|Back to the Bike
||[Jul. 9th, 2014|11:51 am]
A week ago, at the one-week checkup after my cataract surgery, I was given permission to resume riding my bike, and also permission to get a plane lens put in the left side of my glasses. I wasn't sure how this would work (having been warned I might have double vision since the lens wouldn't fix the astigmatism or help the eyes coordinate for true binocular vision. But I found it much, much better than wearing the glasses with the old corrective lens on that side. And that evening, I got on my bike and very cautiously rode up and down the street at its "dead time" for about 1 3/4 miles. EDIT NOTE (corrected from the 6 3/4 I wrote originally. Neither vision nor brain was working when I wrote that and didn't see it was wrong.) It felt wonderful! My vision is a little peculiar, but not so peculiar that I can't, at the speed of a bike ride, navigate well.
The next day, when I'd planned another late-afternoon/evening ride, we had a thunderstorm. OK, no ride. On Friday, I rode 5 1/2 miles on the street, end to end several times. Still very carefully, learning to suppress unwanted input from the left eye (like seeing double when looking sharply to one side) but allowing it to help out the right one when possible. The right one was still dominating, as it had been when the cataract was in. The rest of the body thought this was great fun, much better than hanging around inside being careful not to move too fast or anything.
Saturday, I rode 10 miles in two rides (morning and evening, the only times I would ride without sunglasses. The plane lens is in my regular glasses, so no sun protection at all.) Sunday, only 7.24 miles in the evening, but Monday 11 miles in two rides, and Tuesday 12. This morning (before the next visit to the eye doctor) , 6.3. My goal for the week is 50 and--barring accidents--I should have no trouble reaching it handily. While we're in the city, I will try to find some clip-on sunglasses that give good UV protection, so I can ride a little later in the morning (to pick up the mail, which isn't put out until 10:30 am, and go to the bank). Later, when I get my new prescription for that eye, I'll get prescription sunglasses as well as regular non-sunglasses glasses.
For whatever reasoh--fun on a bike when I was a kid, or whatever--riding a bike is the most fun kind of exercise available to me right now. My bike skills have come back, pretty much, in the past two years, and I feel generally competent on the bike--and also there's the "kid" factor--I feel very connected to the 11 year old riding over to the library, out to the airport, all over the place. It's freedom, without the need for a car. The left eye is working well enough that I experience no visual problems now, and have even ridden (one car-free block) with my right eye closed, just to see if it would work. My speed is up to what it was before; the heat is enough now (evening rides are done at 90-95F) that I'm not pushing for speed but am still going somewhat faster while using a little harder gears than last year.
It's good to be back on the bike. I look forward to having many more miles of fun on it.