My fractured ribs were healing and feeling better until I tore a calf muscle playing squash on May 28 - the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. I figured it was just a "Charlie Horse" when I rode the 100 miles up the coast to Ragged Point and back on Saturday and Sunday, and then rode my bike 30 miles up to Cerro Alto and hiked the hilly trails on Monday. The cycling seemed to make the calf feel better, but the hiking worsened the injury. What had been stiffness and soreness in my calf (with minimal swelling) became a more painful calf with considerable swelling into my ankle and my now red, purple and blue foot. My doctor said it was a torn muscle and that I should lay off of exercise for at least 2 weeks. Some of my friends said I should act my age! (I also had a scraped-up hand from slipping on a closed gravel path at Ragged Point.)
After a week of no leg exercise, I began with short rides which seemed OK. I avoided steep hills on my bike, and did not even try to run or hike. On June 16 I took the morning off of work, since the superior courts were not in session, and rode south to the Bob Jones Bike Trail, an asphalt trail through riparian habitat along San Luis Obispo Creek before it flows out to the coast. This mostly forested stretch had willows, oaks, cottonwoods, walnuts, and other trees and plants. (see the photos)
I listened for any unusual calls or songs from the sometimes thick riparian forest, but found nothing unusual. I did find 48 species of birds along the bike path, including this Red-shouldered Hawk (photo below) hiding in the shade next to the busy path. The path highlighted a good range of species from breeding passerines, to nesting Great Blue Herons, to raptors, overhead swallow flocks, to birds of the beach and coast near the creek mouth.
I turned around at the Harford Pier for the back stretch of my 25 mile ride. I fought a head wind on the way back to San Luis Obispo, but got back in time for an afternoon of work. I decided I wasn't feeling old, just injured from some
bad luck. I was on the mend. At least I could still cycle!