The last time I rode a bike was ten years ago when my brother and I participated in an adventure race. (Yeah, I rode it a couple of times after that, but it was during the race that I rode it the most. I didn’t ride again after that summer.) So I was feeling a little nervous when I climbed on my new bicycle.
A couple of weeks ago, I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon in Nebraska. While I finished strong and felt great doing it, I woke up that night with a very sharp pain in my right heel. All signs pointed to a stress fracture, but there is not much that can be done other than rest it. While I’ve been able to walk better (it was touch and go for a couple of days), I’ve been wanting to get out and jog/run to get ready for the next race.
The pain in the heel came back, so I’ve decided to stay off of it from running/jogging for a while. Since I don’t want to stop completely, I went out and bought a bicycle. It’s not an expensive bike, or a cheap bike. It’s right in between and quite nice. It’s a hybrid bike (somewhere between a mountain bike and a road bike), and it’s very comfortable… At least, it should comfortable once I ride it long enough.
After being off a bike for so long, it was a little awkward at first. My sense of balance had to adjust. All the right messages had to be sent up and down my body, coordinating what I was doing. For example, did you know that you have to turn slightly to one side before you can turn to the other on a bicycle?
And did you know that we really don’t know how exactly bikes stay upright?
Yeah, it’s weird, and anyone who has ever successfully ridden a bike has experienced these effects… Unless you’ve been riding a backwards bike:
So I hope to get on and get around with the bike for a few days a week. But I’ve got to tell you, this new time on the bike felt a lot like the first time. But that’s for another blog post at a later time.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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