April 3, 2013
Have Bike, Will Ride!
This week, after remarkable progress in building up my leg and even being able to walk more without the cane, I
harassed politely petitioned my physical therapist for permission to get back on a bicycle. I sure do miss pedaling, and I promised I'd go slowly, ride a one that doesn't have gears, and lean to the right when it came time to put my foot down. I finally got a green light!
Even before the triathlon days and getting serious about biking, I've always loved pedaling along. The breeze as the world around me passes at a pace that I can enjoy it but not get bored with it, like walkers surely must! ;)
So I announced to the family after getting home from PT that today's the day I'd be riding again. Caroline loaned me her cruiser, and I sent up a quick prayer. A few false starts, wobbly take-offs and awkward stops later, I was ready to hit the road. Well, not literally. I tried that once and it didn't work well for me.
The chivalrous gentleman of our neighborhood, Fernando, decided to go with me, in case I needed help with anything. I fretted over this at first, thinking I'd have to pay attention to where he was and make sure we didn't cross paths. He'd really thought this through, though, and stayed a few bike lengths behind or in front of me, depending on what was safer. If he got too far ahead, he looped around behind for a while, just to see how I was doing. Sweet kid. He lives with his mom and grandma across the road, and those two ladies have raised him right.
Just when I felt I had a good rhythm going, I glanced up across the river and noticed this. Uh-oh. We've been having some serious storms again, but I thought we were in the clear, since the sun was shining. But considering that the first couple of blocks of this "ride" were actually me walking alongside the bike because of the condition of the roads, I figured we'd better turn back. Poor Fernando did his best to convince me that the cloud in the distance was just "the sun going down" and we should keep going. Sorry, Fernando. We made it back to the house about 2 minutes before a torrential downpour, but very thankful for the safe ride and the fact that we were not soaked. I'm a ton more stable than I was, but not quite stable enough to walk in rain pushing a bike up a road full of gravel and slick mud.
I can't say that the wives' tale that you never forget how to ride a bike holds true, because I had to really think hard about how to pedal and when to pedal and even how to steer. But all in all, I'm thrilled with the progress. So look out, Encarnacion! Here I come!!