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MSers In Training, 2019

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  • #46
    Love the pics, cl3me! And Larry, that's a low resting HR. I've got a friend, though, who puts us all to shame. But he doesn't have MS! His resting heart rate is so low doctors worry if their equipment is broken: 34!!! When he had surgery recently (he fell off his bike and hurt his shoulder) it dropped to 28 and they gave him epinephrine because they were freaked.

    Temps here have been unusually roasty (mid 90s, more July than late August temps), so my rides have been shorter than usual. But getting in solid HIIT sessions. Hope everyone is keeping on keeping on.
    Dave Bexfield


    • #47
      MS Bike Tour

      Local MS Bike Tour was this weekend, did the 50km (short) option on Saturday with our team. We had strong head winds on the way out but that turned into a tailwind for the ride back, and other than a flat tire from a roofing staple, 10 km from the finish, which we were able to swap out with a spare tube and finish the ride. There were 350 riders and over $300,000 raised. We had a great dinner and presentations on Saturday. I was tenting and had a few scary moments as high winds and rain woke me up a couple of times during the night but luckily my tent held firm. Sunday morning there was only a slight drizzle for the start of the ride. Unfortunately I had yet another flat this time I. The front tire just 5k into the ride and I had no more spares. It was also starting to rain harder, so I called it a day and told my team to carry on while I grabbed a SAG vehicle ride back the the start. Overall a great weekend, there’s already talk of next year from the team.

      Last edited by cl3me; 08-25-2019, 08:09 PM.
      Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


      • #48
        Out of Africa

        An African safari wasn't ever on my bucket list but it definitely should have been! Lions close enough to our open side vehicle to reach out and touch, cheetah, leopard, elephant, myriads of gazelle, zebra, rhino, hippopotamus, crocodile, hyena, jackal and birds galore. But what stood out the most was the sheer abundance of vegetation and animal life and the overall simplicity of how such a complex ecosystem works so flawlessly in an undisturbed environment! Definitely a worthy bucket list item.

        But back to reality now. I did 3 rides last week, the second one a huge HITT ride. I'm sure the riding help get through the jet lag. My new gut biome, courtesy of African food, dirt and dust, is another matter though. It's not terribly problematic but it certainly is noticeable. If it cures my MS, I'll be sure to let you know.

        Congrats on the MS ride Karen, wind, rain, flats and all. Glad you and your team managed to enjoy it anyway.

        Gotta say, I'm really looking forward to fall,

        Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 08-31-2019, 02:32 PM.


        • #49
          Sounds like a crazy-fun trip, Larry. When we get together next I'd like to see pics.

          As for my current training, I've managed to get in a number of rides, including a long 15 miler. I was pretty gassed by the end. Complicating matters: It was a warm day, I had to ride home in a headwind after my cooling vest was mostly exhausted, and I discovered midway on my ride that my tires were underinflated. At best 45 psi when they should have been 80! So, yeah, I was tired.

          I've been doing more legs lately to try to keep them in shape. Still skinny as hell, though!
          Dave Bexfield


          • #50
            Holy cow, it has been a long time since I posted last. Been reading everything everyone writes, and have been making comments out loud, but you didn’t heard them, did you? Larry, your trip sounded SO GOOD... wow, chance of a lifetime for sure to get to experience and be with those magnificent animals and in that country.

            My first organized ride of the fall happened on Saturday. Our local Roe Jan Ramble. I take particular pride in this bike tour as I am on the bike committee as I mentioned before, but also because it just showcases the beautiful countryside around here. I was one of the drivers on the Wednesday before the ride, when we were marking the routes. Never got involved in that before, and it was quite a hoot to do so. Our many different routes crisscross each other in spots, so marking gets complicated with signs and arrows going in two different directions at some corners. We marked the metric century route, so at least I got to see that route. Won’t ever be cycling that, but I really enjoyed seeing where those riders would be riding. I had a friend who did it, and he told me after that it was jawdroppingly beautiful. He said he loved the very sparce traffic...maybe not the hills, but felt it was a tradeoff well worth it..

