Reset your date but keep working on the end goal. Be around for your family, and for you.!

  9. Your disgusting ! Sick of reading your fucked up shit . This sight is not your personal bitch . your morbid descriptions of your problem dont belong on a sight run by alcoholics .

  10. STM, i’m interested in your reaction. are you struggling with substance abuse or addiction? or are those present in the family you grew up in? what kinds of feelings come up when you read judi’s blog entries? why do you think these type of “morbid descriptions” do not belong here?

  11. Oh Gawd. dolak the 12-step moron has entered the building.

    Judi was just talking. Sharing. Bonding. It works for me.

    If not for you, just move along please.

    And now for something completely different.


    I sooooo want to meet those people.

  12. My addiction is biking and exercise. I want to bike every day, if I can not I will run, go to the gym, etc. I very very seldom miss a day of working out. I think I have a positive addiction more or less. I have never had an issue with drugs or alcohol, just no desire, no addiction what so ever. In this way I feel fortunate. I also feel fortunate to be healthy to ride often, especially after reading a few of the above stories, life is good.
    I race, CX and road but not seriously at all. The last time I made a podium was years ago. I race casually, for the fun, seeing friends and a great workout. I have no stress before a race, no puking, no upset stomach. I am the one joking at the start line. For cross I am on a casual team, no pressure, no required training, great support but no pressure. I usually finish mid pack.
    If you give up racing I think you will miss it. If you take your racing back a few notches you might find it much more rewarding and enjoyable.

    Thanks for the picture of your oozing infected wound, now let me get back to lunch….

  13. hi there triplef, have we met? ah, didn’t think so. i’m not sure what caused you to label me a 12 step moron but i’m interested anyway – could you explain that one?

    truth is, i’m more likely to make fun of and just simply ridicule 12 steppers, particularly the ones who seem to never get it quite right while they behave abusively towards others (as in anonymous online comments) and stumble around dramatically through their odd little lives. i’ve been examining addictive disorders for a decade now and even lived for 3 years in a house full of folks claiming to be in recovery.

    but even better than observing nutty 12 steppers, it’s just fascinating to discover what actually makes people go on the attack when addiction is the topic. i’d love to hear back from both you and that charming STM feller.

    with my post earlier i was curious about what made that STM feller all disgusted and angry. any ideas?

  14. Last bong hit??!! I don’t think pot counts as being off the wagon; however it might very well be the seatbelt. I have some friends who experience problems with substances, but I just can’t relate. The day that you sell your bike but continue to drink yourself stupid is the day that you’ve hit the bottom, I know a guy who is there now. bike races are public masturbation. I ride ’em anymore for the t-shirts, food, friends and the trail support. I got nothin’ to prove. a wise man once embroidered on the bottom of his socks “Peaple talk about my drinking, but never my thirst”, and me thinks he’s got some vague point and I like it.

  15. Judi,

    You rule, and happy that you found an outlet to bond with people who do not know you. I know a few people that post here that are friends of Bill W. I used to be. Awesome that you got back on the wagon. I have seen so many of my friends fall and not ever get back on. Been to one too many funerals in my short life to count. Everyone else that has a problem with your posts because of the subject matter should remember that not all of us want to read their political rhetoric. At least yours includes the love of bikes and how it can better your life. Rock on Chicka, keep the rubber side down, and the shit out your veins!!

  16. Tore the fuck out of my left quad about a month ago. Lower back strain too. And I jacked my hip pretty bad. My GP prescribed percosets. Took ’em and at first it was great, but then they made me sick. But either way I was hurt and they was s’posedeta make me better.

    I don’t think drugs count for your sobriety thingie if you been hurt.

  17. Judi,
    I don’t race, per se, started riding late, around 50, now 60. I commute almost daily, ride on weekends and to loose weight I’ve been entering triathlons as part of a relay. So I get my speed thrills and competative urge out on what are essentially time trials. Keeps me going.

  18. You rock Judy, just keep jumping back on the wagon. One day at a time… blah blah blah… Important thing is you keep trying, you’ll kick its ass some day. Consider trying Rigid Single Speed, it took me to a different world, a calmer and more fulfilling one. Love you posts, keep it up!

  19. #1 L7 blends punk, metal and hardcore better than any band. Period.
    #2 Human slingshots are fuckin’ pissa. TripleF, where do you find this shit?
    #3 Methinks STM is a troll
    #4 Joe, percocet sucks. made me sick too. And to think some people LIKE them
    #5 There is no #5

  20. Sounds like you just dangled your leg off the side of the wagon instead of falling off.

  21. Seems awesome when people come to DC to read what the authors here write, and then piss on them.

    Stupid much?

    Judi, racing sucks balls. I learned that long ago. Training is a great way to ruin a ride. Grab a bike, ride till your fixed and start believing again. It worked for me. Maybe it will for you, seems like it did. Riding without expectations is pretty damn awesome. The rest of life seems so filled with expectations, why the fuck would I want my ME time filled with more?

    As far as the wagon shit train goes…hopefully it was a learning experience. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just learn.

    If racing works for you then great. To me its a lot like WORK.

  22. You sure got some nice bikes, Judi.

    Hey TripleF: Those rubberband people were the shit. But wouldn’t it be better if it was like a real slingshot and just launched your ass out into the trees or the lake? Put those helmets to work…

  23. Judi, it takes some light to see and some effort to change. Good on you for waking up! As for racing- it’s a time to battle, lungs and legs and elbows. That ish is fun. Until it’s not.

