I have been in Sweden more than a week now and it is time to get organised for the next step, “Heading out”. My plans for Sweden were to fill up my energy levels with sleep, food and exercise. Then, of course, to meet as many of my friends as I could and ride my favourite roads.
Things didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted them to. Since day 2 on this journey I have spent time and energy worrying about my feet and the numbness. In Sweden, I went to a doctor and I was told that my the numbness is caused by nerw damagecaused by vibrations. Why this happened now and never before the doctor couldn’t say. Possibly, I was weaker this year since I was very sick with fever and stomach issues during spring, who knows? The doctor ordered loads of tests and after worrying a couple of days I got the results. I’m completely healthy, except that I can’t feel my feet. I was allowed to continue my journey but should take breaks more often and reduce the vibrations for the sake of my feet.
This is an advice quite hard to follow. After searching information on the internet and asking in a lot of bike shops I have got a lot of suggestions of reasons to the numbness and possible modification to do on the bike etc. However, I’m not able to modify my bike myself and in Sweden all garages are fully engaged due to the short riding season. So, I needed easy doable super solutions. From a (for me new) forum, the Ducati Monster Forum, I got some new input. I could change boots to some kind of touring boot – they have softer soles. So today I been to the centre to search for this type of boot. Now, I need to point out that I actually hate shopping and boots are normally hard to find. Now with this stupid problem it’s even harder. Plus, I must have really tall boots, otherwise there will be a gap between boot and rouser leg – stupid long legs. And to buy new trousers is out of the question after all the time I spent finding these. Needless to say, I was not successful. I will check Bike in Trollhättan on Monday and then maybe in Gothenburg… or later on in Lübeck… What I have managed to do is some kind of soft, hopefully vibration-absorbent isolation on the foot pegs. The efficiency is yet to be tested.
I didn’t ride as much as I planned to do in Sweden. Riding has not been comfortable the last week. My feet start to tickle when something presses on the skin or when I bend the feet. Therefore, it is difficult to find a comfortable riding position. Normally, I rest the toes on the foot pegs but now my feet immediately start to trickle when I do so. I’ve try different options but then my knees don’t fit in the shallowness of the tank. I also try to lift my feet and relax my leg as much as possible. All this plus the monitoring of the rmp to keep it on a “good” level makes riding not quite as relaxing as I would like it to be.
I feel grateful to get company for the next leg of my journey. That will hopefully help me keep my spirit up and also implement the idea of breaks. I will possibly eat better than during the “Going North”-leg of the journey, and if Anneli brings a GPS we might not even get lost as much from now on.