It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day Nine

7-31-10 Short jaunt to the Farmer's Market and drop off my absentee ballot for the August 3rd primary election. 3 miles in for the day.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day Eight

Bike to work today, what a cool morning and a welcome relief from the high heat we were having all month. With my morning jaunt and an evening ride, it took me 3.5 for the day. Basket delivered today and I'll be filling it up at Farmer's Market in the morning.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Seven

Day Seven 7-29-10 Nice 3 mile spin at lunch time, love the smell of fresh cut grass. The heat wave and humidity burst and we have very pleasant temps, it's a beautiful day for a ride. It's so nice I'll probably go for another short jaunt after work.

I saw my little baby frog again last night, I first spotted him on the side light windows next to my entrance door last week and thought it was the biggest spider I've ever seen. On closer inspection this spider had arms and legs and little webbed toes. He was clinging to the window glass and from inside you could see his creamy underside belly. A little bigger than a nickle he's cuter than a bugs ear. I think he's pretty smart for a little guy because he parks near the glass when the light is on inside and as little wingy things get attracted to the light he has easy pickings for dinner.

After work ride took me from Main to North Main and along the shores of Whitmore Lake, it's a pretty ride up to the boat launch. Stopped along the way to chat with folks and participate in the National Anthem at the beginning of the ski show. Summer's in full swing in this beautiful lakeside community. Round Trip was 3 miles giving me a daily total of 6 miles and a weekly total of a whopping whole 22.7 miles.

With the new (or rekindled old) hobby I would expect that total to tail off a bit before a weekly riding routine establishes itself. Just like exploring my nearby neighborhood, I'll guess I'll see where this takes me and how it evolves after the shine wears a bit.

Observations are that the days are shortening and sights, sounds and smells are so different when you are this close to the road. As I pass by now familiar individual homes the smell of the different flowers and various mulches is getting familiar along Main Street. I am amazed at the volume of traffic on a summer evening and how many people are out and about.

I'm still icing after rides but how long I spend doing it is getting less and less. I am really happy with the increased flexibility, especially in my toes and how the icing takes away the stiffness and pain. I can see that I'm gaining skill and confidence as today's route took me through some tricky intersections and called for complicated navigation.

Day Six

7-28-10 Thunderstorms, high heat and humidity and meetings out of the office today made for a good day of rest from riding. See ya tomorrow, bike.

Bell purchase, ok I seem to be on the "B's" basket, bell...?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Five

7-27-10 Rode to work for the 2nd time and feeling a tad bit more comfortable with the twists and turns on the bridge over the creek I had time to take a peek into the creek and the water was rushing pretty fast. A testament to the abundant rainfall we've had this year. Funny since I don't have a long commute (2.2 miles R/T) the route to the new office is more than twice what the old one was. On the first few drives there after the move I thought to myself, wow, this seems far. Now to most people this would be hilarious but it's all a matter of perspective.

Strange how when you get caught up in your surroundings you tend to forget about time at all and I looked up in time to think "here already?" after pedaling my way to work and health today.

The icing after a ride last night really made the difference. I had very little stiffness today and much less pain with walking. Taking a short ride through part of Wildwood sub and home again this evening called for another icing down and after icing there was no stiffness or pain. At 2.2 to work and 2.5 for my evening spin it puts me near to 4.7 for the day. A good sign and a nice way to work up to a slightly longer ride and more importantly it's being done with minimal pain.

I've seen and heard morning doves all my life particularly from spending a lot of time up at the crack of dawn fishing or skiing, but until tonight I never realized they have red feet.

Sore in the saddle? That's almost a moot point now. Getting settled into the saddle, I'm certain that it's conforming to me instead of vice versa.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day Four 7-26-10

Rode to work today, what a nice way to start of your morning. I sure noticed so many things that I had not even noticed before, like a creek that I cross over on my route that I never paid any attention to or that the RR tracks were easier bumps than I had anticipated and how important it is for people to keep their shrubs trimmed that stick out onto sidewalks and the number one item is the pitiful lack of contiguous sidewalks in our community! Fortunately, I'm in a position to do something about that. A short 2.2 mile spin leaves room for another short sprint after dinner.

