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Henny 10-07-19 12:51 PM

Back in September 2011, I had misdiagnosed / undiagnosed Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a host of other tick borne diseases. Doctors were telling me, there was nothing wrong with me other than “getting old” and arthritis. Fortunately, in January 2012 I had my 25 years in as a cop I could retire. I more or less retired to die. Of all people, my dentist told me to go see a Lyme doctor. I was getting to the point I could barely walk, talk or see. I was looking at being in a wheel chair.

I went to see the Lyme doc.....

I started a 4 1/2 year regimen of multiple antibiotics and antimalarials. The thing with treating tick borne diseases (TBDs) you’ll feel worse before you get better. You’re pretty much killing everything in your body. I was getting to the point that most days I could walk, but I felt horrible. One of the multitude of symptoms I had was horrible heart palpitations and heart pain.

One day I went out in the garage and got on my bike, and my wife asked “What are you doing?” I told her I “...thought I’d try to ride my bike.”I made up my mind I was either going to get better or this bike ride was going to kill me. At that point, I didn’t care which it was. I seemed to have reached a plateau and wasn’t feeling any better. Just when I didn’t think the pain could get worse, it did. A few days later it would get even worse. Dark times....

I was at the Lyme doc, he asked me if I was doing some physical activity. I replied, “I’ve been trying to ride my bike” ( I’d ride my bike one day 10-18 miles and I’d be bedridden for 2 days.) He told me, “..Henny, you might not be able to tell it, but that bike riding is helping you. Don’t stop riding.....”.

So here it is, 2019, I’m 54 and feel better than I did when I was 18! No more meds, no nothing!

A few weeks after I was instructed to stop all meds I purchased a Giant Toughroad SLR1...it’s my “post Lyme fight” bike. A few weeks ago I had turned 13,000 miles over on it.

Me after turning 13k.

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...0a0cc5c9e.jpeg


I plan on turning 26k ( around the world and then some!) before I consider another bike.

I often tell people that are fighting TBDs, that as a cop there were times I had to fight for my life. Those fights were usually over in minutes, if not seconds. My fight with TBDs was every second of every day for years. It was the hardest thing I ever endured in my life. I also tell them that TBDs are the best thing that ever happened to me. Because of them, I will never take my health or minute of my life for granted.


I know 13k isn’t much for a bicyclist, but I’m not a bicyclist. :lol: I’m just a dude that shoots a lot and rides bike because TBDs destroyed my knees.

Besides the one doctor that correctly diagnosed me, told me not to stop riding bike. He’s the guy I owe my life to. I’ll listen to him. ;)

Henny 10-07-19 12:54 PM


Originally Posted by Alzerbster (Post 21153690)
Ha ha, this is one of the big ones for me.
A few months ago I retired, and figured I needed a hobby to keep me active. There are quite a number of rail trails within a couple hours drive of me, so I bought a bike. Ever since the first ride, I absolutely love biking on Pa's rail trails. Being a caregiver for my wife who acquired a brain injury 13 years ago. Biking is a big escape for me.
As noted, one of the things I like about it is "I don't have to think" about any problems, and can shut the world out. Its just the trail ahead of me, the sound of the tires rolling over the crushed limestone, and dry leaves. Its the peacefulness of it. Its the scenery riding along a rail trail that follows a stream, or river. Its the thought of wondering whats around the next bend. Its riding under a canopy of trees on a hot summer day, yet never get that over heated because of the cooler air moving over you. Its the experience of riding that trail you have never ridden yet. Even though most of my riding is in the 10 to 15mph range. I still enjoy a sprint on a long straight away of a half mile or longer. I'm always encouraged to tell my friends how much I like riding, and suggest to everyone that is retired to give biking a try. I'm pretty sure after four months of riding I'm hooked until the day I can't ride anymore. I have even bought some cold weather riding attire.
I can't wait until my ride next week on the 64 miles of the Pine Creek trail which part of runs through the grand canyon of Pa. I think the leaves will be at, or close to their fall peak, so if it isn't raining, its going to be an awesome trail to ride.


