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!!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Life's not always smooth sailing: but this day it sure was!

     My Florida trip was sure packed full of adventure, and though I had a great time, it definitely felt like a workout now and then.  But the day our friend, Steve, took us out on his boat almost felt like we were having our cake and eating it too.
     It was an adventure exploring the open water, but I never had to lift a finger.  Innocently, this would have been a great place for me to lose these funky one buck sun glasses. But no, they planned to stay around and haunt me for the duration.
     I didn't bring my note pad, so I cant tell you a whole lot about the sights we saw...  
But I can't imagine this road way was easy to build.
     And I just had to wonder if these birds were as fascinated watching us as we were them...

        This big guy below made certain the rest of the world would leave his family alone. I know I wasn't climbing up there.
        Once again, I have no idea where we were here, but it was absolutely worth getting the camera out for... (yes, I don't see a career of being a tour guide in my future...)

     I've heard boats are a big hole in the water to dump your money... and this hole must be huge...
     They also say bigger is better, but can you imagine how much it would cost to gas up this monster??

        I can't imagine the people in these houses have a hard time finding a reason to get up in the morning...
     I have to say, this day couldn't have gotten much better.  They always talk about a perfect day being "nary a cloud in the sky", but with white fluffy clouds, great company and a vivid imagination, I'd say that's about as good as it gets:)

Have a great day!!