12/12/11 Conclusive Evidence

A quick break on some sandy terrain

Those who follow this blog know I spend a lot of time on the trails riding my KTM, and this weekend was no different.  Saturday I rode with Kathy and Jake on their quads, and Sunday I was out with my friend on his Yamaha.  I wasn't really too in tune with how much I've improved on the bike until Sunday when we rode some 65 miles on a wide range of terrain types.  At about 50 miles into the ride, my legs were just exhausted.  Gone.  Done.  For the last 15 miles, the ride was significanty more difficult and I became a spectator on my bike.  Let me explain.

When I first got the bike last year, my legs were weak but improving after my first CCSVI.  I was also brand new to riding, and obviously not very good at it.  Accordingly, I didn't have a very good gauge on my progress either as a rider, or more importantly, on my disease.  Then my left jugular began to clot and I went into the hospital in February, coming out after 10 days and on Coumadin (off that stuff now).  My legs were ridiculously weak by then, but I wanted to ride to get out and enjoy.  I fell off so often it was not funny, except it really actually was funny - at least to everyone else.  Most people think of falling off a motorcycle as quite an injury threat, but most of my falls were more like no-leg tipovers when I lost momentum and couldn't get a leg out to save myself.  All my riding buddies talk about how slow motion and animated my falls are as they laugh at me.

Over the past couple of months, my riding has really improved.  I'm not afraid of the sand anymore, my cornering has improved immensely, especially in the soft stuff, and I seem to just charge up most of the hills without too much trouble.  That is, until mile 50 yesterday.  After some amazing scenery and terrain of every imagine, we hit the whoop section (skiers would call these moguls).  I tried to work my way through them as I had the rest of the day, but that was it for standing up on the pegs.  As I said above, the legs were gone.  I had to sit down for most of the rest of the ride, and suddenly I was like a spectator on the back of a hay wagon.  I suddenyl started falling in the ruts more and slogging through the sand like I was back earlier in the year.  And suddenly it was clear to me.  I have improved as a rider, and more importantly, my legs are stronger.

One of the reasons I love the bike so much as a form of exercise is because for the most part my feet stay on the footpegs in one place.  The rubber on the bottom of the boots stick onto the serrated pegs, and all my adduction and abduction issues subside, leaving me with overall leg strength to manage.  Sunday became 100% clear that my legs are so much stronger and I'm a better rider to prove it because my legs are helping with turns, bumps, whoops, weight shift, and all of the other things legs do on a bike.  The first 50 miles I had strength, and the last 15 I didn't.  It was conclusive, obvious, powerful, and quite exhilarating. 

We got back to the truck and my riding buddy had to peel me off my bike and I had to sit down for a good half hour before I could even stand up.  We then loaded up and headed home, and I felt empowered that another little step in my recovery seemed at hand. 

No comments: