Posting has been lite of late because I've been off the bike due to a small medical problem. Nothing to do with the bike (I didn't crash) - let's just call it an "infected ear" for the sake of this story.
I haven't been able to ride because I lost my balance - I couldn't walk down the street for a few weeks without constantly drifting left and walking into shop windows. Trying to sit upright on a bike was a complete no-no, and just about everything strenuous has been off the cards. Running, swimming - even walking. I haven't been able to mow the lawn or carry the kids.
The result - blobism. I have sat around, or lain around, like a lump for weeks, waiting for this thing to go away.
As the weeks have passed, I've been getting more and more morose. I'm usually a pretty cheerful sort of bloke, but I've been narky as hell recently. I've been getting snappy at people at work and generally thinking about going postal on the people on the bus. I've slept a lot, but haven't slept well. I've even developed a couple of tics - twitchy is not a good way to be. It hasn't been a good time.
This general shitiness hasn't been brought on by the pain of this condition - it's clearly been caused by a lack of exercise. I need my daily (or twice daily) dose of endorphins. I finally got some today (I managed a short, lazy 45 minute ride) and I feel better already. The physical pain from the medical problem is still there, nagging away, but the mental blackness has lifted.
The ride today was a bit of a shocker - I'm either still punch-drunk with lousy balance, or I've lost all the fine motor control that helps keep the bike in a straight line. Normally, I can put the front wheel on a solid white line and keep it there for as long as I like, with the wheel hardly varying an inch or so from side to side. Today, I could barely keep the bike in a metre wide bike lane. I was wandering along like an old drunk.
It makes me wonder how many depressed people could be sorted out by simply making them do a bit of strenuous exercise once a day for an hour or so.