Friday, April 20, 2007

Riding the Red Rocket

Yesterday marked the maiden mountain bike voyage on my new bionic leg. It was also the first time I had ridden my new bike. I was embarrassed to have this amazing beauty between my legs and not knowing how to ride it properly (bad flashbacks to first high school girlfriend…more things to discuss with my therapist). When I used to race cars I would often snicker at some of the So Cal racers that had the nicest, newest race cars, but couldn’t drive to save their butt. It was almost a gimme when you lined up against them. I am now one of those blokes, sitting other side of the fence while real mountain bikers snicker at me. My bike is cherry, an amazing piece of technology that should be ridden by top level athletes. Instead she is stuck with me…for better or worse, however she doesn’t have the opportunity to leave. It’s like owning a Ferrari, but only capable of driving a Yugo. I have yet to name my new bike as I am waiting to see what kind of attitude she brings to my rides. Sassy? Courageous? Fierce? Fast? Is she more like a cheetah, a gazelle or a race horse? Time will tell and I will keep everyone informed on my new baby’s name.

Back to the ride…it was a gorgeous night and 8+ friends showed up to christen my new leg. I decided to stick to fire roads and avoid any single track to lessen the chances of falling over or stopping immediately. We decided to ride up to Poo Poo point as the sunset would be amazing. Amazingly I felt pretty good on the ride. The gradual climbs felt fine, but I was definitely suffering as the gradient steepened. I’m pretty sure I deposited one of my lungs on the trail. I was even more surprised that the fast descents didn’t bother me. I was very comfortable at the high speeds and maneuvering my bike. The view at Poo Poo was beautiful. It took me 54 minutes to get to Poo Poo, which is about 8-9 minutes slower than when I am healthy. Hopefully I can start shedding that time down soon. The ride back to the parking lot was a bit more difficult as my leg was weakening, but all-in-all it was a good ride with great friends.

Until next time…keep the rubber side down.

The beautiful view from Poo Poo Point (check out hang glider on the right)

My new baby and I on our first outing

Roger and I enjoying the view

Friday, April 13, 2007

What was I thinking?!?!

Lake Washington in April is a toasty 49 degrees...perfect tempature for a lake swim. Not so much! Unfortunately wiser minds did not prevail and several of us decided it was the perfect time for a open water swim. After the initial shock of the cold and all blood in my body quickly racing towards the vital organs that felt like shutting down, the water didn't feel all that bad, albiet my face and other vital parts of my body were numb. I was extremely grateful that one of the other swimmers brought extra pair of gloves and booties. If not, it would have been much uglier.

Wheels on the bike go round and round...part duex

I felt freedom for the first time (again) last weekend when I took my first "true" bike ride without training wheels (trainer) since my accident. The ride was relatively short from previous rides "pre-accident", but it didn't matter as just the ability to ride felt great. I have since been on several additional road rides and each one is progressively better in intensity, duration and pleasure. Wait, what am I talking about??

On the road again...keeping the rubber side down!