For one reason or another, I am currently unable to drive. I am also unable to ride a bike because, like many folk who have had a stroke, my balance is appalling. It is more than two years since my stroke, 26 months since I have gone anywhere under my own steam. . .
until today . . .
If I look like a terrified toddler on its first machine, then that is really how this felt. In fact, in a way, it was my first time on wheels – - at least for the neurologically re-wired left side of my body. Having never done this before, my left arm and leg had no idea what they were doing. I have exercised on Tom’s stationary turbo trainer, but a stationary bike is very, very different to a moving tricycle.
The trike is extremely stable and sturdy – exactly what I need. The whole of my left side is much weaker than my right, and, because my left foot is so wonky and unstable it simply refuses to stay in one place. Tom tethered my left boot to the pedal with a firm clip, so I was safe to let my right side start things off. Once my right leg had picked up some steam, the left one figured out what to do.
None of this was easy – because my left arm is much weaker than my right, my steering was (ahem) a bit erratic. And the physical and mental effort needed to get my left leg to push down is quite immense – I tried and failed to get up a small hill.
But, despite all these difficulties, I was having FUN.
Moving at speed on a machine after pootling about unsteadily and very slowly for two years feels quite amazing.
I think it will be a while until I’m able to ride about on my own – but then there will be no stopping me!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend however you are spending it!