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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Driving Critical Mass

I hear a friend of mine once tried to drive Critical Mass, and it didn't go well. I tried it, too I guess. Not really, I didn't try to follow the bikes in my xB, but in case you missed the memo I go in tomorrow for a cardiac catheterization, odds are they'll do some angioplasty and/or stints, worst case I guess is they might decide I need bypass surgery.

For the record, I'm 43 and I ride my bike at least 4,000 miles per year. Plus, I thought I was past this, having had a heart attack/cardiac cath & stint eleven years ago.

I took statins for 9-1/2 of the eleven years, and I'm not ruling out going back onto them but if they were efficacious, I doubt I'd be where I'm at, Angina-land.

I'm taking a serious look though at something I always thought was silly. Diet soda. It has virtually no calories, and I lost a ton of weight and felt a lot better when I switched from the corn sugar versions a long, long time ago. But having my second cardiac intervention at my age, something is fucked up and while I haven't seen anything that qualifies as an explanation of a mechanism, there is apparently a correlation of some sort with diet soda and heart disease.

And dude, I drink a lot of diet soda. There's peaks and valleys of course, but it's not unusual for me to have done a two-liter bottle in by noon. Then there's the Crystal Light 'energy' drinks that amount to flat soda, I do a lot of that, too.

And I haven't done a very good job of watching saturated fat, sodium, other bogeymen of the cardiac scene, so those are all on the table as well. I don't smoke, and I'm not (until recently ordered so by my cardiologist) sedentary, so it's got to be something.

Anyway, I was really touched by how my Masshole friends reacted to my showing up in a car. Words of encouragement, prayer, general concern. And a general concensus that they were glad I wasn't crazy enough to ride with them while experiencing angina, that I was taking care of myself. I also heard stories of mini-strokes and other wake-up calls folks had had, and how they'd put that behind them with cycling. It was a pretty good time considering I wasn't riding a bike.

I'm sure you know this, but you know it's a good party when someone brings an accordion.

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