Monday, March 05, 2007

Lessons Learned Whilst Cycling

Since we had such a great day on Saturday with Robb's new recumbent trike, we went out cycling again on Sunday. We also checked up on a few of Robb's letterboxes, along the Bay Trail. Amazingly, Robb wasn't any more stiff or immobile than he usually is after our first outing.

Here is what we learned:

Cycling is easier than walking, for Robb. On Sunday, we rode (with quite a few stops, for birdwatching, chatting with people who wanted to know about the trike, adjusting foot straps, and powdering our noses) for over three hours. Robb cannot walk that much in an entire day. Why is this activity more successful than walking? We theorized that perhaps because Robb doesn't have to exert muscular strength in balancing or supporting the weight of his own body, he is able to use his muscles for a longer period of time. Really, we have no idea. But we're delighted by this. For the first time in thirteen months, Robb was able to work up a sweat, doing some kind of aerobic activity. When Robb is walking, he just can't manage enough speed of distance to get the heart rate moving.

Letterboxing is a great activity for Robb. It is very goal oriented, and has built-in rest-breaks. We surely would not have ridden as far as we did on Sunday, had we not wanted to check on all of Robb's boxes.

The trike is a major conversation-starter. We heard any number of little kids exclaim over the "cool bike!" The first people we saw on the trail were a group of women who were very curious about the trike, because one of their group was a competitive cyclist with arthritis and balance issues. She was hesitant to try the trike (probably because her friends were teasing her so hard about breaking ribs during training) but once she got on it, she was flying around the parking lot, and hollering "whoo hoo!" This machine has that curious effect on people.

Lisa is in horrible shape. Thirteen months of walking slowly have taken their toll. Oh well.... I suspect we're going to be doing a lot of cycling in the future!

What we're not sure about is how Robb is going to be feeling after all this exercise. Keep your fingers crossed that he isn't totally immobilized by this much cycling.

For those wondering, the birds pictured above are a Grebe (I'm not certain if this is a Western Grebe, or a Clark's Grebe), a male Cinnamon Teal, and a Long-Billed Curlew.


ArtGekko said...

Yay for the trike!!! I can only imagine how euphoric it must be for Robb to feel wind in his hair and bugs in his teeth again! ;)

I have to say I'm most envious of the cinnamon teal photo. My husband carves and paints duck decoys (he's done most of the North American drakes, but not that particular one). A beautiful duck, that one, but we don't get them here on the Mississippi flyway—just the blue- a nd green-winged teal.

Anonymous said...

Hey - Glad to hear you guys are getting out more and getting a good dose of fresh air and excercise.
Soon you can start racing people and making money on bets. I suspect Robb can scam a bunch of people, "So, hey, who will place bets on the guy with the back injury?" Then he can totally beat them on his bike. Maybe he can start racing the birds you guys see everywhere.

I saw this website today and thought of you guys and your new car. Once the new car smell (and shine) wear off, I found something you can exploit.
Look up

We are here for only a few more weeks till we move to PA.

Annalisa and Gary


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