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Old 01-17-12, 12:21 AM
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New here, looking for help!

Hey everyone!

I'm Sean, and I have quite the long story behind me. I was injured saving a police officers life after he was shot. The result was back surgery to L5/S1. I recovered rather well and even completed my first and only race less than 6 months later. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances with my back and the previous surgery, I am due for a fusion at L5/S1.

I've lost over 85lbs and would like to keep it off! Running is a passion of mine, but I was told I am not going to be able to run after my surgery, so I'd like to get into biking and swimming. I really don't know where to start when it comes to biking so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! My goals for biking are short term: weight management while recovering. Long term: Exercise and some spirited biking with friends.

I'd like to start with a stationary bike for my house so I could keep up with my exercise (as well as encourage my family to get in shape!) pre and post op. Again, I don't know where to start with bikes at all. My first step is to head to local exercise shops and test bikes out for low back comfort over long periods of time.

Does anyone out there have any experience or insight that would help me narrow down my search?

Sorry, I know I typed a lot and very vaguely (feel free to ask anything), but no one likes a walloftext! lol I'm excited to get into a new lifestyle and look forward to chatting with everyone!
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Old 01-17-12, 12:52 AM
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Welcome aboard!

You have a lot of bikes to choose from,
road,hybrid,cross,etc. - carbon fiber,steel,aluminum,etc.

Your budget will narrow down your choices a bit.
Try borrowing or renting a few bikes to get a better
handle on which bikes feel good for you. Good luck.
One day:
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Old 01-17-12, 12:55 AM
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I can't address your issues specifically, but I'm working on rehab myself--I have myasthenia gravis and went into crisis last summer, spending three months in the hospital. Before I collapsed, I could do curls with a 75-pound barbell and ride 50 miles in a litle over three hours. At my weakest, in October, I couldn't turn over in bed, let alone walk, and struggled to curl a 2-pound dumbbell. I'm still not riding, but I will be in a few weeks, and I'll probably use a cane most of the time, though I can get around without one.
If your insurance will cover professional physical therapy, use it! I can't emphasize enough the value of a pro. I've been an athlete all my adult life and know a fair amount about conditioning, and I learned a lot from them.
Like you, I was once a runner, doing up to 80 miles a week. I switched to cycling in my 40s, about 20 years ago, and it's much easier on the body. I think your plan for the stationary bike is sound if your back will take it (there are recumbents, of course). I've been riding one for three or four weeks, gradually increasing my time and resistance, and I'm making progress. You might even consider a recumbent for your main ride--they're a lot of fun and tend to cause fewer injuries than conventional bikes. I've been looking at them, too, but have to get out from under my med bills first. You also can set up a conventional bike to make it easier on your back.
I'd suggest telling the bike shop guys about your condition to see what they recommend. If the 19-year-old racerboy employee tells you you'll get used to it, go elsewhere. You need to adjust the bike to fit your body, not the other way around.
Above all, don't get discouraged. I'm not kidding--three months ago, I couldn't take a leak without two nurses to help me to the bathroom, and I didn't know if I'd ever walk again. I'm 75 percent back and improving every day.

Last edited by Velo Dog; 01-17-12 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 01-18-12, 10:42 AM
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Another option to buying a stationary bike would be to go ahead and purchase a bike and use a stationary trainer set-up in your home. Then when you are ready to take it on the road just take it off the trainer and ride.

Just a suggestion.
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