Every randonneur can imagine my horror at the discovery that I had broken my arm in my fall off my bike and would not be able to ride for at least several weeks. Not one to give in readily to situations that I don’t like (a nice way of saying that I am very stubborn), I began trying to sort out a way to get some of the exercise as soon as the X-ray confirmed that I had endured way more than a bad sprain.
Because I insist on riding outside even through Pennsylvania winters, I don’t own an exercise bike or trainer, but my friend Chris does, as I discovered while texting her about my bad luck fall. She gave me a little crap about the fall, but she immediately offered to loan me her exercise bike. While I was waiting for the nurses to come in and put a splint on my arm, we began making plans for me to borrow her machine. Within five days of the accident I was on the exercise bike; this wasn’t perfect but it was great to be moving again.
I was in a cast for three long weeks, but even after the cast was removed, I discovered that my arm and hand were pretty weak. In fact, they still are and it’s now almost six weeks since the accident. So to be cautious, I rode the exercise bike for an additional two weeks, but then the wonderful day arrived when I decided that I was strong enough for at least a short ride.
10 miles for the first time out, down a decent hill to start with, strong hand holding the brake all the way, and then flat miles for the remainder. Feet not clipped in, going very easily because I knew I would have trouble responding to a sudden need to brake. Second ride, the next day, was 20 miles. This time the route was about half flat and then I included a long uphill, reasoning that I would be going slowly, would not need to brake, and could rest the weak hand lightly on the handle bars. And still with feet unclipped. Since the Bike Friday is easy to get on and off of, I’ve been riding that.
I am now continuing my broken arm therapy with slow-paced not terribly long rides during my visit to my mom in Adelaide. I’m still wary of clipping into the pedals so I mostly keep one foot free. I’m not interested in falling again. And since these rides are therapy, I have given myself permission to stop and take photos, have coffee breaks if I want to, and to not exceed the minimum mph required to finish a brevet in time. Snail’s pace, but that’s ok.
It’s great to be back on the bike.