Archive for December, 2008

I’ve been on the bike the last three days for lunch rides and I plan on riding again today. I’ve been taking it pretty easy and plan on continuing to do so for a good long time. I was off the bike for four weeks (except for one ride last week) and I expect that I’m not going to be going fast till the spring. At lunch I’ve been climbing up to Skyline via Thompson, Laidlaw/Thompson, and Springville and completing a loop on the way down.

Going up is no biggie. Going down is another matter. I can see where I’m going just fine but as any cyclist knows, it’s nice to keep track of what’s about to go under your wheel via peripheral vision — and I’ve got a problem with that. Again, this isn’t too much of a problem on straight descents. But throw in some curves it gets a little more interesting. I can see what’s coming but then I have to adjust my course and trust that I’m tracking correctly. See that patch of gravel? Okay, I know it’s there and how to steer through it. Then it’s gone as far as I can see. If I don’t hear the crunch I know that I managed to hold my line. Who knows, this might actually improve my descending quite a bit since it forces me to look farther down the road and plan my path in advance.

The bottom line is that I’m happy to be back out on the bike.

Trivia: On Monday, I got caught at the light at Thompson and Saltzman and saw a cyclist up the road about to dissappear around the curve. Crap. A rabbit. It was really difficult not to work a little harder to catch up. Luckily, he stayed far enough ahead so that I couldn’t see him around the turns. I resisted the urge to go faster but still caught him a few curves from the top. I came up on him quietly since I didn’t want him to speed up. Just as I was abreast and starting to say hello, he let a snot rocket fly on the left. He was embarrased and I was gracious.

Yesterday, Martin Baker waved from his car at the corner of Evergreen and 194th as I was finishing my ride. Hi Martin!

I went for a ride today for the first time in three and a half weeks. I felt all wobbly at first but eventually wamed up to it. It sure was a great day for a ride — the only complaint was the gusty wind. For the record, I went from the vacinity of Cornell and 185th up to West Union to Laidlaw to Thompson and then back down. It was 15.1 miles at a pace of 15.1 mph. I took it easy.

My legs felt like I hadn’t been on the bike in weeks.

Oh, and I didn’t die.

It’s been three and a half weeks since the stroke. It stills seems ridiculous that I had a stroke while racing my bike. The effects have been solely with my vision. I have a hole in vision in the lower left quadrant that isn’t very big. The stoke also damaged the image processing part of my brain so I have some difficulty scanning. I can read just fine but if I am interrupted, I find it difficult to find my place again. Of course the scanning has ramifications far beyond reading too.

In the past three and a half weeks, my vision has improved. I think that the scanning has gotten a lot better and I’m more limited by my blind spot. I’ve noticed that when people talk, most gesture with their right hand and I usually can’t see any of it. It’s also disconcerting to be talking to someone in close proximity and not being able to see much of their mouth while focusing on their eyes. I’ve found myself looking at mouths more now.

I haven’t been on the bike yet. That’s not exactly true. My son rode around the yard a couple of weeks ago on his Skuut and I rode with him on my still dirty from the stroke race cross bike. I haven’t been out on the road yet. Today I walked over to the REI at lunch and picked up some new leg warmers — I lost one of mine at the stroke race — so now I don’t have an excuse. I certainly need to do something because I’m gaining weight.

The thing that’s been the hardest has been how tired I am. I’m not physically tired but by the end of the day, I’m mentally drained. I hear that that’s pretty common with people with brain injuries. Getting anything more that the minimum done is a challenge.

Still, things have improved and I should continue to get better.