            About two weeks before the ride, I decided to bump up my game and go for the 25 miler, instead of the 18 that I had originally planned, and did last year. I have been getting out consistently and have been slowly increasing my elevation gains. One of my usual routes does part of the 25 mile route, but I would always turn and head back at a spot that the Saturday route continued on. The added section is a series of long slow climbs, linked with a short steeper climb that then makes a sharp 90 degree turn and gets steeper even yet. Short and steep and for me had been totally intimidating to even think about doing it. But I decided to just go for it.

            So glad I did. I did the ride with a friend who is also on my Bike MS team, and has ridden with me for years. He’s a strong rider, and we flew thru the route. One of the roads goes thru an area of horse farms, and we climbed up one hill, and then had a delight of roller coasting up and down the next series. The new territory for me was so spectacular in scenery that it eased the pain of the climbs. And that very sharp double climb corner was rough, and even with the e-assist, I was geared all the way down, and going about .5 mph and grunting the whole way, but was laughing thru it. Rest stop was at mile 16 and then I knew there was one more bitchy area of another climbing sharp turn that began a long climb. The final significant one. On that section I was traveling maybe 3 mph, and actually started cursing out loud the guy on the committee who creates the routes. That section has been notorious for those who know him and ride there to be yelling obscurities using his name.... I plan to tell him when I see him next that I am now a proud member of that club!

            This season’s single day elevation gains are more like the ol’ days of biking before MS started to kick in. I realized with Saturday’s ride, which topped out at about 1312 ft, that the last time I climbed like that was a few years before my diagnosis in 2004. If you haven’t figured it out already, I will tell you that I love to climb.

            While I was one of only two trikers in a pack of close to 600 riders total, and the only one on this route ( there were 108 of us) the fact that I could keep up with the other cyclists had me feeling such camaraderie with them. Got a lot of “I like your wheels” from some hard core looking cyclists... and while it always helps when others yell out encouraging words to me when they view me as an adaptive cyclist, it was even better on Saturday when they didn’t seem to notice that, or focus on that . I was just part of the peloton, and I really loved it! Makes me smile as I write this..

            This really heralds in a new era for me with cycling....And the fall weather has me seeing that I still have a lot of time to get in some more very challenging rides.... want to see if I can bump up that total elevation gain a bit more this season and am already thinking of training for the 35 miler next year.

            So next month‘s NYC Bike MS 30 miler around FLAT Manhattan will be boring.. Imagine that!
            Thank you recumbent trike and e-assist!
            Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


            • #51
              That’s great riding Veronica!

              There is an MS Bike tour route close to home that I have avoided because it is very hilly, but your post has me thinking that an e-assist bike may bring it into the realm of possibility....hmmm something to think about for next year.

              I have been enjoying lots of time in the saddle with my horse on the trails and enjoying fall colours. Hope the snow stays away so that continues....

              Swimming starts up again this week so I am looking forward to that.

              Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


              • #52
                Great writeup Veronica! Love the fact you got involved in the planning. Personally, I'm on board with your route planner, there always needs to be a hill, maybe with an optional work around for the fanatical non-climber. I know you love the climb but am curious how the descents are on the trike. Were/are you an aggressive descender?

                Karen, our fall colors were progressing nicely too until we got a deep freeze a couple of days ago. I love riding my bike through them but I guess that won't happen this year now.

                I just got back from the senior games with my trainee. He did sweep the podium again this year but in third place thanks to a couple of first time ringers who should have been at least one category higher. Oh well, we're already planning for next year.

                I haven't been riding as much as usuall, things keep getting in the way but when I do get out now I try to throw in a few hills, they're great for HIIT's. I've also been getting at least one mountain climb a month in. Lately it's been Lookout Mountain. There are two ways up it and depending on how one approaches it, I can get anywhere from 1,300 ft. To 2,500 ft. of climb. I'm definantly getting slower but it might be making the climbs a little easier because I don't seem to struggle on some of the steeper sections the way I used to. I'm getting a little slower on the descents too but I still love them and I can still beat most of my buddies down the hill!

                Still walking and doing yoga too. I need to adjust my schedule to get back to the weight room pretty soon before my upper body strength disappears entirely.

