Friday, April 21, 2017

I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too:)

     If there's one thing I never bet all my money on, it's the weather forecast.  I think I can flip a coin as well as any Meteorologist:)  But that doesn't help me any when I'm trying to plan my transition from my indoor riding to outside.

     Taking my bike off the trainer is a real pain in the kiester; and putting it back on is no picnic either.  But for crying out loud, it's well into April already, and I eventually have to just do it.  

     I never thought I would be lobbying for riding my bike inside, but once it's out side my inside training is over, and if it's cold or raining I'm missing a lot of good training time.  As it is, I ride my bike four times a week inside.  

     But if anything was going to nudge me, it was seeing one of my bike trails with the warm sun radiating the sky.  


And I would much rather be riding under the high level bride on a bike, than over it in a car.
     I was actually here only by chance.  My mom and I were going to an MS drug rep meeting in downtown Toledo, and believe it or not, we were there early and had a few minutes to kill.  Okay, so maybe it was believable...:)

     This was a new park called "Middle grounds park", and you can see it was a sight for soar eyes, now that the winter thaw was behind us.

   The only two things that were stopping me from getting out and riding that day, were the scheduled meeting, and my bike... details.


But that didn't stop those geese from basking in the sun.

     So lets see if I get brave enough to trust the weatherman and take my bike outside again... or not... I see rain in the forecast...  ugh!!  I promise you soon!  but until then, I'll be back inside riding to my favorite tunes!!  Wish me luck!!

Have a great day!!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Never to early to start fundraising!! My friends sure have my back!!

     In my opinion, I can't start soon enough to raise money for the Bike MS - Bike To The Bay.  The more money we raise, the closer we are to making this awful disease go away.  

     Any one that has MS, or knows someone who has it will tell you, this is something we never signed up for.  It's not as though life style choices had anything to do with it. If that were the case then we could all take control and decide if the risk was worth it or not.  But to this day it still makes no sense why some people get MS.  It just shows up without an invitation.

     However, with all of the things MS takes away from me, it also gave me some very powerful gifts as well.  I'm much more strong-willed than I ever was before.  It's a battle I entered unintentionally, but I have every intention of winning. 
     And you know when someone wins the lottery they find many friends and family members they never knew they had... Well, it's kind of that with MS.  Friends and family seem to come out of the woodwork to join my army, and that's probably the most powerful gift I've been given by this disease that is known only for taking. 

     So while my friends and family may have gotten a little tired of hearing me campaign about the Bike To The Bay last August, I feel like now is the time to get serious.   

     Team leapfrog is well underway, and now it's time for me to prove that my friends and I can do anything we put our minds to!

     As you may remember, Team leapfrog started with cute little pink t-shirts with frogs all over them, and my friends didn't care if they looked silly.  They wanted to support me at any cost.

And while the "uniforms" have changed a lot, their hearts have remained the same.
     This is only a few of those in my army.  Some may wear the "fatigues", while others support me in many other ways.  I don't know what I would do with out the help of my friends.

     Please join my army and help me wipe out MS!  If you have five bucks burning a whole in your pocket I promise we can put it to good use:)  Please help me!!

Team Leapfrog
Christine Kajfasz

Have a great day!!


Friday, April 7, 2017

You know duct tape fixes everything... For now!

     Well, I'm back at it again!  I just have to figure out this pedal situation  before I attempt to ride 55 miles in the bike to the bay.  But like I told you before Where there's a will there's a way!

   My "Franken-bike" is getting closer to being ready to accommodate my crazy un-cooperative leg, but it's by no means perfected.  I was able to add weight the pedals in the back so they don't flip forward, but now I'm on to my next dilemma. 

                       Look below and notice the spikes... 

     They may not seem like a big deal to someone with normal motor function, but when your leg stops working those tiny little spikes actually trap my foot on the pedal, and in an emergency it would be impossible to free it.  

     My next brilliant idea is to eliminate the spike so I can push my foot out to the side and free it from the clamp. My pedals are made of a simple resin compound, so it would be easy enough to grind them down. However, I don't want to do anything permanent until I find out if this is in fact the solution.  

     I know duct tape is supposed to fix everything, so maybe I can tape the pedal up, giving it a smoother surface.  Granted,  The tape would eventually come off when I grind down the spikes, but you can't restore the ground  down spikes if I find out it isn't the answer.
     It's hard to believe this tiny  little role of tape has become a wonder fix for anything on earth that is broken.  If I had invented this stuff years ago, none of this would even be an issue right now.  I'm sure I would be so rich that I would be paying someone to think for me.  But since I can't rely on my massive wealth, I guess I have to utilize my brain power and figure it out for myself.  And so I will...
     Ironically, for many years, I, like many others, thought it was actually called Duck tape... well, what do you know...
     The spikes are on the back as well as the side, so I put one strip of tape side to side, and one back to front on the right side.
     Close up you can see it appears relatively smooth, though, I'm not sure how long it would be before the constant back and forth motion of my foot would peel the tape off.  But if duct tape is good, then "more duct tape" has to be better".
  It's not going anywhere now!
    Granted, this looks like "rig job" for sure, but then again, my whole life is somewhat of a "rig job"; I piece-meal one challenge after the next, just to keep my body moving.

     Check back and see how this whole duct tape situation works out.  And if it doesn't, we'll just have to figure out what will.
      And if you know me, you know I'm stubborn, and I refuse to let "can't" be any part of my vocabulary!  Trust me, we'll do this!!