Great post! The funny thing is, I asked my friends if anyone wanted to do the Pine Creek trail this week....all my retired buddies are either “too old” or too lazy. Hahahahaha!

Rajflyboy 10-07-19 01:07 PM

For the Girls :love:

ADguy 10-07-19 01:22 PM

Because I Love to Ride
 
I’ve always enjoyed riding my bikes, both as a kid and on into into adulthood. It probably stems from the freedom it allowed as a child and teenager, along with being outside, being able to see and take in so much of one’s surroundings at a slower pace, as well as the benefits of good exercise. I can recall several years of trail riding for hours on end with a friend who rode his horse instead of a bike. Lots of fun way before MTB’s existed. Life did get in the way for many years, but, once I returned to cycling the force was strong again.

Alzerbster 10-07-19 01:43 PM


Originally Posted by Henny (Post 21153762)
Great post! The funny thing is, I asked my friends if anyone wanted to do the Pine Creek trail this week....all my retired buddies are either “too old” or too lazy. Hahahahaha!

Henry, first off, thank you for your service as a police officer. I give you guys all the credit in the world for taking on that job.
Your story about lyme is so common. When I was 40 years old, I started having all these weird symptoms. Some of them were neurological symptoms. I started going to doctors to try and find out what was wrong with me. I even had one doctor tell me I maybe needed to see a psychiatrist. I went to an ear nose and throat specialist, had an upper and lower GI done, Had a stress test done, because along with everything else I was having what I thought were heart related problems.I knew there was something wrong with me, but doctors wouldn't listen nor did they think anything was wrong, because all their stupid tests didn't show there was anything wrong. So after seeing doctors for five months my father asked if any doctor suggested a lyme test. Of coarse none of the so called specialists even suggested lyme. So at the time my wife worked for a nurse practitioner, and I went to her, and told her I wanted tested for lyme. A week later my wife come home and said her employer said I had lyme , but didn't have it now. So I got a hold of the test and drove two hours to a lyme literate doctor here in Pa. He looked at the test for five seconds and said that I have lyme. It was such a relief to finally know what was wrong with me. So the year long antibiotic regimen started along with seven weeks of intravenous antibiotics. As you said you get worse at first then the healing starts. I went back a few times after that for a months worth or so of antibiotics, when my symptoms would come back. I do believe I still have what is referred to as chronic lyme. I still have some of the nagging symptoms as I had before, but that are not as bad, and they go away after a while. Anyway as you say exercise is a great aid in battling lyme. It keeps your immune system working better. Its funny, people that have lyme for any length of time generally become very well educated in the disease. I even had to educate my primary doctor on lyme disease, and he has been a doctor for maybe 30 plus years. 20 years ago, doctors in Pa. didn't even think there was lyme in Pa. Now they have become better educated on the symptoms that lyme can cause.
Henry, maybe the next time I go to the Pine Creek trail I'll shoot you a word and maybe I could meet you there. To me 13K is a heck of a lot of miles on a bike. Congrats! I hope one day I will be able to reach that many miles on a bike.
One way that I have found people to ride with is a meet up group. I have ridden with a couple different riding groups in my area, and the people I have met have been great people. there are a few organizers within the group, and they will post a ride. If you want to join them you post that you are going, and you meet them where the ride starts. Although many times they don't start their rides until around 10:00. Which don't always work for me. In the summer I like to start riding by 7:30 or 8:00. When I tell some of my friends that I rode 30 miles or so on a rail trail they look at me in disbelief. so likewise many of my friends don't ride. Its one reason I joined a group that does.

Sportdog 10-07-19 01:50 PM

Because I Can!!!
 
