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!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 38

August 30, 2010 Hot day and hot evening, the humidity is not as bad as it was during the last heat spell but it still was sticky, none the less Lisa and I cruised a good 8 mile ride up one side of the lake and down another and 1/2 way around again. It's fun with a partner and somehow feels safer too.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 37

August 29, 2010 The heat and humidity are back, took a late evening ride 4.25 miles up and down the lake. After yesterday's longer ride I had some stiffness in my knee for the first 4-5 revolutions and then it went away.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 36

August 28, 2010 Ok, I've worked up to longer rides. Took an adventure ride with my niece today to Independance Lake, roughly an 11.5 mile ride round trip. There is a rough gravel road for about 1 mile of the ride and a much smoother packed down gravel road for another mile then it's back to paved trails in the park. The park has several ameneties in it and it looks to be a nice place to spend an afternoon. We looped the trails, visited the sites and home again. Loaded up on some fruit from the Farmer's Market for a nice snack at the lake.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 35

August 27, 2010 Very cool morning for a ride to work, coupled with a pm ride down Jennings till it curves to gravel and then a ride uptown for a nice 5.5 mile ride. Noticed a wee bit of stiffness with the first three revolutions, I am beginning to think I need to drink more liquids.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 33 and 34

August 25, 2010
No opportunity for a ride at all.

August 26, 2010
A couple of back and forth trips to work and a small errand during the work day gave me 5.5 miles for the day. Nice, especially with the really cool weather today, it was perfect for riding. On the last two riding days I was surprise to have a tiny bit of stiffness in my knee for the first few revolutions of the pedals. Humitidy? Salt intake? Will keep an eye on this.

Brings me to a grand total for Week Five of 22.5 Not what I was looking for but with two days of no riding that's not too bad.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 32

August 24, 2010 Meetings and more meetings short ride 3 miles and got it in just before the rain. Pedaled down to where work is going on for one of the RR crossings at Barker Rd. Big flashing signs with arrows and ROAD CLOSED ahead. Stayed at the crossing talking with the workers for a few minutes and laughed out loud about how many people fail to believe the sign, rush right up to it and realize they really can't get through and turn around. People are funny.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 31

August 23, 2010 Nice ride tonight crusing the subs in the area, combined with my ride to work today gives me 5 miles for the day. Temps are wonderfully cool with no humidity. Fall is in the air. It's always sad to see summer go but this one was really hot and humid and fall is beautiful in Michigan. The four seasons are just right!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 30

August 22, 2010 Thirty days! A calendar month and this is going great. Nice easy four mile ride this evening, everything about riding is getting easier and stamina and endurance is kicking up nicely.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 29

August 21, 2010

Rain and drizzle all day. Bummer. Oh well, time to clean house and catch up on reading!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 28

August 20, 2010 nice 5 mile ride up and down the lake. Doc said I could start back on the Humira since the pneumonia is all cleared up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 27

August 19, 2010 7 miles for the day, took these photos of an intriguingly scarred tree trunk. Today ends week Four with a total of 33.5 miles for the week. Getting very close to being on track for the goal of 35 miles per week after 4-6 weeks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 26

August 18, 2010

Another ride with Lisa my niece, it's nice to ride with a pal and feels safer too. We cruised to Horseshoe Lake and down to 6 mile, back and up to the Marina for a smooth 6.5 mile ride. We would've done more exploring at Horseshoe if it wasn't getting near dark.

Feeling strong enough to go on longer rides and have not iced after a ride all week with no ill effects. It seems to grow even more enjoyable every day and I really look forward to the ride and the energy boost it gives me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 25

August 17, 2010 Nice cool morning for a ride to work, took an evening ride with my niece who just bought a bike. We toured the Adler and Eagle Garden subdivision then back north on Main to Dee's Place and home. We had about a 7 mile ride and add 2 in for my work commute and I have 9 in for the day! Feeling pretty strong and my confidence level is really growing along with endurance. Starts and stops are getting much smoother. If I've grown this confident in 3 weeks I imagine that another couple of weeks will have me feeling like a real rider.

My flexibility has increased greatly, my balance in general has a lot of improvement and my energy level is kicked up several notches. Biking is not just good - it's fun!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 24

8-16-10 Nice to have a buddy to ride with, took a 3.5 mile ride up to the boat launch, beautiful weather, humidity is all gone and the temps are mild....ahhhhhhh Michigan!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 23

8-15-10 Early morning 4 mile ride. Town is quiet and most are sleeping a couple of morning walkers and a runner with her dog are out enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning. It looks to be a nice day. Temps are not too hot this morning but the humidity is still with us.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 20, 21 and 22

August 12 , 2010

Back to back meetings all day and into the night, forced day of rest from riding. End of week 3 and I have 15 miles in for the week. Some weeks are going to be rough with so many pm meetings and long work days and of course weeks were I have physical set backs will factor in as well. Overally I am delighted with 15 miles in this week.

