Starting with a desire to once again lead an active and athletic life I started out with a tenative purchase of a used bike from craigslist. Considering the problems I have with arthritis, my knees, one total knee replacement surgery, rhumatoid arthritis, joint pain and flare ups, biking seemed to be the most viable choice being that it is a non impact activity. RA causes more than pain and stiffness in joints, it can cause severe fatigue, respitory problems and be debilitating in general. Combined with moving to a career that is more sedentary than how I have worked all my life spelled disaster unless I changed something and added in some physical activity.
I fell back in love with biking immediately.
I rode a lot as a kid and young adult, spent too many years away from it and it was almost like learning all over again.
I fell. A lot.
I frustrated myself.
Hills and heat beat me up pretty good.
I kept riding.
I wouldn't quit.
I've gotten strong.
I am a bike rider with 1,140.98 miles under my belt for this first full year of riding!
I feel more energetic than I have in years, my health is improved dramatically, my pain is greatly diminished and mostly non existant with the exception of occasional flare ups. Riding has impacted my body, mind and soul in a positive way with a big increase in energy, stamina and peace. Riding puts a big smile on my face.
I celebrated today with a group ride with a group who rides the back roads around Domino's Farms. We had a 7.5 mile ride today and I had a chance to meet new people and ride with a biking friend. Photo is below but we had a few camera shy people who are not pictured.
Over the last year I have explored nooks and crannies through bylanes and byways in my neighborhood and for miles around. Trails and parks have become a second home and certain barns, meadows, flower beds or people waving a hello have become familiar and comfortable sights. Ponds, creeks, woodlands, and the lakes have their own unique fragrance and sounds.
I've been soaked in rain, nearly cried over steep hills, I've had mechanical failures and been helped out by friends and strangers. I've celebrated milestones along the way and I've felt the sting of defeat. I've learned to carry tools and spare parts and how to fix my bike and how to fix a flat. Through all of this I have learned a lot about myself and about life.
I love my bike!
|Pictured from left to right Me (Deb), Heidi, Ed, Gabriella |
riders who are not shown are Deb A and Chris
Stats: Began riding July 24, 2010, last day of riding in the 2010 season November 13, 2010 (we had a long warm fall) total for the first outdoor season of riding was 613.31 miles. First ride of the new year March 19, 2011 and March 21, 2011. A poor spring allowed for 4 more days of riding before April 15. Riding regularly started on April 23, 2011. Total mileage up till July 23, 2011 is 527.67. For a grand total for my first year of 1140.98.