Top Menu

Yesterday’s post talked about what I’m not (unnecessarily) scared of. Today I’ll confess what I am concerned about: my knee. Back in October, Rebecca and I participated in the 950th Hash, and of course we opted to run the longest of the trails, one that was just shy of 10k. As often happens, my mind writes checks that my body can’t cash, and in this case, I ended up hurting my knee. Bad Mike!

I’m not unaccustomed to sports injuries. They were a relatively common occurrence in our previous lifetime, running a martial arts gym. I’m smart enough to know when I need to rest, and thus haven’t pushed myself to do any running (although I have completed a few fairly serious hikes since that time). I’m happy to report that now, 5 months after the fact, I am virtually pain free, and my self-prescribed rehab is coming along well.

Knee rehab on the boat


We’re taking steps to ensure that the bikes we’ll be riding, and the gear that we’ll be using on our trip, will be as reliable as possible. Ironically, it may turn out to be that the weakest link will actually be my knee, and that concerns me!

Following up on yesterday’s post

In other news, as I said we would, we took the time to watch the longish bear safety video that I shared yesterday. I’m glad that we did. It’s interesting how much folk-lore people take as gospel. I learned quite a bit from the video, and just hope that I don’t have to put any of it to the ultimate test!


  1. Ask any long trek backpacker about the first few weeks and they’ll tell you the knees. Many an AT hiker left early because of knees. I’m one of them. I was told by the guys who had just about finished the hike south to north (I was headed south) “Hang in there, go slow, the pain will subside by a couple of weeks” I bailed, went home and spent the next week or so walking miles and countless trips up and down my staircase (like 20/30 at a time) and eventually back to the trail to complete a shorter version of my intended goal. Maybe it will be similar on the bikes. Take it slow to start, try to manage and deal with the pain without over doing it in those critical first few weeks. On on.

  2. I have one of those ( weakest links) too. Had a torn meniscus back in the late 90’s We just need to figure out how to attach a small grease zerk to our knees. A little shot in each in the morning and off we go!

  3. Biking will be ok on your knees. As you learn your bike remember that using a gear that gets you to 90 – 100 pedal revolution per minute will keep you in an aerobic state not a anaerobic state.

    Use your gears to keep strain off your knees.

    I’ve had 8 knee surgeries and am left with 1 partial and one full replacement, and biking is the best therapy! I ride a mountain bike in the woods all the time!
    61 years young.

  4. Have you considered one of these bikes instead (in case your knee give you problems during the ride):

  5. No Running! No Running! No Running! 🙂 walk, ride, crawl but NO runny!

  6. Maybe this little hint might help. Instead on pushing on the pedal with the ball of your foot (as one is supposed to do) push with the arch on the pedal. That way, your knee is never in front of the toes. I have been able to ride without pain this way.

  7. My .02 centavos….

    Keep your knees warm and ride in a gear or two easier that you would normally. Don’t mash, just spin.|s2wiWH6gZ_dc|pcrid|184506406951|pkw|cycling%20knee%20warmers|pmt|e|prd|

    I ride over 4000 miles a year and if it is below 65 degrees I wear something over my knees. Especially starting out in the morning. Ice or a clay cold wrap after the ride is your friend, especially after a hard day. Ibuprofen can also ease the discomfort.

    And make damn sure you are well fitted to your bike. Shoes, saddle, etc. This could take a month or so of riding and have it checked as your body adjusts. Mark everything, saddle height, handlebars, brakes, etc., with a Sharpie (silver Sharpie on black surfaces) so you can return it to it’s original position after a crash, disassembly, etc. You can also tell if it has slipped while in use.

    And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

    Keep posting, this will be fun to follow along.

  8. ” Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when their gone!”. Having severed my ACL playing football (Soccer to the yanks) air can attest to this.

  9. I’m also one of those AT drop outs (900 miles) due to knee pain. Now whenever I go up or down stairs or up or down trails, my heels never touch the ground letting my calves do the shock absorbing.

    The spinning advice by other columnists is also spot on. I’ve found it difficult to keep a cadence of 90-100 while mountain biking but do your best to use the gears to keep the strain off your knees. Even on something as flat as a rail trail I am constantly shifting to keep the cadence up.

    Good luck & be smart,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.