Tuesday, January 15, 2008

279 Days

Well I did it!

I managed to get on the bike and ride. OK, so it was on an indoor trainer but who cares? That's the first time I've turned a crank since 11 April 2007. That's 279 days but hey, who's counting? ;)

OK - so how did I do it? With a bit of help from my friends, that's how. I have described before how I was unable to pedal a full revolution on a bike as the range of motion in my left knee was limited (both by my knee and especially due to the nature of the prosthetic, which was designed to get me started with walking but definitely not for riding a bike). Schooner is definitely the walking type - so bike riding is a new adventure for him.

Enter the machining genius (well in my eyes anyway) of club mate Steve Dixon, who with some assistance from Peter Barnard, who fashioned up a special short crank for me. In this case a 100mm crank. My normal road bike crank is 175mm, so it's quite a bit shorter. What we were trying to do was to enable me to pedal but with a largely reduced pedal circle on the left side. Up top is a pic of the crank.

Cycling fit guru Steve Hogg helped put the crank on the bike for me today and loaned me the flat bed pedal so I could just put my left "foot" with running shoe on top of the pedal. Note how short it is! So short it doesn't even reach the cadence sensor. But who needs cadence anyway when you've got a power meter. Yeah - that's right, before I hopped on, I made sure the trusty Powertap was connected and working, even doing a torque zero just to make sure I was getting a true reading.

On with the bike shoe on the right foot, which still has the normal length crank and pedal/cleat arrangement. So on I hop and off I go. Took a little while to work out where to place my foot on the pedal, most comfortable was basically mid-foot, a bit further back on the sole than usual but it wasn't so easy if I tried to put the shoe back further (pedal further forward). Remember that there is no ankle to flex as you rotate around the pedal stroke - my "ankle" is fixed.

Anyway, it's a start. Once I have a leg more suitable for riding and the knee improves, I'll graduate back to a normal length crank.

And how did I go? - well here is the ride file:

5-sec smoothing as the data is exceptionally choppy, no doubt in part due to the leg imbalance as well as the Powertap's infamous precession "feature". All up, a little over 10 minutes at ~ 110 watts. A far cry from my 10-min all time best of 345 watts.

So, another little goal* ticked off on my journey.

Today was a good day. Most of 'em are anyway but this was worth shouting about.

See ya next time!

* which was to earn my first TSS point once out of hospital.


Unknown said...

Congrats on getting back on the bike. Your journey is very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Alex that is absolutely terrific news. A real milestone. Congratulations. Grant and Helen Hansen

Anonymous said...

Alex, you rock. The last year (for me) has been a roller coaster of health problems and concerns. I read your blog and find new motivation with every entry. Looking forward to seeing your next powerfile data post.

Treadly and Me said...


Lawrence said...

The man pedals!! Bring it on!!!! :-D Am doing a happy excited jig at my desk for you Alex :-D

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very exciting. 279 may be a big number but you're back at it with a great attitude and super friends to help you out.