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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day Seven March 27, 2011

A week of 20-30 degree temps. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and arghrrrrrrrrrrr and NO bike riding for me. Come on spring!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day Six Tuesday March 22, 2011

Winter's back with a wintry mix of weather, rain sleet and an ice storm is predicted. Bike riding is on hold for a couple of days but what the heck, it's Michigan it could just as likely be 60 and sunny on the weekend. Champing at the bit to get out there again...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day Five Monday March 21, 2011

4.3 mi. today for another first week riding jaunt, different route but similar distance and time. It feels great to be outside again and it is so invigorating compared to indoor riding, plus you have all the other elements to deal with like variable terrain, wind and so forth. Spring is a grand time!

The indoor riding helped alot with flexibility and there has been a wee bit of pain in outdoor riding from dealing with small hills and their demands are different on your knees than indoor stationary flat riding but it'll all come into place with more riding and when those muscles gain their strength back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day Four Sunday March 20, 2011

Cold, cloudy and dreary winter makes it's apperance back. Spring - she is fickle. This morning on the way out it was winter coat weather, currently there is a thunderstorm brewing and temps are on the rise.

But the upside of that fickleness is to be ready to ride at a moments notice. We're supposed to have some 60 degree weather coming up and some freezing rain over the next few days so I guess the thermometer will be like a yo-yo.

Hope I get the chance to ride when the mercury is climbing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day three Saturday March 19, 2011

Outdoor riding - YAY! Today was the first real outdoor ride of the season at 4.35 miles it was short but all I had time for. One thing for certain, that half hour today on the bike was a blink of the eye compared to a half hour on the indoor trainer. Glad that season is over with. Boy it felt good to be rolling along and drinking in all the wet earth smells.

Can't wait to get out exploring some more.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day Two of Biking Season 2011 Friday March 18, 2011

Another inspirational day, I had the pleasure to finally meet Joe Datsko of biking fame. From an earlier post in February this year I referenced an article from Ann Arbor dot com who was featuring Mr. Datsko who was just turning 90 years old and had logged in 120,000 miles with the Ann Arbor Bicycling Society Club. This does not even count his miles logged in riding the perimiter of the USA and rides in other countries. From the photo in the article about him you see a map behind him that outlines his route all around the country.

I saw a small copy that he unfolded from within his wallet that was a small replica of that map. What a great inspiration it was to meet this man. I had the pleasure of lunching with him and a mutual friend who is the director of a retirement community in the Ann Arbor area where Joe lives at Glacier Hills. My friend and I were chatting about bike riding and she told me of this amazing gentleman who lived where she worked and who rode a bike nearly daily on very long rides, later when his story was published I noted it on my facebook page and, what a coincidence ,my friend told me it was the very same person!

We've planned the luncheon for a couple of months now and Joe is a very busy and active senior and it's taken this long to pin him down!

About the luncheon, what an amazing and gentle man. Joe is a retired mechanical engineer from the University of Michigan and a served as a Navy SeaBee during World War Two. He talked about a different era and a culture that existed of extreme patriotism after the Pearl Harbor attack and what a honor it was to serve his country. He spoke of the stigma and sting of disspointment a young man would suffer if he were ranked a 4F and how young men could not sign up quickly enough in their rush to duty after that historic event. Most young men of that era were anxious to see combat duty. I noted to him how much this differed from the era I grew up in where many young people sought to avoid service in Vietnam. We talked wistfully of a different time in our history.

That subject arose from another article about Joe in the Ann Arbor dot com that outlined his labor of love as he chose to retype all the letters he and his late wife exchanged while he was stationed over seas. Joe is in the process (up to letter number 500 of 728) of committing the letters to posterity for his children and grandchildren by retyping all of them. I asked Joe about these letters and as he spoke the love this man had for his wife of nearly 64 years shined through. It was clearly evident that Doris was the love of his life and that he was devoted to her. He spoke about their written communications throughout his time overseas, how he and Doris shared a love of travel and bike riding together. Together they traveled to over 30 countries. He spoke of bike rides in foreign lands as exotic as New Zeeland. Well that would be exotic to us here in the States.

Story after story revealed a zest for life and adventure and his passion for bike riding. When asked what kept him so motivated he spoke of comraderie he enjoyed with his bicycling club and how they inspired each other. When he undertook the first cross country ride he was 70. That was followed by his perimiter of the USA rides. His story inspired another club member, a woman who took up bike riding very late in life and committed to riding 70 miles on her 70th birthday. After completing that feat she committed to ride across the USA having been inspired by Joe and is somewhere near New Mexico now in her ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic. I was awe struck by the vigor of these seniors and somewhat shamed over my own meager biking accomplishments, one thing for sure - these stories will serve as a HUGE inspiration to me and I am certain to others.

I can only begin to sort out all the stories of love, inspiration, dedication and honor that Joe shared with me today. I hope to have more time to spend listening to his stories in the future and he is certainly a man I will never forget.

If you want to read more about Joe and the details of the articles at Ann Arbor dot com check out these links.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Bike Riding Season Day One March 17, 2011


Big accomplishment. I've never attempted to remove a wheel or tire or tube from a bike before. I had a trainer tire installed on my bike for the winter training season and spring is coming on fast so I needed to remove the rear wheel from the bike, disengage the brakes, derailleur and chain, followed by deflating the inner tube, removing the tire and tube and replacing the trainer tire and tube with my normal tire and tube. Then the whole works was put together in reverse, mount the tire/tube, mount the wheel to the bike, engage the derailleur and chain, put the brakes back on and ensure all works, rolls, shifts and stops.
I took a quick nighttime spin and it shifted, rolled, stopped and most importantly the wheel stayed on the bike.


I have such a sense of accomplishment I feel like I can tackle the world! Here I am in my middle years and this is the first time I have ever tried this and I did it. Of course attending Bike repairs 101 and 102 over the winter helped.