Monthly Archives: September 2007

Knee Update

Ok.  So here is the update on the knee.

I saw the doctor yesterday, and we reviewed the results of my MRI.  There basically is no ACL left.  The PCL is intact, but the ACL does not show up on the MRI.  It must have torn all the way through in the crash, and has already shriveled up to nothing.  The doctor said that is what happens.  Both of my meniscus are damaged, and need to be fixed.  I also have a small tear in my MCL.

The meniscus can be repaired with Arthroscopic surgery.  That is no big deal.  The ACL, needs to be replaced.  They will take a part of my patella tendon and drill and screw that in place of the ACL.  That will be a big deal.  There is a lot of rehab and recovery needed with that.  The MCL is nothing, that will repair itself on its own.

So, I will have reconstructive surgery planned for Oct 2.  That is really soon.  Really soon.

I am told by the physical therapist that there will be some hard weeks in there, but if I am really dedicated, I should be able to be on my motorcycle in the spring time.  Just in time for the April start to the GNCC series.

Justin Williamson is leading the XC2 class right now, after having surgery in January.  I will have a 3 month head-start on him.  I hope that means I am ready by April.  It is going to be an interesting winter.

I know the first couple of weeks after surgery are going to be a real drag.  Lots of great pain killers, painful efforts at mobility etc…  But, in not too much time after that I will be starting real physical therapy and shortly after that I should be able to start working harder and training towards April.

Check back for regular updates on my progress, and wish me luck.


The MRI damage

Ok.  The nurse called today from the Orthopedic Surgeon’s office.  They have seen the results from my MRI.  She called to move my follow up appointment sooner.  She was also calling me to tell me to schedule a pre-op physical with my regular doctor. 

So, Tuesday I go to see the Surgeon and hear what he wants to do.  Bad news.  But, on the other hand at least I am moving forward on the knee and can get through this and into rehab and back to training. 

 I just read an interview that Jason Weigandt did with Justin Williamson on the GNCC site.  Justin had both his ACL and his MCL repaired in January and now he is leading the XC2 pro class.  So, I should still be able to be ready for next years GNCC series.

 Jason Weigandt gave our little GNCC team a shout out in the current Quick fill.  Thanks a ton.


My first MRI

It was kind of fun, actually.  I mean, I got to listen to some great 80’s hair band music and lay in a tube that was making a ton of noise.  Occasionally, the nurse would chip in with a comment somehting like “just 6 minutes more!”  I almost fell asleep.  Seriously. 

 I don’t really wish it on anyone, but I am happy just to be doing something about my knee and hopefully moving toward whatever it is that will make it better. 

I will not really hear any results of the MRI until next friday. 

 I did my 2nd day back at my training today.  I swam for about 40 minutes.  I am not allowed to scissor kick, so I just swam with a buoy between my legs and drug my lower body through the water.  Not much of a workout, but I feel good just getting back to it. 


First day training again

Success!  The doctor told me yesterday to get off the crutches, to get on my bike and to start working out again.  I took his advice. 

 I did a super easy workout – 30 minutes spinning on the trainer in the gym at a cadence of 75 and less than 100watts.  It felt tight and stiff, but I made it all the way through.  Yee Ha!  The first step is the hardest.

Tomorrow, a swim workout. 

I suppose that Ricky Carmichael had to go through all of this as well when he jacked his knee.  He went on to dominate for more years.  Let’s hope.

I go in for an MRI tomorrow, and then of course I get to wait for a week to hear the results of that. 


2006 Cover for Cycle USA – Joe


Tuesday 9/18 – the first doctor visit

Things went really well at the doctor.  I have been hobbling around for a week now.  Slowly my knee has improved.  The knee is still really swollen, and I am struggling to put full weight on it, but it is getting better.

The doctor did Xrays (of course they showed nothing and were inconclusive).  And, the doctor did an exam.  He moved my knee around a lot, bent it through a range of motion – both natural and unnatural.  He did similar things to my good knee for comparison.  When he was all said and done,

– the lateral stability is very good

– the twisting stability is very good

– there is a bit of fore and aft movement, but only slightly more than the “good” knee.

I am cleared to ride my road bike, to ride the trainer and to swim (as long as I do not scissor kick).  I am really excited.  I was most worried about getting into a huge fitness hole through all of this. 

 Tomorrow I will ride the trainer at lunch and see how my knee does.  If all goes well, I will be swimming on Thursday morning. 