                Dave, I've got a couple of cd's worth of Africa pictures that I'll be sure to have near by next time we meet. Quite a few good pics and a couple of exceptional ones!

                That's all for now, carry on folks,



                • #53
                  Sorry Guys I have not posted for a very long time because I may have brag too much (I though I may can beat the monster). And I got humble pretty quick.
                  So now, after 5 months of roller coaster I am back to a new normal!
                  I feel so normal again that I may brag again, just a little bit.
                  3 weeks ago I did the Waves to Wine MS ride with my E assist trike, 23 miles the first day with my wife and 43 miles with 1900 ft the next day with the motor crapping out 6 miles from the finish with some hills to do. I made it pulling that 80 pounds trike at a snail pace!. My legs where sooo tight.
                  I agree with Veronica, it is so fun to be able to keep up with the friends thanks to the motor but you still have to pedal pretty good can if you want to do the distance on 1 battery!
                  Otherwise I am back to my routine, riding my trike couple time a week, walking for 40 minutes a day in 2 or 3 walks and my daily yoga.
                  I wish the best to every one.


                  • #54
                    Congratulations on the MS ride Alain! That certainly was rude of your battery to give out on you but as usual, I'm duly impressed by your ability to pull through! Can't help but think that the Waves to Wine has got to be a gorgeous ride. It is still on my bucket list, along with the Jack and Back.

                    I haven't been on the bike much here. Two weeks ago it snowed for three days in a row and got bitter cold and stayed that way for about 10 days. But it gave me a chance to get back to the gym so now I'm hitting the weights about every 4 or 5 days, putting in some time on the sideways elliptical machine a couple of times a week, also doing core exercises and deep stretching a couple of times a week and of course trying to get to my yoga class on a regular basis. Looks like that will be my winter routine for the most part.

                    Although, I understand were supposed to get to the mid 60's tomorrow so there is a chance the bike will get to see some daylight before the end of the year!



                    • #55
                      Been busy on the bike this fall, and the weather has cooperated thankfully. (That'll end Wednesday.) I'll be featured in the Thursday Albuquerque Journal about me riding my handcycle on our popular local trail. I'll post a link when it pops up online!

                      Most of my rides are 7-8 miles, but yesterday was upper 60s and sunny, so I cranked 13 miles with friends. The last couple were hella hard, as I had gone to the gym the day before and exercised... arms. Today is def a leg day!

                      Speaking of which, gotta run. Fitness is calling!
                      Dave Bexfield


                      • #56
                        overdue update

                        Hello to all,
                        I can't believe how long it's been. I read daily all posts and regularly cheer with the accomplishments.
                        Training took a hit after 2 injuries early August. Which was when walking in the pool was making some progress. Almost healed so soon back in the water.
                        In the mean time, I'm back to the gym, getting some amazing stretching and strengthening from a trainer who is also a physiotherapist. Occasional use of the crank cycle. And periodic work with 2 home trainers. One of the many helpful exercises has been ankle mobility and foot stimulation using a hard, spiky ball.
                        The best, though, has been working on standing, pushing my pelvis forward and shoulders and mid thoracic posterior chain back. This helps me to straitghen out. Then, a series of squats, tricep dips, and core work.

                        Keep on moving!

                        Teena Marie


                        • #57
                          TM, welcome back, great to hear from you again. I think about you often. I see you're still getting into plenty of trouble. Wishing you all the best on your journey back to the pool, looking forward to hearing how things go.

                          I just finished shoveling a foot of heavy wet snow. I tried to use the snow blower but it couldn't handle it so..... That will be all for today for me! Maybe a glass of wine later.




                          • #58
                            End Of The Year Notes

                            Just thought I'd put down a short summary of where things are at as I near the end of the year.

                            First off, I did not get even 3000 miles in on the bike, somewhat of a low for me as I normally get 3 to 5 thousand miles per year. Oh well, next year.

                            Just got rid of a house full of kids, spouses and grand kids who were all here in honor of my MIL'S 100th birthday! What a bash, we rented an event center to fit everybody in. It was a real blowout party. Over 140 people showed up! She is still teary eyed over the response she received.

