Reaching their house was like finally finding the answer to some spiritual quest - I collapsed through the door in a heady mix of euphoria and extreme pain. Ross and Yvonne, whose house I was making myself comfortable in, were not actually around upon my arrival, or in fact for much of the duration of my stay. However, kinder and more generous people I have rarely met, and they let me use their house to recover for over a week. Without them and that time off I don't know what I'd have done. A retired sports therapist offered to look at my knee free of charge, and told me the pain was due to the action of the knee cap rubbing against the groove in which it sits. Rest, stretching, anti-inflamatories and a sensible attitude were required to get me back on the road. 9 days of that, plus a fair amount of sightseeing and coffeeshop time in San Francisco, and I was ready to take on the final section of my North American adventure.
I was ready for a decrease in the amount of the short steep climbs that had permeated my California cycle so far. I loved them, and the scenery they provided was unsurpassable, but at this stage I was in the mood for a ride less intense. Gentler hills and sections of flat were on my mind. I'd heard the landscape was much more like this south of San Francisco, and set out with high spirits. Before pushing off from Danville I stretched for 15 minutes, and swore I would continue to do so every morning from now on. Whether or not I do remains to be seen, but I've learned an important lesson - everyone can get injured, even me. By that I don't mean that I'm some kind of superman, just that I've been lucky. That had to come to an end at some stage. In the scheme of things it was a really minor injury, and I'm just about as good as new again, but it's given me a new perspective and respect for my body and the nature of cycling.
Learning new things everyday, I am - good, isn't it?!