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Back to the Bike [Jul. 9th, 2014|11:51 am]
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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.


[User Picture]From: harvey_rrit
2014-07-09 05:35 pm (UTC)

Double hurrah because you can read and write! (Especially write. Okay, it's self-interest, but it's well thought out, so the results are very like those of careful altruism....)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-10 10:35 pm (UTC)
Very interesting reasoning, she says, grinning.
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[User Picture]From: harvey_rrit
2014-07-10 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh hell, why else do all of us support and encourage fen who want to write? WE WANT MORE TO READ!
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[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2014-07-09 05:45 pm (UTC)
Please, please, please be very careful indeed, and always wear a helmet - someone I loved was knocked off her bike and killed, years ago, and it always worries me when people cycle on public roads.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-09 05:57 pm (UTC)
I do always wear a helmet and gloves, and try to ride only on quiet streets at their quietest times of the day. I don't ride at night at all, or when it's raining or visibility is bad for any reason. I wish I had the confidence to ride on the county roads, but I know they are not as safe and people have been killed on them.
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[User Picture]From: kkatowll
2014-07-10 07:18 pm (UTC)
90-95 degrees?!?! You folks down South amaze me. We get maybe five days of 90+ degrees a year, and basically we all stay somewhere with AC and refuse to go outside at all. Seriously, they open crisis centers with AC for those who don't have AC. (I only have one window unit, which we run in the bedroom when it's more than 85-90 degrees at bedtime -- which is rare.) I cannot IMAGINE biking for miles in such weather!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-10 10:31 pm (UTC)
Where I grew up, south tip of Texas, we played tennis in midday in 100F weather. It started being that hot any time after March, though not solidly until later, and the school wasn't air-conditioned, so it wasn't such a shock. My tennis class was at 1 pm. Occasionally we'd feel kind of puny, sometimes for monthly reasons, but mostly...we drank a lot of the warm-from-the-hydrant water and went back to playing. It was hard to stay alert in a hot schoolroom in midday, when you couldn't move about and your clothes were sticking to you and to the seat. There was always a fan in the room, pointed at the teacher. Rarely two, with one pointed at the class generally. (And we walked to and from school uphill both ways, except there weren't any hills, alas.)

I'm not as resistant to heat as I was back then--but 90-95 is quite manageable with water and attention to how the body's doing.
Still muggy days are the worst; if there's a good breeze, even a hot breeze, it'll cool quite bit with sweat evaporation. Heart rate goes up with heat, so keeping track of one's HR, and not pushing it too high, is important. I can definitely ride faster and harder at 80F than 90F. We do have AC, and it's a relief, but an hour or more in the heat doesn't faze me. Yet.
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From: sheff_dogs
2014-07-11 04:59 pm (UTC)
Glad you are back on the bike and that it's fun exercise, it makes it so much easier to do when you enjoy it!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-12 02:54 am (UTC)
Indeed it is, and that's why I chose the bike for re-conditioning a couple of years ago. I knew I would stick with it.
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