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MSers in Training 2018

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  • #46
    Bad Tunafish

    Hey Dave, you sure are right about the heat! We had about ten days of major heat on here, like mid nineties every day. Even getting out early was marginally effective because you couldn't get very far before it heated up. I did one ride with the MS team on a day the heat hit 95. Ended up cutting the ride short and still was getting worried about making it back to the start even though it was downhill!

    Veronica, well of course you've figured out a way to stay in the saddle and get faster! I constantly marvel at your resourcefulness and your persistence! I wish we lived closer together, I'd have gone in on that e-wheel with you, if I could borrow it once in a while, like for this coming weekend.

    Father's day last Sunday reminded me of something the father of a good friend of mine used to say. The man was a respected brain surgeon who, when asked about his philosophy of life, was fond of responding: "Life is like a can of tunafish, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not so good."

    I can relate to that as I seem to have gotten into some bad tunafish lately. I had scheduled my Rituxan infusion for the beginning of June but about a month before that I started feeling pretty MSy. In hind sight I think I was experiencing a small flair or at least a little progression. It was my own damn fault, I tried to stretch the time between infusions out too long. At any rate, I got the infusion a little over two weeks ago, felt like crap the day of but went for a ride the day after.

    The ride the day after the infusion went about as expected, I was off my game by 10% to 15% but happy that it wasn't any worse than that. I knew there would be a period of "Rituxan Hangover", a small price to pay for controlling the MS progression, and this one lasted about two weeks. It was also about two weeks before the Rituxan noticeably impacted the MS progression I'd been experiencing. I am happy to report now though, both the progression and the hangover are nearly gone.

    However, one caveat to the tuna fish philosophy of life might be that cans of bad tuna fish come in packs of three. During the two recovery weeks my wife found a leak in our sprinkler system. There are a lot of things I don't do myself anymore because of age and MS but repairing the sprinkler system isn't one of them. So I found the leak, about two feet of split pipe, dug it up and repaired it. It took me three days because there were only a couple of hours in the morning which were cool enough to work in. Remember, we were in the middle of a significant heat wave and I was still feeling a little MSy as well as suffering from a Rituxan hangover.

    I'd been having some minor back issues before the sprinkler pipe repair but after the sprinkler pipe, the back issues became major, making their presence known after the climbing ride on the particularly hot day that I mentioned to Dave above. And one more thing, the Colorado MS 150 is this coming weekend and there are a number of people planning to ride with me!

    So, there you have it, quite a bit of bad tuna fish. I find I am able to ride the bike, I just can't push too hard. Starts and stops are a little dicey but doable if managed carefully. But, I can't stand on the pedals at all and riding in the drops is questionable.

    Plans are made, hotels are paid for so I'm going to try to do the ride. If worse comes to worse, I'll sag, I'll even get a phone number to call if I get stuck somewhere. I think I can do it but, maybe just this one time, it sure would be nice to have an e-wheel!

    Keep the rubber side down,



    • #47
      Hello Veronica, I am so glad you are enjoying your E bike! Bonne route.
      Larry, it is because the difficulty to start and stop that I switch to a trike, I could not click and unclick, or only on a flat or slop down terrain. I hope you get back your Superman power soon.
      I am riding couple days a week for couple hours just for the fan.
      Best to every one.


      • #48
        Trike vs. Bike

        I made the switch to a recumbent trike for the same reasons. I find the trike to be much more relaxing since I don’t have to worry about falling. The trike is much slower than my two wheeled bikes but is much more comfortable which means I can put in more miles. I’m a little perplexed that I’m not seeing increases in my speed on the trike. I keep good records of my weight training and my legs are certainly stronger than when I got the trike 3 years ago. My body weight is down and my trike miles are way up but minimal gains in speed. Also, I started Ampyra about a year ago and my legs seem to be less stiff. But the bottom line is I’m still riding and enjoying it more so... Anyway, Larry give it your best. If you make it great, if you don’t, please remember you took on a challenge few would even attempt. Keep up the good work everyone. It seems like every day I read an article about the value of exercise for us.


        • #49
          Larry, you are probably well on your way for your weekend MS150. But wanted to wish you well.. you will of course do the very best you can, as you always do, so what else is there? Sharing the e-wheel would be difficult as I would be hogging it! And I think you would too if you tried it! Wanna share an iSkiBike?? Probably same issue....

