By Tom Webb
At the time of this writing, it’s been five and half months ince I had my knees lopped off and had various
alloys and plastics implanted to replace the “bone-on-bone
disaster” that my doctor had tagged my knees.
In that time, much has transpired.
Quite honestly, the first three weeks were erased from
the memory card. I was told that I did therapy every day,
took my meds and slept a lot. Frankly, my kids could
have been playing pin the donkey’s lips on my chin and I
wouldn’t have remembered.
Rehab is crucial—and not really fun. My therapy team
thought I was brain dead for doing both knees at the same
time. Because of this, and to meet my goal of being able
to both flex and extend my knees, they tortured me. When
I was 7 years old, I couldn’t straighten my legs completely.
I’m more caveman than dancer, but after three months of
therapy, my legs are straighter than they’ve ever been.
My doc told me it would take a minimum of 10 months,
which was reinforced by my good friend Bob Rutten, who
has also had both of his knees replaced, before I could
start doing anything gnarly. At this point, just five and a half
months in, I’m nearly pain-free. I can actually bend down
without hearing crunching in my knee joints, and I can ride
my mountain bike and hit golf balls. The mountain biking is
critical for knees. The golf is critical because I’m really limited when it comes to doing anything else fun.
Of course, the dirt
in my neck of the
woods is stellar right
now. For the first
time in years, we’ve
with rain, which has
resulted in many
catastrophes for the
population but is nectar from heaven for us dirt-tossers.
We call it “Velcro” dirt, or stupid soil, because it allows you
to perform like a hero—or a complete idiot.
My buddies text me hourly about their rides.
“Dude, I was dragging my chin bar in the turns.”
“You’d hate it. We climbed hills running nose to tail, and
I’ve got welts on my cheeks. It’ll probably be dusty when
you’re back, so it will be fine.”
“I can’t tell you how brutal it has been dealing with all of
the traction. We can actually stop on elevator-shaft down-
hills and have a conversation.”
“Wolf, I giggle every time I think about you stuck at
home. I hope you’re kicking the dog, chewing out the
neighbors and cleaning your garage, because it reminds
me of when I broke my arm that one winter. You said, and
I quote, ‘Now that you’re jacked, it’ll rain for months. Suck
Payback is hell. Actually, I’m totally freaking out about
riding again. I imagine actually dressing in my Klim gear,
When I was younger, I would have ignored my doctor’s
advice and gone riding right now. I had no fear of re-injury,
because I had plenty of time. But, we’re not rounding sec-
ond any longer. Home plate is within reach, and I really
don’t want to lose 10 months because the dirt is moist and
I lack the patience of a Jack Russell terrier.
So, my plan is to follow orders, let the tissue heal around
the joint, be patient, ride my spinner, take walks and stay
off my dirt bike.
Dang, that’s what old people do!
The news that morning stung—“Another rogue storm
set to hit Southern California. Better batten down the
Patience is best served with a
“ I yearn for a sharp edge on my knobby, leading a hard-core group along a ribbon of
trail, watching deer scatter, and then blistering
an off-camber corner like Graham Jarvis”