Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Latest Biking Adventure/Goodbye Fatwheels

Appended 11/15/08
I recently accepted an opportunity to volunteer at Gaylord Hospital, where I received some of my accident recovery therapy. Gaylord has a great, catchy motto; make Gaylord Hospital the best place to begin again.

I plan to donate my Fatwheels to Gaylord, so that someone who can benefit from them can use them. I'm really glad that I discovered them and I'm equally happy that I no longer need them. Goodbye Fatwheels!!!

I made a huge adventure (which demonstrated my recovery) this past weekend when my son, Paul, was home. He, Greg, and I made a bike ride from my home to Wickham Park in East Hartford. I used Google maps to record the mileage and I’ve plotted the topographic course of the final segment to assess the hill climb that I completed. The total bike ride measured 19 miles and the hill measures 100 feet in vertical change over a .54 mile distance. Not only is it a challenge to balance a bicycle, in general, but to climb a hill is quite an accomplishment. I climbed the hill without standing on my pedals (while remaining seated on my bike). It is quite often difficult to keep my recovery in perspective, but I’m still making large steps. I have to keep reminding myself that I was unable to walk and feed myself in the not so distant past. There’s a photo of me and Paul at the overlook of Wickham Park with the city of Hartford in the background.

On Saturday afternoon, 6/21, I rode my tri/road Klein bike (from which I recently removed the Fatwheels) up Line St. (that forms the Manchester/Glastonbury town line), as Lynn ran, and thus I have recaptured that former ability of riding/balancing a (fast) road bike. It was kind of hairy because the road shoe soles are quite hard and slippery (whereas the mountain bike shoe soles are soft rubber so they are easier to walk around in). I removed the pedals from my mountain bike and placed them on my Klein, so that now I can ride my Klein with mountain bike shoes. I'm recapturing my old life, one step at a time.!!!

Above, there I am, standing at the top of Sunset Ridge in East Hartford, on the bike path, with Hartford in the background.

Date: June 22, 2008;
Once again, I completed another big adventure today. My friend, Greg Best, and I made a bike ride from my house to the bike path that runs along side I-384 into East Hartford. We biked at least 18 miles. I rode my Gerry Fisher Big Sur mountain bike, with cleated bike shoes clipped-in to my pedals. We’ve decided to make this bike ride a weekly ritual and we invite any of our friends/supporters to join us at 9:30 a.m. We plan to meet at my house and depart/arrive there. You’re welcome to park at my house. Please call me for details. We documented the adventure with these photos.

Here I am (photographed by Greg) with a close-up on my pedal cleats and my clip-in pedals.

Here is a close-up of us on the bike path, standing at the top of Sunset Ridge, in East Hartford.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My first (post-TBI) bike ride adventure.

I made a HUGE adventure this morning. Greg (my friend) and I biked from my house, along the bike path, to East Hartford, for a total of 15 miles. I documented the trip with photos and there they are.

My therapist recently said to me “your biggest accomplishment is probably your last”, meaning that I’m extremely driven and I’m constantly expecting to surpass my previous goal. He’s begun helping me to deal with this personality trait. Many people have mentioned that they (secretly) thought that I would never again be on a bike in any form or manner. I am thrilled to be riding my bike (alone) again. His comment/analysis is true, however each new accomplishment helps to motivate me to persevere and continue improving.

Very quickly this personality trait takes precedent: very soon I'm going to bike ride on my other mountain bike, with clip-in pedals. It's actually more dangerous with sneakers in rat-trap pedals (such as on the orange Klein, shown above). Therefore, clipped-in pedals will be safer. The photo below shows that I've already achieved that goal. I should stuff a pair of sneakers into my biking jersey, so I can walk around when I stop pedaling.
Lynn (my wife) ran and I biked on a nearby street, so this photo (on my side street) doesn't indicate how far I've progressed (riding on a tree-lined street that traverses town property).

Again that personality trait emerges…… I (secretly) think; then, I'm going to bike ride on my Klein road bike. I've been removing my FATWHEELs from my Klein (which you can see on my BLOG, on the article titled ‘On the Road, Again’) and I’m now about ready to test it out.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm riding my bike again

I've been riding my bicycle, without FATWHEELs, up and down our street, to the cul-de-sac, to enjoy my freedom and to get some exercise. I am now pushing my independence and I have aspirations of making these bicycle rides more adventurous. Then I will truly test my independent spirit. It was quite liberating to make this bike ride on my own.