The worst possible scenario

This past week, I was up at Marquette Mountain in the UP of Michigan.  I was doing some freeride mountain biking on the mountain there.  On 9/11 (I know a fateful day), it was kind of rainy and cold.  But, the dirt was perfect.  There is a bunch of really good flowy DH type terrain, and a couple of trails with man made north shore type obstacles.  It is all a blast.

So, on our 2nd time down, I lost the front end in a high speed left handed sweeper.  Instinctively, I put my inside foot down and it planted into the soft dirt.  I hyperextended my knee, twisted it and then highsided off the bike and rag dolled down the hill.

 As I was falling, I knew that I had done in my left knee.  I laid there on the ground like a slug, just breathing hard and trying not to throw up into my helmet from the pain in my knee.  I am not really sure how long I laid there, but I know it was a long time before I felt I could sit up without passing out.  I eventually made it to my feet, albeit with help.  I tried to remount the bike, and as I transferred all my weight to my left leg, it just buckled underneath me.  I crumbled to the ground, and knew that I was in trouble. 

They sent a truck up the mountain to pick me up, and I spent the rest of the week icing me knee and getting around on crutches. 

My season is over.  I will now spend the next few months making my knee healthy for next years GNCC season.  If this was going to happen, it is good that it happened now.  At least I have more than 6 months to get my knee solid again. 

 I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday of next week (9/18).  I will start to find out then, how bad it is and how much work it is going to be to be ready for next year. 


Kewaunee D16 race – 6 of 10

I did not get to share my notes after the Kewaunee race. As Scott noted, we normally drive to the races together, but our work schedules forced us to drive separately. Normally we would get a couple of hours of sharing race notes after a race. Here is the note I sent to Scott after the race.

I holeshoted easily. I started pretty much right behind your line. There was one guy inside of me (the guy on the old Suzuki #7 with the bullet head helmet), but I easily outpaced him to the turn, cut at an angle across the creek and over the jump first. I was going pretty smoothly and about halfway around the lap I looked back and saw Rob right with me and Rick Bartels on a 4 stroke. I was not going very hard, so I was surprised to see no one else. My easy pace seemed to be above Jim Blau and John B et. al… I was pleased about that.

Early in the 2nd lap, I took the long way around a turn, Rob followed me and Rick jumped around both of us on the MX track. Rick fell imediately in the woods, and I got caught behind him and Rob went around both of us. I easily fell in behind Rob and we stayed that way for about a lap. We still were not going hard though, and Rick caught back up to us.

Then, about the 3rd lap, we started getting thick into lappers, combined with catching the upper half of the A field. I really struggled to get through people. Rob and Rick would jump right through, I would get caught and then have to work like crazy to catch back up to them. On that course, it was hard to make up time on someone that was going your pace. They began to get 10 feet on me through a set of lappers, and then add another 10 feet on the next set of lappers. Eventually, they would be leaving the straight just as I entered. Then, they were gone – out of sight.

Eventually, I fell into a much better rythm going through lappers. But, then it was catch up time. I made it back up to Rick and through him. But, Rob was not to be found. I think I probably made up time on him at the end, as the final gap was only about 30-40 seconds. But, I needed another lap or 2 to catch him.

I was bummed. I mean, second is not something to be bummed about – but Rob did not beat me. I beat myself. If he was faster than me, I would not be upset. But, I lost the race – he did not beat me. Oh well. We do have a great time racing together and he is really a humble person. But, I really want to beat him straight up some this year. Not just at Dyracuse either.

My bike was great. I added 2 clicks to the compression and 1 to the rebound on both ends. I will take those back out for Valders. It was good on the face of the jumps. It was good in the open. A little bit firm in the tight stuff, but not bad. The motor on my bike is so perfect for me. I hope I can make the Suzuki motor as friendly as this one is for me.

I had Robs number 2 years ago at Valders. I am going to start like that again, and this time I am going to go like hell from the start. No waiting around and waiting for the pace to come to me. I need to put time on him early, like I did at Hixton. If I have time on him in the first few laps, then I am certain I can stay focused and keep my pace up after that.

I was sure proud of Forrest(friend from Colorado that came out to do just this race with us). He rode really well. He went from markedly slower last year, to quite fast this year. Impressive. He beat me and Rob both. I think he was almost 3 minutes faster than us.