          Grady, I had the same issue with not understanding why I couldn’t increase my mph even a little. On the bike, it just took my getting in the riding, but not so with the trike. But I’m happy now. Having ridden bikes for decades and decades, I just am happiest moving at a certain rate. I couldn’t attain that on my own and it was frustrating. The e-assist gives me that feeling back now. I am now averaging about 10 mph... no speed demon here, but very satisfied.And to be able to ride with my biking friends means so much to me. I am glad we have found a way to keep our love of cycling going. And Alain, thanks for the good wishes! To you too!
          Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


          • #50
            Yay! I finished the "Pain in the Assiniboine" adventure race here in Winnipeg - 32km bike on mix of road and trails, then a 32km kayak back to the start on the Assiniboine River. I felt pretty sluggish on the bike, didn't have power to chase down other riders, so just kept an eye on the heart rate and stayed within my range, but then felt strong on the kayak portion and picked up a bunch of time, passed 10 other entries, and went up 2 placings in my category. Total of 5hrs 20mins on the course, very middle of the pack, good enough for 4th out of 8 in the womens solo kayak group. I was dead on my feet after, but oh so happy.
            Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


            • #51
              Congrats on the Assiniboine CL3, well done, longer race than I thought it might be!

              Wish I could say I did as well. Unfortunately I didn't ride at all in the MS 150 this year, my back got worse, the more I tried to do and the more I tried to loosen it up, the worse it got until finally I couldn't really ride at all. I did go up and help set up the team tent and do what I could - until beer thirty, then I helped drink Left Hands beer and listen to everyone's account of the ride. By all accounts it was a very successful ride!

              Saw my doc yesterday, it's probably just some strained ligaments in my low back. Ten days or so off the bike and taking it easy and he thinks all should end well, so I got a couple of books to while away the time. Afraid this doesn't bode well for the Triple Bypass

              Next time,


              • #52
                That is one heck if an accomplishment Cl3me! Congratulations!! You must be on one incredible high... may you ride on its crest for as long as possible! I can feel your smile from here!

                And Mr. Charlie the Tuna: Arghhh. Timing really stunk here, didn’t it? Rotten luck that the back flared up now, but I was glad to read that it is a mundane thing and not something more dramatic. I hear your concern about the Triple Bypass. Guess you just have to wait it out and see where you are physically once you can ride again. Sending those good vibes to you Larry!
                Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                • #53
                  I've been following everyone and dang it gets me excited. Alain, Grady, Veronica, CL3, Larry, the works. Despite the temps, I've managed to get in a number of rides. But I pulled a Dave (er, a Larry?) the other day and tossed me back out putting on some underwear. Was going to ride and "stretch it out" and then a voice in my head said, Dude, remember Larry. So I'm staring out the window at a cloudy, coolish day and getting grouchier. But probably not as grouchy as others who are in recovery mode after injury or flare.

                  The back pain is down today and I hope I'll be back in the saddle/easy chair soon.
                  Dave Bexfield


                  • #54
                    Hi all: Dave...hope the back stays calmed down! Your honesty over “how” is admirable. I would have made up some good story, I think!

                    Now, I wanted to give you all an Update on Going Electric.

                    I am so pumped for what this means for my riding season…. I needed a few rides to really get the feel of how to best use this. As I think I wrote before, at first I was trying to NOT use a higher level of assist, ( pure stubbornness) and it caused me to start slowing down terribly again, and I felt the tremendous strain I was putting on my poor legs..and felt the muscle fatigue setting in.

                    So during one of these shakedown rides, I just told myself to use it all as I needed, and to even add the turbo pulse when the motor wasn’t kicking on fast enough or long enough for me.

                    This may sound dramatic… well, it WAS dramatic,..but I had a Lightbulb Over Head moment of a muscle memory on how my legs should feel when I am working at top capacity…TOP capacity, not OVER the top capacity as I now see I was riding the entire time on the trike without the motor. So I just used that as my guide…and since then the rides have been challenging within my capabilities, and pure joy.

                    Alain, you wrote how you worked with the guys installing your Bionex to adjust the computer to respond to the needs of your weaker leg…that was exactly what I wasn’t doing at first…the Falco doesn’t have that computer component, so my answer has been to occasionally pulse the throttle as I pedal if I feel that I am overstressing the right leg when the automatic assist doesn’t kick in when I feel I need it, or doesn’t stay assisting as long as I need it. It works beautifully.

                    I went out Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Our very nasty Heat/Humidity just broke and it was ideal conditions to ride…mornings barely in the 60’s and rising to only 79 with a dew point well below 40, and very low humidity.

                    First day I branched out from the totally back roads I had been riding on since I got the assist, and ventured on a circular route that I knew, but never rode alone, and never at a speed out of the single digits…and I don’t mean the high singles…

                    I found myself saying out loud a few times “ This is fun…” , stopped often to take pics and just sit there and grin. And found myself wanting to take certain rolling hills…again, a memory of the past when I would seek out hills to climb… I missed my turnoff that I wanted to take and ended on a beautiful, but quite hilly section of road and just took it for a mile or so until I figured I’d turn around, go back over those hills and find the turnoff I wanted. Again, stuff I used to do gleefully… Such a feeling of freedom from this awful disease.