August 13, 2010

Alternative exercise from biking, 18 holes of golf with a good friend, the heat and humidity was extreme for that type of activity. We were bushed and I was far too spent for a bike ride. The amazing part was that three days before I would not have been able to participate in putt-putt with the flare up attacking my shoulder joints. I was certain that I was going to have to cancel my golf day, but a steroid injection is an amazing thing.

August 14, 2010

Filled my basket to the brim at the Farmer's Market. The cacti there from Richard Tuttle Farms were amazing and one of them just had to come home with me. They were so exotic and colorful. He has a wonderful collection of them and the prices are awesome! Actually I took two bike trips there because I forgot my camera for the first trip and then took a short spin up East Shore for a 3.5 mile ride. I stopped along the way for a photo of a hibiscus in full bloom. The blooms were bigger than my head!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day Eighteen & Nineteen

8-10-10 Day off from riding, too many appointments to ride, too much residual pain from flare up to ride and board meeting in the evening, plus the exhaustion from having virtually no sleep last night. Pain kept me awake most of the night. Day of rest is necessary to absorb the steroid injection given by a quick nurse vist to the Dr. office. That is one strong med and knocked the stuffing out of the pain.

8-11-10 Steroid shot makes you feel like Superwoman! 4 mile ride late this evening and I feel like a million bucks. Icing shoulders and knee after the ride helps to ensure that I am treating the body right.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day Seventeen

8-9-10 Shoulder pain and range of motion is very bad, difficult to comb my hair, dress or other normal day to day activities. Called the RA Doc and I'm going in for a steroid shot tomorrow to overcome the lack of Humira for over 7 weeks. That should get me by until I am certain that this pneumonia infection is cleared up and I can start back on my Humira.

4 mile ride tonight, slow and steady and afterwards I had to ice not only my knee but also both shoulders just to be able to lift a drink of water up to my lips.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day Sixteen

8-8-2010 Two mile ride tonight, heat and humidity is a killer and saps your energy - my shoulder is acting up a bit and I hope I didn't strain it too much when I lifed my bike over some trees on that ill-fated trip around the lake. Golfing on Friday and I need to be limber and up to snuff. Well, I have five days to recover.

Since my bout with pneumonia at the middle of June I have gone without my Humira injections, just when I was thinking of starting them up and hoped the infection was gone I started getting symptoms again and just finished round two of antibiotics. So I am of the belief that the stiffness in the joints, shoulder pain and stiffnes in the knee is only part from biking and part from not taking Humira. So far I've missed three doses and am closing on a fourth very soon.

I'll call the docs and see what their word is on starting it up again.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day Fifteen

8-7-10 A ride so short it doesn't even qualify as a ride, quick trip to the Farmer's Market and filled my basket with fresh-picked-this-morning veggies.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day Fourteen

8-6-2010 It's been two weeks since I bought my bike. I've come such a long way. Had a nice 4.5 mile ride tonight. Up one side of the lake and down the other, stopped along the way for a peer at the lake and lo and behold there was a great shot of a sailboat and the seaplane that would have fit into the same frame. Dunce! No camera today, go figure. It would have been a great picture. Some other time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day Thirteen

8-5-2010 6 miles and one of the most challenging rides yet. Some significant inclines and hills, streets with higher speed traffic and a very challenging path through the woods. There is no road that goes all the way around the lake but you can get around it in a convoluted way by car and a more "interesting" path by foot or bike.

A lot of picking my way around, back-tracking and some dense overgrowth with big blow downs had me climbing over blow downs that were nearly as tall as me. I had the additional pleasure of lifting my bike over all that at dusk with thousands of hungry mosquitoes making a feast out of me. I would have loved to stop and take a picture of it but it was enough to keep the hungry critters out of my eyes.

I doubt that I would ride all the way around again because the less arduous path takes me on a road that has cars traveling at higher speeds and it is dense with vegetation and tight curves and that makes it hard for drivers speeding around curves to come upon a biker. I'll stick to rides up the south and east shore or to mix it up to the west and north shore.

Photo above was from a brief pause up the north shore. And I guess a ride would not be complete without a little crash. So far, I've not broken anything yet on me or the bike.
This gives me 24.5 for the week - not bad for week two.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day Twelve

Day of rest yesterday from biking - working the election polls for a friend, Wednesday 8-4-10 took a 4.5 mile ride up down and all around Main St., East Shore and then some. What a humid night! The air was just thick with it. Had another little crash again and fell from the bike. This time on my right side. Oh well, comes with the territory.

Endurance is building up nicely and I am still icing after longer rides, flexibility is much improved and knee pain and stiffness after riding is lessening considerably. So long as I ice it down even for 10 minutes it really makes a difference.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day Eleven

8-2-10 Quick ride down Main Street followed by another ride up East Shore for a different view of the lake. In total right about 4.5 miles for the day.

Too many meetings off site today, had to drive the car to work.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day Ten

8-1-10 A very nice ride up the north shore of the lake tonight, three miles is beginning to seem like a breeze.