                            Went up ski biking once already, right after we got rid of all of our company. Wasn't feeling particularly strong, too much food and drink and no exercise can leave a person a bit weak in the knees. I fell on the first run, had an unbelievably hard time getting back up, figured I'd hang it up when I got to the bottom but felt quite a bit better when I got to the lift again so kept on going. Each successive run got better. By the end of our time I was almost slaloming down the green slopes. My buddy and I got certified to take the bikes out on our own again this year. I'm beginning to have visions of an intermediate slope in the future.

                            Only 2 more birthdays and 2 more holidays to go before life can return to normal and I can start to shed some of the weight I've put on lately. I'm looking forward to getting back into my routine.

                            I've committed to the Copper Triangle next year. 80 miles, 3 mountain passes, 6,000 ft. of ascent. We'll see if this old MSer's got one more hill left in him or not. Don't think about it, just do it! Right?

                            Hope you all are ending your year about where you wanted to, I'd love to hear about it.




                            • #59
                              Larry, I *might* take off Christmas, although my usual off day is Friday. But with family in town and kids eager to open presents, I think today might be my rest day.

                              Got in a 9 mile ride a couple days ago when the weather hit 50, but now rain/snow/cold have arrived, so indoors it will be for the week.

                              Hope everyone is staying fit! And maybe passing on that extra cookie. Happy Holidays!
                              Dave Bexfield


                              • #60
                                Happy End of 2019 everyone.
                                And belated Happy Birthday to your Mother in Law, Larry. Good for her for reaching 100, and good for all of you for throwing her a Blow out Blast!

                                Well, my ski season is shaping out to have the potential to be the best in my life, and it may totally and happily wear me out! I am volunteering with the adaptive program at my mountain again, a mere 15 minutes away, and so far have been on snow three days. Having my own ski bike has so changed the game for me, and I am loving it. Before, I did administrative stuff at the mountain the day of lessons, but now I finally can tag along on lessons comfortably. I have found that I can act as the “Block” on the hill, and let the student and instructors go ahead of me, and I can help keep other skiers at bay….or at least try to! Most Saturdays I will be there, on snow for morning and afternoon lessons. And some of my ski buddies are now including me in their plans for Sunday or weekday skiing as they see I can finally keep up, and they don't have to keep picking me up! SOOOO happy..

                                I’ve just signed up to do the Ski for MS Vertical Challenge fundraiser for Can Do MS at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire this February. Totally stoked that I can even entertain the thought of this.. We’ll be skiing at Loon for the event, and then ski at nearby Bretton Woods for the following two days….

                                I did not bring my trike into the house this winter, as I really want to try to do some winter rides when it is not too cold and when there are obviously clear roads. There is a nice challenging shorter distance ride on back roads that would be good for wintertime. But this lead me to a dilemma with training as the trainer is in the spare room in the house. So I am going to see about asking a friend to move the very heavy trainer to the garage, so on some winter days if outside is not conducive for a ride, I can dress warmly and just spin in the garage…

                                Now, I know I am not gonna be doing that on a weekly basis, so I needed to figure out how to keep up with regular cardio sessions when not able to ride outside. I have my solution with really increasing my rowing sessions…I have been pretty diligent about them, and am slowing building my endurance and time rowing. I like that I can engage my core, ( feels like I am waking it up..) and I am so surprised that I can already feel the benefit of the core work, as I find that when I am walking through a more narrow space I don’t need to put out an arm to stabilize myself as I concentrate on my core to do this, and it responds. I see the difference in bed in turning, and in even sitting straighter. Using MORE of my body is definitely less tiring…

                                I’ve gotten a level of motivation back that had been, for whatever reason, flailing recently. Been increasing my short fast walking sessions…. And am NOT going nuts when this doesn’t seem to translate into longer or more comfortable walking outside. Just doing it…. And I am doing all my stretches routinely as usual. Now I just need to keep it going.. I am just taking it day to day...

                                Happy New Year Everyone…. See you on the other side of 2019!
                                Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.