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.


Lauren said...

Hi Joe-
I watched your video just now and cried the entire way through it. Unfortunately I know your pain and your families pain. My little 18 year old brother is suffering from TBI following an accident in Sept. 07. It has been a 9 month (so far) very hard, emotional, scary rollercoaster. Ironically after having a bad week this week I came across your video and it brought me relief to see your progress and was also nice to know that my feelings are also felt by other families out there. You are a miracle and keep up the fight. Please tell your family to stay strong as they to are not alone. Best of luck in the days to come. I wish you and your family many future happy memories and strength.


DD said...

you are unstoppable -

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting Smooth Feather into your life for a little while so that people can see a bit of your story. I have no experience in any way with what you have been through but it is very inspirational just the same. You sound like an incredible person and very funny to boot. I cried when your son read the note that you left him because I too have a very close relationship with my dad and my own son as well. Thank you Joe and I wish the best for you in your continued recovery.

Mike Howes
Athens, Me.