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.