I just finished by far the longest bike ride I've taken since I moved to the top of a steep hill in Watertown and quit biking to work in 2001. Not much of a ride, really — just out to Spy Pond and back; roughly equivalent to my commute when I used to ride to work. But given it's only the fourth time I've been on my bike at all since the stroke, and the first time I've gone more than a half-mile, I'm feeling pretty good about it.
Things I discovered, in no particular order:
- I'm not actually sure the stroke has affected my balance; it may have just left me more concerned about my balance.
- Being concerned about my balance makes me try to get off to a quick start.
- If you're clumsy, trying to get off to a quick start with your left foot in the clip and
your right foot down can result in whacking yourself in the back of your
right calf with a rat-trap.
- If you're clumsy and on blood thinners, this can make quite a mess.
- I should add a first aid kit to my bike bag.
- Massachusetts Bicyclists can be nearly as annoying as Massachusetts drivers.
- Riding a bicycle really is a skill you never forget.
- Getting your foot firmly seated in the clip while you're in motion is not.
- After 45 minutes of unfamiliar exercise, a half-hour of people-watching in Davis is a good cool-down.
- A ham & cheddar & sliced-apple crepe is an especially yummy post-workout meal.
I'm having my first physical with my new doctor on Tuesday, which coincidentally is the second anniversary of my stroke. I'll be posting a general health update afterward. I don't want to jinx it, but I'm expecting my cleanest bill of health in years.
Last year, I celebrated not being dead yet on the anniversary of my stroke. This year, I think I'll celebrate on the anniversary of getting out of the hospital. Please pencil in Saturday, Aug. 25th for a get-together at my place. Details to follow.