I'VE BEEN OFF THE BLOGOSPHERE RADAR for quite awhile. (Google nearly forgot who I am.) The main reason: I had another back surgery in September, a rather unexpected one, and I’ve been recuperating ever since. Lame reason? Maybe. I guess I could have kept posting, but…
This was my second spinal surgery in two years, and that’s just a little too frequent! If you know me, you know that I lost an eye in 2007, and losing that eye required eight surgeries. I’m not whining, but all this medical stuff has conspired to keep me off my bike, albeit intermittently, for many many months. And it made me wonder: should I keep up my blog? Should I continue to ride my bike? I had to quit running in 2004, will I have to quit riding my bike now? And if I do, how will I diffuse my passion for cycling without going into a deep depression?
I have to agree with a wise man who once said: “Getting old ain’t for sissies.”
Part of my doubt and despair, was inspired by my surgeon who told me cycling was ruining my vertebrae. I didn’t believe him. We argued the matter. I have Degenerative Disc Disease, which is exclusive of riding a bike. I’ve had it for years. Riding my road bike actually relieved my pain within minutes. How could something that made me feel better be a bad thing? My argument made sense—to me. I did more research, and he apparently did too. The short story is, he changed his thinking on the matter—at least in my situation.
My physical therapist also agrees; riding the bike can be an excellent form of exercise for back patients when done sensibly. What does sensibly mean? For me, it means I’ll have to stay off Slick Rock Trail in Moab, and eliminate any crazy downhill or strenuous off-road riding. But I have been approved for the smooth, sensuous, mesmerizing call of the road.
I'm back... again
And so, I’m back on the bike. I’m struggling with some muscle pain, but I’m slowly working it out. I’m feeling better about myself, happier, more energetic, and I’m losing the weight that snuck back on during the past few months. Cycling is great for such stuff!
I’m also back writing the Cycling Nirvana blog. And I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Join me if you want to hear more about cycling, bikes, endurance, and safety from the perspective of an “older guy” with a bad back and a powerful passion. I'll do my best to keep up!