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Old 05-02-13, 09:32 PM   #1
HawkOwl
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Progress, However Temporary, Progress

Two years after serious spine trauma and a year after the second spine surgery I'm back on the bike. The first 1 hour surgery was a gamble to try to avoid the "big" surgery. The Big Surgery was 9 hours long and involved rebuilding the lumbar spine and then anchoring it to the hip bones.

Still have lots of weird sensations and very weak and unsteady in the legs. It is a minor drama getting on the bike. But, that is progress, it was a Major Event before. I can walk for short distances without assistance instead of the walker I was on. No narcotics since a few weeks post-op.

So far I've ridden a bit over a hundred miles in Rocky Mountain Foothills hills. Not back to a road bike yet, nor to clipping in. There just isn't enough strength in the balls of my feet and my toes for that. Instead I bought a mountain bike, Giant Revel 29er, to ride during the rehab.

Sure feels good to be back on the bike. I'm looking forward to one tomorrow to challenge some hills. I remember the hills being much easier on my LeMond Carbon Fibre bike than on this thing. But, I'm not ready yet to balance 23mm tires.

Joy to all.
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Old 05-02-13, 10:08 PM   #2
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Isn't it great to be back on the bike. I am just finishing up cardiac therapy after a valve replacement job in early December 2012. Three therapy sessions per week, and I have been riding again on either Friday or Saturday. An earlier (2004) adventure was attempting to ride again following a stroke... you really can forget how to ride a bicycle if the one or two brain cells involved are no longer functioning. I too bought a mountain bike with big fat tires.. but I had to learn how to balance all over again.

Anyway, take it slow and steady and enjoy the rides... it will get easier

Best,
Pete
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Old 05-02-13, 11:23 PM   #3
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I broke my tibia & fibula last Oct.
4 months of doing nothing!
60 miles in March, 100 in April and hoping for a lot more this month.
I think the riding is helping rehab the knee and the flat tires are rehabbing the ankle?
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Old 05-02-13, 11:50 PM   #4
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Had a couple of incidents that kept me off the bike for extended time and it is not easy trying to come back. Gentle rides gradually getting harder over the next few months for you and suddenly you realise that the gentle rides no longer are.

Take it steady and keep riding.
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Old 05-03-13, 05:18 AM   #5
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Good to have you back here hawk Owl, I wondered where you had gone. You are in good company here on the return to riding after back, or other, surgery(ies) it is a good feeling to make those first few pedal strokes and feel wind on your face. Take care not to overdo things but, do enjoy each bit of progress you make. Please keep us up to date on how you are doing.

Bill
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Old 05-03-13, 05:20 AM   #6
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Major kudos! Keep us informed.
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Old 05-03-13, 06:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the post/update. Smart getting the 29er, although that's one heck of a way to swing N+1.
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Old 05-03-13, 07:03 AM   #8
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Welcome back, and congratulations on your progress. There are a number of us who are in various stages of rehabilitation and recovery from injuries or medical conditions, so you are in good company. I am trying to resume riding after a pinched nerve and severely strained muscles following surgery. As Bill said, take it slowly, gradually, and eventually the riding will come back. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-13, 07:53 AM   #9
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You might want to consider a recumbent bike or trike. The support of a seat back has helped many cyclist to continue to ride without pain.
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Old 05-03-13, 08:01 AM   #10
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"a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

Any progress is progress!
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Old 05-03-13, 01:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for the welcome. Yes, indeed it does feel good.

I started with the bike about four months after surgery. But, soon discovered that was way too soon. It was dramatic just watching me. Fortunately, winter came and it was only spin bike time for the winter.

One of the measures of how much stronger I am is that by the old "standard" calculation my maximum heart rate should be in the low 140s. In fact I can sustain mid-160s for as long as I need to. Then resting HR is in the high 50's. So, I feel confident that as nerves wake up and start enervating muscles I will get back most of my strength.

If I could wave a magic wand I'd get the balls of my feet and my toes next. Sure, would make walking a lot easier.
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Old 05-03-13, 02:47 PM   #12
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Thanks for making a courageous step and reporting it. The mountain bike sounds like a fantastic option-smart rider you are. Get those legs and cardio system working. Post more, I want to follow your progress.
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