                    I finished Day One with 14.7 miles at an average speed of 11.2 mph. During the ride I was focusing on how the ride felt, rather than trying to get to a certain mph…(actually didn’t look at the odometer when I was riding). And it is funny that 11mph average was always my number when just riding contently. Man this felt good!

                    Second day I just felt like riding again, and took the same route but added about two miles..took that mistake road of the day before , just a little farther down, and explored one side road early in the ride. Again, such a treat for me to have no worries of being so physically stressed out. And just moving at a rate that delights me.

                    On some hills I pushed myself by NOT adding a little throttle to see how I could adjust to the on/off of the auto assist. This is, I think, a good way for me to challenge my legs sanely. Evidence today was that my right quad is feeling it.

                    Added benefit: (As if all of the above wasn’t enough!!) I wasn’t totaled after the rides…I still had energy and my walking recovered quicker as I didn’t over tax my legs riding. NO knee caving in and NO calf hitting the chain protector. First evening I was strong enough and energetic enough to go out to a local concert and dinner, and the walking to/from restaurant and theater was no worse for the wear. Again, fatigue level as it was before MS. Pretty much...

                    My goal now is to just keep adding miles and elevation slowly but steadily. I have that rate of motion that I like now…don’t need more, this is fine, but now I need the miles per ride that I like. Endurance training is my focus now.

                    I’ve gotten back something I thought was gone from me forever, and I damn well plan on capitalizing on it. Feels so good to be back here.

                    This morning I did my 8am yoga class, then when I came home I realized it was time to SHUT IT DOWN for the day, and made it a recovery day for me. I am just so ridiculously happy …I don’t think I needed to add that, did I???
                    Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                    • #55
                      Electric assist

                      Well Alain & Veronica, because of you I’m making the jump to an electric assist trike. I did a 30 mile ride with my buddies this past weekend. It was hot, humid and very windy. These are the guys I used to ride with on a regular basis about 4 years ago. They were excited to hear that I am getting an e-assist so I can ride with them rather than constantly having to come back to check on me as I am red lining my heart rate trying to keep up. Veronica you made a statement about having to spend money to get the equipment we need to stay active despite our limitations. My wife and I couldn’t agree more. The trike I’m getting is going to cost me a bundle but it is worth it. Now I’ve got some bikes and a trike to sell to make room for the new addition!


                      • #56
                        Veronica, I am glad you enjoy the E assist and remember your trike is heavier then a bike so with level one and level two for climbing I am going at my wife speed like before! And slower then you.
                        Larry and Dave I hope you are getting better with your back.
                        I still ride 1 or 2 or 3 time a week for a 1 1/2 hour about 9 miles with 1000 ft elevation our usual route.
                        Be cool and stay cool every ones.


                        • #57

                          It has been forever since I have been here. I was diagnosed with MS in August 2104. I have used it as a reason to push myself. I have done things that I never thought that I would do. I have run 4 marathons in 3 years, I have ridden in 4 Bike MS centuries. this year I rode 150 miles challenge. This year I had a bigger purpose going into Bike MS because for the first time I new MS activity. Luckily it was found with a MRI not because I had symptoms. That being said I realize that I do feel a little off from my normal. I have started training for my biggest swim. 1.2 miles as a part of a triathlon relay. I am focusing on Triathlon this year.
                          Speaking of that. I was wondering if anybody has an Active MSers Women's large triathlon kit that they are willing to part with . I am willing to pay.


                          • #58
                            Ellie, I've been waiting for your post! Fantastic about the centuries, even better about your tri work. I may have an L, but it's in men's. It might work, or not at all. If you want to give it a try, holler. You can always send it back.

                            As for me and my exercising, I've been getting out regularly on the trail and am setting PRs. Other than the wind-aided success (that is now unbreakable barring a hurricane on my backside), I had 7 top 3s just yesterday according to Strava. It helps that I've only ridden that route 3 times. I obviously gotta hit that part of the trail more often!
                            Dave Bexfield


                            • #59
                              Dave it is good to be back. I have been struggling a bit lately. My running times have slipped. I am also going through a medication change. The saga continues. It is good to hear that you are setting PRs. Following your journey is inspiring. I love how you can face challenges with humor. Thank you for the offer of your kit. I will keep the option open. I will be doing a tri on the 25th of August and will try to squeeze into my kit. I don't have time to train in a new one right now. Do you think that there would be another ActiveMSers gear?


                              • #60
                                Right now there are no plans for new kits. So what I have might be it. Could fit you great. Or not at all. If you want to give it a go, hit me at Good luck in your race!!!

                                Got out for a good ride this weekend after a trail bathroom emergency actually worked out in my favor for once. A LOT of luck was involved. Also getting in leg work when not cranking on the hand cycle.
                                Dave Bexfield