    Riding the bike is a solid constant to which to come back. We can all be glad for that.

  24. Dont you guys freaking get it? the bike is the wagon, the podium is sobriety (both are overrated). You crash the bike, you miss the podium. the important thing is that you get back on. Don’t put so much damn pressure on yourself. Geez!

  25. Race? Used to. Got hit and realized what was important. Riding. I don’t need to prove how strong I am or can get to anyone. Will I race again? Dunno’, the mind is mulling over getting fit enough to do the Dirty Kanza 200 as my graduation present to myself (not for speed, but just to finish). Riding hard is fun, but the main thing is to take the pressure off of yourself. Race if you want, but don’t do it to prove anything. Challenge yourself, but if you DFL and are having fun, then it’s all good. Results will come. You’ve only been at this a year or so.

  26. @30, +1 on the percs. Worst ever, though, was fucking Tramadol. Madre de fucking Dios, buddy! Ambulance ride and a night in the hospital. I’ll stick with booze, thankyouvery much.

    But just ‘tween you, me and the fencepost, if this fucked up Peoples’ Republic of Maryland on its downhill slide into terminal liberalism should pass a law (as “A” follows “B”) in favor of medical icky sticky, I’m in. Never smoked the stuff; wouldn’t know where to start. But we DO bake a passable brownie in this house…

  27. J: That’s a wild commitment to take a kid in need into your home. Helping peeps in need will feel better than a podium; although it might also seem harder than a hellish race sometimes huh? Hunt up a POS tandem to take some of those kids in your hood on wild (kid epic distances needn’t be much) rides next yr; stoking and stroking a poor, struggling kids ego is way better than a podium again. Toasting one to you and Dom for being such sweethearts and opening your home.

  28. Judi,

    That’s a pretty big smile on your face in that pic….says volumes.

    I was once told this by a PRO..”business is business and bike racin’s bullshit”. Enjoy whatever you do on the bike be it race, ride or just sit and admire it.


  29. @42, It’s the cognitive dissonance you must be going through that amazes me… But if it works for you, I’ll tip a tipple for ya.

  30. I’d say 10/14/11 with an asterisk. All you really did was learn something that you already knew, and that’s just being human. You’re still on the same journey you started back in ’99.

  31. Yeah, nothing ruins a good ride like a race, unless that’s your thing…
    Own your truth Judi. You’re still on the path so don’t be too hard on yourself but keep it honest with yourself.

  32. @43 el jefe- I too have wondered what goes on inside Joe’s head.

    Suffice to say, that’s a very dark place where no one who values his or her sanity would dare go.

    Cognitive dissonance is a good way of looking at it.

    Personally I think Joe’s favorite drink is the Vodka Percocet Stinger.

    Stick with the Wodka Joe.

    I like turtles.

  33. …joe’s kinda like a piranha in a tank…

    …drop in the slightest morsel of anything slightly tasting of politics, intended or not & if it’s to the least little bit left of center, he’s pounced on it & stripped it to the bone & you’ve almost lost your typing fingers…

    …just observin’…

  34. Thanks for the L7 video and the post. It’s always good to here other bike folks changing the bad shit in their lives for the better and knowing it and staying on the bike!

  35. @47-Check it oot, eh. I like bikes. I like booze. I (so far) like anyone who likes bikes or booze. And I can call you “friend” even if we have profound philosophical differences. That last is a conservative thing; you might or might not understand. Either way is fine by me.

  36. Joe,

    good on you!! in fact, fucking good on you.

    In honesty your electoral system scares the shit out of me, but that was a damn fine post.

    Turtles rule! & yeah, the Kittahs are cool also

  37. I’d like to introduce Sparky Joe to Bra Juju (Julius Malema to you). And then sit back and watch with a stash of Windhoek quarts.
    @ bgw I think in the ensuing scenario the piranha would climb out of the tank and watch from the relative safety of the couch.

  38. Juju and Barry Hussein seem cut from the same cloth. No matter; I’d sit and palaver with either of ’em. But just so The Annointed One knows, if he wants to see me he’ll call me in person. Same as Steve Jobs, I don’t talk to flunkies.

  39. Joe,

    trust me on this one, there is no comparison.

    Malema has openly come out & stated that South Africa should follow the Zimbabwe model, & that’s a fucking basket case.

    Not to mention that the man is in his 30’s but is still in charge of the ANC youth league.

    The old order in the ANC is changing, they were all freedom fighters but also educated, the young aren’t & they are stroking populist sentiment.

    TIA, (this is Africa), true story, when I was offered a job in New Zealand, I had to go up to the NZ consultant in Zimbabwe for an interview, things have changed now.

    After the interview, I went to a Wimpy bar, (seriously low cost hamburger franchise),

    I ordered a Banana Pecan nut sundae, after 5 minutes, the waiter appeared at my table saying “I’m sorry sir, we’ve run out of pecan nuts”, no problem I said.

    5 minutes later he appeared & said, “I’m sorry sir, we’ve run out of bananas”, once more I said, no problem.

    At the end of the day I ended up with two scopes of ice cream but still paid for a Banana Pecan nut sundae.

    I loved it & it was a wonderful country.

  40. It seems you know more about our Barry Soetoro than I do about your bloke, so I’ll concede the point. Still, while they may differ on tactics I can’t shake a strong hunch their strategies are more similar than different. Time will tell, I suppose.