In my younger days I was a hard core runner, then took up cycling. As I aged my running pretty much finished up my legs but at 69 years young I can still ride. Not like I used to but my wife, age 68, who has been a life long athlete, coach, and trainer, challenges me to get out and ride. I cannot drop her, which frustrates me but keeps me motivated. We have great places to ride here and no real winter so I can do it year round. The MUT trails are scenic and except during the heavy tourist season aren't to heavily used. Then I rely on the indoor trainer. Scheduled for hip replacement in mid-November so hopefully I have a quick recovery. Got my fingers crossed!!!

thepartsguy 10-07-19 06:12 PM

keep on riding
 

Originally Posted by Sportdog (Post 21153864)
In my younger days I was a hard core runner, then took up cycling. As I aged my running pretty much finished up my legs but at 69 years young I can still ride. Not like I used to but my wife, age 68, who has been a life long athlete, coach, and trainer, challenges me to get out and ride. I cannot drop her, which frustrates me but keeps me motivated. We have great places to ride here and no real winter so I can do it year round. The MUT trails are scenic and except during the heavy tourist season aren't to heavily used. Then I rely on the indoor trainer. Scheduled for hip replacement in mid-November so hopefully I have a quick recovery. Got my fingers crossed!!!

Hope you have a rapid recovery. My dentist used to race and wore out a hip due to training, skiing and genetics. He took about half year to get back at it. He rides from 5-20 miles almost everyday now. Its been over 10 yrs since his surgery and he has done great. You''ll do good.

thepartsguy 10-07-19 06:16 PM

You're doing great. Anything to further your health and lengthen your life is an accomplishment.

DeadGrandpa 10-07-19 06:31 PM

I ride my bike because it helps everything make more sense to me.

PaulH 10-07-19 06:35 PM

Gets me to work and back

Sportdog 10-07-19 09:44 PM


Originally Posted by thepartsguy (Post 21154256)
Hope you have a rapid recovery. My dentist used to race and wore out a hip due to training, skiing and genetics. He took about half year to get back at it. He rides from 5-20 miles almost everyday now. Its been over 10 yrs since his surgery and he has done great. You''ll do good.

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Much appreciated!!!

HTupolev 10-07-19 11:46 PM


Originally Posted by BicycleThesis (Post 21148598)
Why do you ride?

Because the world is out there.

https://i.imgur.com/0F4fMfh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Vvh2frj.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/cDpd5Ku.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/rG8lTie.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5CcZtDI.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/FXfz1wg.jpg

And to feel alive.
A lively, well-fit bike disappears beneath you. You feel the ground through it. It's like an extension of the body, which allows performance under your own power in huge excess of what you can achieve without it. It fans the fire inside.

bicyclridr4life 10-08-19 01:59 AM

Why do I ride?
It's faster than walking, and I can't walk so good or far no more. However, I can still pedal.
I may not be fast, but I get where I'm going ... eventually ... :)

Lenton58 10-08-19 03:15 AM


Originally Posted by Henny (Post 21153759)
I know 13k isn’t much for a bicyclist, but I’m not a bicyclist. : lol: I’m just a dude that shoots a lot and rides bike because TBDs destroyed my knees.

Yours is one of the most affective stories I have ever read about cycling. It's obvious that you have a lot physical courage and tough mental fortitude (what's the difference? :))) You say one thing — I say the other: I think you are the quintessential sort of cyclist — and I have some very specific reasons for saying this. Anyone who is wondering about this, please read about the struggles of the earliest bicycle racers.

Best regards, and I hope some of the new knee braces can keep your riding more comfortable.

Jim from Boston 10-08-19 03:28 AM

Why do you ride?

Many dittoes to all the posts above.

Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa (Post 21154279)
I ride my bike because it helps everything make more sense to me.

FWIW, I have posted a few times about my "existential" reason to ride:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 17841762)
Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?”

Actually, in one of my most serious contemplations of mortality, the Road served as a relief:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 17398049)
My magic moment when I realized what makes cycling fun (important) to me was at a lunch with two doctors about 20 years ago. We got to talking about the vicissitudes of life, like sudden death, or trivial symptoms as harbingers of a serious disease. We eventually came around to that old chestnut to live life to the fullest everyday.

