Sportbikes, Hernia & Fourth of July

Lieback’s Corner (#9) / 7.01.2011

The pain shot straight from the groin to the upper chest as I accelerated off a long, left-hand sweeper on my personal "Mountain Course."

This was the worse I’ve felt since first encountering similar pain years ago, the stomach-twisting feeling causing me to pull over and stand in various positions for relief. I then traveled about 20 miles to return home, squeezing my Alpinestars leathers to create tightness in the mid-section.

This all happened last Thursday during my lunch break; when the skies aren’t crying here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, my break consists of a 32-mile sport-ride through some backcountry roads on my "Mountain Course," always in full leathers.

Lately, though, my lunch rides were plagued by pain, which has progressed. Three years ago, I used to get some pain in the mid section after a day of hardcore riding, especially on the track. Two years ago this occurred after about three-quarters of a day. Last year I’d last a half a day, but was still able to battle through it.

But last week it started after about 15 minutes. The pain came from the groin, spreading in a diagonal line straight to the chest, seeming to attack a strip of muscles. Now it was time; the problem got to the point where I finally visited the doctor Thursday in the Pizza capital of the world, Old Forge, Pa.

And yep, it’s hernia. And yep, it’s going to need surgery. And yep, no sport riding or track days until the process is done. But with the negatives came a positive: I can still sport-tour aboard the VFR until the surgery. This was my first feeling of relief considering I have trips planned for the next few weeks, including one this Fourth of July weekend to the East Coast’s finest wine country in Lake Seneca, N.Y.

I should know when the surgery is scheduled Monday, and then the (fun & fast) road ahead is clear, considering hernia surgery is as common as changing your motorcycle’s oil; the doc says I should return to full throttle seven days following the operation.

That’s impressive. Very impressive. More technology, faster healing. And it’s comforting that the doc referenced hernia to the "common cold."

But for now, no sport riding or track days. And just the hopefully short wait to get diced or lasered, however they do these small procedures.

I must forget these things now as the woman and I are throttling into the Fourth of July holiday today, visiting her brother up at Lake Seneca for a Fourth of July weekend party.

On the short jaunt to Lake Seneca, we’ll snake Route 6 through some gorgeous landscapes until ascending on the New York border. And once at our destination, I’m planning to take a night-ride around the lake; nothing is more spectacular to human emotions than observing fireworks while piloting a motorcycle. Add the beautiful Lake Seneca to the mix, and things only get better.

But equally as enjoying will be sipping some vino once the bike is parked, hopefully a bottle of Syrah from Glenora, which is by far my favorite winery in that region.

And I’ll make sure to load up the Givi bags with many bottles to bring home. I’ll need something for that short time span of seven-days recovery, considering the sportbike and trackbike will remain sleeping in the garage.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Stay twisted; throttle yr soul
– Ron Lieback

Lieback’s Corner is the Online Editor’s weekly column, which delves into RL’s recent motorcycling mind breaths and wanderings.