If you read this or have happened upon it, you may note I spend a lot of time talking about my biking. For a guy recovering from a stroke it may seem strange when there are so many other topics like heart health or brain traumas. But the bike has become both a physical and mental challenge. I have had a bike most of my life with a couple of exceptions, notably when my children were young.
I bought my latest bike the year before the stroke. I put on quite a few miles despite smoking and drinking quite a bit. I upset Maria a little, disappearing weekend mornings with no intention of riding far, but finding myself just going and not wanting to come back. It wasn't that I didn't want to come back, it just felt good and I would lose track of time and then find myself miles from home.
A cycling blog I read from time to time is Fat Cyclist. Fatty recently described riding a road bike as the closest thing to flying you can do on the ground. Okay, I am taking that out of context a little since he was also saying how sick of wearing tights he was, but the idea was there. While my bike is a cross of road bike and hybrid, I agree with him. It just feels good.
Another blog, BikesnobNYC, answered a reader's comment asking him to endorse bike commuting as green. The Snob (I can now say Eben), retorted that it had nothing to do with green, he enjoyed riding a bike. There is something stimulating about being on a bike and riding on the road makes it better. I have no desire to do battle with a garbage truck, tractor trailer or SUV, but want them to realize I have a place there too.
Since the stroke I have felt particularly fatigued, and while walking has helped there doesn't seem to be any cumulative gain. I could walk a mile or two then comfortably and while I may be able to walk further now I don't. Adding mileage, speed and hills seem to be making me stronger. At least they make me more tired, but in a good way. I have mentioned the trouble with curbs and canals on my right side and balance issues. I can feel these start to improve. It is starting to feel like flying again.
Maria talks about her daughter feeling the need to go faster higher on horses and now skis. I caught the same bug years ago. Life has tempered it a little but it never goes away. When I get comfortable on a bike it does it for me. I am getting there. I just wish it could help me talk better and work. Maybe someday it will.