Have a great day!!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Rome wasn't built in a day either:)

     I mentioned last week that I was going to take my pedal dilemma back to the drawing board; and after a lot of brainstorming, I think I'm actually getting closer to a solution.
These clamps on the ends seemed like a great idea in theory; and they may work perfect for someone with perfect mobility of their feet.  But in my case, the spasticity in my feet makes it impossible to clear the spikes with out knocking the top heavy pedal forward.

Now the challenge would be to figure out how to make these pedals weighted in the back so they don't automatically flip forward...  maybe weights???
   As luck would have it these little metal weights from a local hardware store happened to fit inside my pedals perfectly.  What are the odds...
A few on the top and a few on the bottom, secured with a Zip-tie worked beautifully!  And an added bonus was the weights added some height to the pedal so the spikes weren't quite so pronounced.   
Notice how the weights allow the pedal to balance upright perfectly.
This is what's going on upclose...

There is still a bit of a spike that may have to be ground down eventually, but like I said, Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm just happy to be one step closer.  Now the next issue is figuring out how to prevent my shoe from snagging on the zip-tie.
  But again, where there's a will there's a way!  For now I'll continue to work on sliding my foot in the clamp while my bike's on the trainer.  Being secured upright lets me go faster and get a better workout, without the bike toppling over while I attempt to get my foot in the clamp.  I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of road-rash, so I seriously don't want to wipe out.   My trainer is literally like training wheels. Now, training wheels out on the road may get a few strange looks so I think I'll not attempt to do that:)
I guess you'll just have to check back to see what's next!  I have some time before I'm out on the road again, and I'm not done yet!  Just watch and see...  

Have a great day!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Time to tweak my "Franken-bike" again! Where there's a will there's a way!!

   I hear the expression over and over "it's just like riding a bike", but for someone who has MS, it's not always as simple as it sounds.  The beginning of a ride and the end are two completely different rides, because my body has morphed into something unrecognizable from what I started with.

     When my right leg, which is the one that doesn't like to co operate on a good day, gets overworked, it wants to shut down all together.  This is a bit of a challenge when you have over 50 miles to fight with it.

     As I've been riding my bike indoors over the winter on a stationary trainer, by the end of my workout my right foot would begin to slip off of the pedal.  

    it was actually my fault for making my body work to the point of over heating.  As I've mentioned before, this is when my brain stops communicating with my nerves.  But I refuse to let that be my excuse for quitting. I started brain storming on how I could actually put my foot in a "time out" when it starts to misbehave. 

     Traditional bike clips would seem like the obvious solution.  But when my muscles stop working it would be impossible to snap my shoe off of the clip.  What if I had a pedal that stopped my foot from slipping forward but still allowed me to slip it off of the pedal in an emergency??
     I did some research and found these on line.  

     These make perfect sense.  They would stop my foot from slipping forward but I could slip them out in an emergency.

     Now I just had to remove my old pedals and replace them with the miracle pedals. Though this was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be.  The part that screwed into the arm of the pedal wouldn't come off...

     So I decided to approach it from another angle...
Maybe an allen wrench would do it...
It was practically cemented on but it eventually came off. 
Then I just had to screw the new ones on.  And as you can see, the strap was very flexible.  This should be perfect for getting my foot out.

          But that would have been too easy.  See these spikes on the pedals?  Every time I put my shoe up to slip it in the the strap it would catch on the spikes and push the pedal upside down.
     You know what they say about the best laid plans...  I guess it's back to the old drawing board for me.  But I'm not done yet!  Now my next mission is to find a way to make my shoe slide in freely... I'm not sure how just yet, but I promise you if there's a will there's a way!

     Stay tuned, and wish me luck:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, March 17, 2017

The snow may be back; but so are my sponsors

Well March sure seemed like a good time to start getting serious about the Bike to the Bay... Now what's up with this?!?
     I seriously thought we were home free.  The thought of taking my bike off of my indoor trainer and hitting the trails was now on my radar.  

     There was  no way I wanted to start recruiting my team jersey sponsors in the middle of a blizzard.  But I felt confident that we were done with snow when I went to Organic Bliss to ask Nazih, the owner, if he planned to sponsor us again and ride on team Leapfrog.  

     I was pleasantly surprised when he commented "as long as you have a team, I'll always sponsor you!"  That's huge! There are so many things in life that are uncertain, and it was nice to know I could always count on him to help our team.


     Then Three days later I see this... well not everything is for certain.

     With everything I've been through during my "roller coaster" life, it's good to know there are people riding next to me when I need help up the next hill.  And for that I consider myself the most fortunate person in the world!  Thanks for always being there:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, March 10, 2017

March is finally here! Time to get serious about the Bike to the Bay!!!

     As you know, the bike to the bay is always on my radar, but I have to wait for the perfect time to get serious about building my team and fundraising.  Well now that it's March I think the time is now!

     My bike is still on my trainer inside, but I'm ramping up my stationary riding so I'll be ready to go as soon as the nicer weather is here to stay.

     Any of you who are looking for a way to get your blood flowing before summer is here; join my team!  Not feeling in tip top shape is the perfect reason to ride!  It sure motivates me:)
     If you aren't able to ride but still want to help all of your loved ones battling this awful disease, please sponsor me and I'll ride for you.   
     I may be crawling in by the end of this ride,but it's knowing that there are some who can no longer ride that pushes me to my limit.  Please help, so together we can kick MS to the curb:)

Have a great day!!