As we were leaving, the surgeon, a marathon runner, said, “Well, any day with a run in it is a good day for me.” I was already an avid cyclist and cycle commuter, and that clicked with me, any day with a ride in it is a good day for me.



Lemond1985 10-08-19 05:59 AM

I have to ride, as a form of stress relief from my job. I don't know how people who don't have this outlet, cope with the aftermath of stressful situations where the body is brimming with excess adrenaline, frustration / pent-up energy / rage. I have to assume they simply let these stress hormones accumulate, and adjust. That can't possibly be healthy. My levels are too high to ever adjust to them without intense exercise every day or two, so I guess I'm lucky in that respect.

A good hard ride tosses all the accumulated stress hormones into a furnace, where they are thoroughly incinerated, and rendered completely harmless. In fact, these hormones make great fuel for the kind of short intense efforts I'm suited for.

Afterwards, it's like the whole "bad situation" never happened, and I'm rested and ready for the next (invariably) unpleasant human encounter.

Henny 10-08-19 06:07 AM


Originally Posted by Lenton58 (Post 21154639)
Yours is one of the most affective stories I have ever read about cycling. It's obvious that you have a lot physical courage and tough mental fortitude (what's the difference? :))) You say one thing — I say the other: I think you are the quintessential sort of cyclist — and I have some very specific reasons for saying this. Anyone who is wondering about this, please read about the struggles of the earliest bicycle racers.

Best regards, and I hope some of the new knee braces can keep your riding more comfortable.


Thank you, that’s very kind of you!

The only time I have problems with my knees is when I do high impact stuff. It still doesn’t stop me from going on a run every few months, just to see if I was “ miracled “ some knees. It hasn’t happened yet! :roflmao2:

To put into perspective how damaged my body is from TBDs, I’m close to 2” shorter than I was in 2010.

It’s all good though, I feel great!

FLYBYU 10-08-19 06:25 AM

I like bikes, I like to look at them, tinker with them, and occasionally ride them. I love how tiny adjustments can make such a difference in how a bike rides. I could spend thousands of dollars on a car and not notice any difference in how it drives, but a tiny tweak of a cable or different wheels and you can feel the difference on a bike.

Also I ride to deal with my mental health, keeps me upbeat and a makes me a better person for my wife and kids. Plus it is good physical activity, but that is a distant third reason, more of a happy accident.

Cutsit 10-08-19 06:36 PM

I started riding again a year ago because the treadmill was boring and I needed the exercise. Once I started riding again, it brought back the memories of my youth. My bike was my transportation and freedom. I rode every day to school and for my job delivering the local newspaper.

Once I turned 16, I started driving and the bike got put away (American Arrow made in Belgium). I taught each of my kids to ride, but none have kept with it. Now when I ride it brings back memories of the past.

There is a group in my small town that gets together once a week for a fun, one hour ride.

Long story short, exercise, fun and comraderie.

Gresp15C 10-08-19 06:39 PM

I ride for the smugness.

Sportdog 10-09-19 07:25 AM


Originally Posted by Henny (Post 21154747)
Thank you, that’s very kind of you!

The only time I have problems with my knees is when I do high impact stuff. It still doesn’t stop me from going on a run every few months, just to see if I was “ miracled “ some knees. It hasn’t happened yet! :roflmao2:

To put into perspective how damaged my body is from TBDs, I’m close to 2” shorter than I was in 2010.

It’s all good though, I feel great!

may I ask what is TBD?

Henny 10-09-19 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by Sportdog (Post 21156301)
may I ask what is TBD?

Tick Borne Disease.

Kitsap 10-09-19 10:23 PM

Why do I ride:
 
At first I rode for the same reasons everybody else does - it’s a great way to get around..... but now I have Parkinson’s (the same as Michael J Fox and Davis Phinney) I’ll get out and ride just to stay in shape...

MikeyMK 10-10-19 01:48 AM

Getting to work, shopping, taking the kid to school (or anywhere else for that matter, inc swimming and parks), visiting people, delivering stuff, various reasons really.


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