2nd lap for the day was 2.4 so I have 4.6 for the day. Got a tip from Dawn the physical therapist for icing my knee after riding and I did tonight, will report findings tomorrow. The knee pain is much better while riding after the first block or so it's gone and even more importantly so is the stiffness, by the end of my ride I am very flexible. Strangley though, pain and stiffness have increased while walking since I began riding but maybe the icing will help that. I can tell that I am already building up a bit of endurance and balance. One thing that I noticed after the first day was that I had much greater flexibility in my toes. I was loosing the ability to flex my toes and just touching my toe against something was painful. The confidence level is rising but I'm still a long way from my youthful days of hopping on a bike and not giving safety or crashing a second thought. I am anticipating that I will become surer footed and maintain better balance even while walking, once I become more accomplished again. It's true you never forget how to ride a bike, but that doesn't mean that after years of not riding you regain your skill overnight. Ordered a beautiful wicker basket today. http://www.basketlady.com/Utility/Bicycle-Baskets-c282/

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day One

Day one, (well actually Day one was on 7-24-10 but I just now created the blog) bought my bike today! Wheels! I’m going to pedal my way to health. Rode around complex 4 times, down to the old firehall, on to peaberry’s looped around and down to the WLT, home again. Figure I have in about 3 miles today. Going to make a short term goal of 3 miles at least 3 times per week. Mid range goal is going to be 3 miles 5 times per week.

Long range goal is 7 mile ride 5 times a week. That was my ride pattern when I rode with regularity and it’s a good exercise regime, easily doable and uses up about a ½ hr a day in exercise and won’t burn you out. I should be able to get there in 4-6 weeks

I have both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and strengthening the muscles in my weakest areas (my knees) is of utmost importance. Gaining flexibility and getting more limber is high on the list of desires.

Working around these conditions is going to require a bit more thought than just hopping on a bike and going just a bit farther each day. It'll be important to note the changes in my body and how this affects my knees and other body parts. For sure, so long as I don't start off pushing the limits on long rides immediately, this will have to be a big step in the right direction.

Other unpleasant side effects of aging and dealing with a debilitating illness are that my balance has become poorer over time and there is a tendency to feel more timid about movements that were quite routine just a few short years ago. I've also experienced pneumonia twice in less than a year and have had on and off difficulties catching my breath and getting winded very easily. After loads of testing I still am not convinced that this is not related to the rheumatoid arthritis. Time will tell and so will more tests.

I am committed to pedaling for better health and expect to see great results from these efforts, not to mention this will be a good way to shed extra pounds taken on since moving from a highly physical career to the sedentary environment of working in an office. It's been a real change since arthritis has come into my life, moving from golfing and water skiing on a daily basis combined with the long physically demanding work days of life in a resaturant into a life of feeling a bit incapacitated by not being able to do these things and slowly moving into a lifestyle of less and less activity. Time for a turnaround and hitting the two wheeled trail.

Day Three

Day 3 7-25-10 Rode 1.1 mile to Post office an back, this is just to get the kinks out with no stress. My knee’s been aching with walking. First spin of the wheel and I didn’t think it would bend enough to go on, first half of the ride was painful and then it just loosened right up. Strength training in action. I want to keep the activity up but not overdo it, just listen to your body. *note, a speedometer would sure by handy instead of mapping out every ride. Will be repeating the route for the Concert by the Lake tonight. That'll get me 2.2 for the day.

Day Two

Day 2 7-24-10, short jaunt to the Farmer’s Market, probably less than a mile but a good warm up to straighten out the kinks from yesterday. I took a satchel with me for goods and it was a good thing, but a basket is in order and next on the shopping list! Part II rode my old walk route (about 2.2 m round trip) and it took me just over 15 minutes. I much prefer riding it than walking it. Here’s what I am looking for -http://www.basketlady.biz/