on the road again – almost

Apr 14, 2013

Last week I went to get my hip and pelvis put back together and while I was there I asked my chiropractor about riding my recumbent bike. For many weeks now I have felt that riding my bike is my next step. I feel strongly that I need to ride my bike, but when I read physical therapy guidelines for labral tears, I get scared because they all say no way due to the stress recumbent bikes put on hip flexors. They strongly recommend upright bikes which are not an option for me because of the pelvic damage I have from the car accident/Fisher’s birth eight years ago. So, what is a girl to do who needs to build her leg muscles (really, all of her muscles)? She needs to pray and research and ask questions and find her own path. So I have been studying and thinking and pondering and asking. I am determined NOT to do something stupid and reinjure my hip, but the reality is I must find a way to build muscle because the muscles throughout my body need to be strong enough to compensate for my super-stretchy connective tissue caused by the Ehlers-Danlos. Not doing anything could very well be worse than doing something. My dislocations are becoming more frequent and more severe. On Friday my shoulder dislocated worse than it has in years and rendered my arm useless for hours. My jaw has started dislocating and causing me some pain. My hip is dislocating more and more frequently and is quite unstable. If I get bumped or get off-balance to a very small degree I will crash to the floor. My formerly very strong muscles have deteriorated significantly over the past 14 months of injury, bed rest, and inactivity. So, I am searching for answers. Searching for things I can do and WILL do on a daily basis to grow me some muscles.

Dr. Orchard and my dear, sweet husband both feel like I should ride my bike. They want me to take it slowly, ride with no degree of resistace at all – so no hills of any size, no riding into the wind, and no difficult gears, be diligent in my observance of my hip, take all my herbs and supplements, and do my comfrey/slippery elm/turmeric/plantain poultice daily.

I was so excited when he evaluated the tear and said he thinks it is ready for a super mild ride. I nearly screamed, but was able to contain myself to giant grin. I immediately called my mother full of excitement and she, understandably so, was quite concerned. She doesn’t want me to reinjure myself. She doesn’t want me to crash (which I have been known to do on my super-skinny tires) or get off-balance or get hit by a car or anything else that could possibly happen to hurt her little girl. She recommended a trainer that I could set up in my house far away from cars, slippery gravel, and would eliminate any possibility of crashing. I wailed and resisted and said, “NO WAY! I want to be on the road again. I want to feel the sun on my face and ride for miles and miles through the country.” She persisted in presenting the logic of her plan and I promised her I would think about it.

Well, I shared her idea with Richard and he thought it was a fabulous idea. I listened and fumed and eventually my resistance wore down. They are right. A trainer makes much more sense for right now because I won’t crash. I won’t have to figure out a way to avoid the Idaho wind. Most importantly, I can do it every day in my home without any worries of weather or cold. I SO want to be outside, but I have decided it is wise to start inside on a trainer.

So, I started researching trainers and went to our bike shop and talked to them. After hearing my story, they let me borrow a trainer for the weekend so we could figure out if my body will even let me get on the bike or pedal for any length of time at all. Isn’t that lovely!

Richard got it all set up for me and today was my first ride! My children pretty much freaked out. Annesley said “Mom! You are really going to sit on your bike? Can you DO that?”

After getting situated and figuring out a position that would work, Richard worked on my gears to make it as easy as possible. And then I pedaled. Me! I did it. I rode my bike for the first time in a lllloooonnnngggg time. I made myself stop after ten minutes of pedaling in a super easy gear with no resistance and hardly any effort required. We simply tested out the motion and its effect on my hip.

Amazingly enough I had no pain! And now, hours later, I am still pain free. I can’t wait to get on again tomorrow and then the trainer has to go back to the bike shop.

So, now I am searching for a used Kinectic Fluid Trainer (the fluid ones are the most expensive, but they also are the most stable, last indefinitely, respond to your bodies input, have a much greater degree of resistance options from hardly any to quite difficult, and are the quietest) and thinking up things I can sell to fund this purchase. Even if I can eventually get on the road again there are many days that the weather is not conducive to riding and I will still need to be able to work those muscles and make them grow into super-strong-compensating-workhorses, so a trainer is a great long-term item for my health.

This is so huge to me. I am so grateful to be at this point in my recovery to be able to even sit on my bike and pedal. I want to shout “Hallelujah!”

Related Posts


  1. Tasha L.


  2. Anne

    Remember, you can always park your ‘im-mobile’ bike out in your yard or the driveway to get some sun and wind . . . but you’ll be all safe and sound from crazy distracted drivers who would almost surely run over you!