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!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hitting my stride

Now that there have been enough consistent weeks of riding that are unintruppted by rain, cold or snow and summer is underway I feel strength wise that I am hitting a stride.  For week #11 I've complted 44.76 miles with two days of rest from riding and feel very strong and not the least pooped out.  My two days off were mid week I finished up a 9.26 mile ride tonight and am up for a 10-15 miler tomorrow.  Monday is the day of the Ride and Chat with the author of Dirt Road Washtenaw and that will be a fun ride. 

If I'd have addressed this earlier in the week I would not have predicted this outcome.  On Monday I was in a full flare up from RA with a shoulder that was out of commission, I ended up taking another Humira injection (2nd one in just over a year).  It calmed the flare right down, a bit of rest and I was good as new.  During the flare I had imagined that I might be off the bike for a long time.  The body is an amazing thing.

I saw my rheumatologist Thursday to help me confirm a plan of action and he decided that my instincts on dropping off Humira were ok, instead, before he recommended going back on for good he threw out the idea of doubling up on the Plaqunil that I take for RA.  It has lesser impacts on the body and so far in this last year my single dose (which was 1/2 of where I orginally had been at) was working fine with the exception with 2 flares in a year's time.  I liked the idea of doubling the Plaqunil better than getting back on the Humira on a regular and constant plan.  So for now that's the plan, if I feel fine that will confirm it's working ok to address the RA.  I always have the option to go back onto Humira if this is not working and flares become too common.  With meds, I prefer the least amount that will get the job done but do not believe in suffering if there are remedies available. 

One remedy that has made a big impact is one I can manage myself and that is a fitness program.  I believe beyond any doubt that cycling regularly has improved my overall health immensely.  Enough exercise that challenges me without overdoing it has been good for me.  It stretches my muscles, strengthens them, lubricates my joints, increases my flexibility, increases the elasticity of my tendons and has given me an enormous cardiovascular advantage.  The sunshine and fresh air is good for my body and the thrill, enjoyment and pleasure I get from cycling does wonders for my mood and mental health.  Stress leveles are way down.

It continues to confound me that something so simple as a bike ride can accomplish all of that!  Incredible and amazing in it's simplicity.

I love riding.

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