REGRETFULLY THIS TRIP HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CIVIL UNREST IN THE UNITED STATES
(My training continues)
Welcome to My Private Blog!
First...Some Background Info
If you are visiting this website perhaps you received a postcard I handed to you while training or on my bicycle journey across America to visit my sons. I may have invited you to visit this website for the full story.
Ride my bicycle from the sunny beaches of Amelia Island, Florida to Tyrone, Georgia to visit a son, then ride on to visit my other son in Colorado Springs, Colorado and then on to the sunny beaches of Ocean Beach, California.
To inspire my sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren and stroke victims to stay positive, never give up in the face of adversity, to support Stroke Awareness and to say thank you to my friends, physicians, therapists and healthcare providers who treated and supported me in my stroke recovery.
As a Rotary Club Past President I will speak to Rotary Clubs across America about the Stroke Pandemic.
My bicycle named "Rotary" is a Surly Trucker Touring Bicycle well suited for long distance and worldwide bicycle travel. The bicycle was built and outfitted for this trip by ATown Bicycles in Auburn, California. It is equipped it with a cell telephone, TomTom Navigation GPS, Solar Charger, 2 meter ham radio and a pocket AM/FM radio.
It has front and rear wheel racks and 4 Panniers (suitcases) mounted on each side of both tires. The bike carries a tent, sleeping bag, clothes, tools, water and food. I carry an additional 2 liter water backpack with a mouth hose to drink while riding.
I carry plenty of Scotch and a fly fishing rod.
What Happened to Me
On December 15, 2019 I suffered a brain concussion that led to a full stroke in January 7, 2020. The stroke damaged my heart and left me paralyzed on my left side. After several weeks in ICU, Sutter Hospital in Auburn, California and at Sutter Rehabilitation Institute in Roseville, California I was released during the Corona Virus Pandemic.
My wife Pam became my Physical Therapist.
Never Give Up!
My struggle to make sense of what happened to me and how to recover, became my focus.
In 2008 I underwent the last of a series of spinal surgeries. The final surgery was an Anterior Spinal Fusion. After surgery I was confined to a premolded plaster body cast.
After weeks of confinement and limited movement I decided to climb Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak a beautiful and majestic mountain that defines Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I drove to the base of the Pikes Peak, parked and began my ascent. Without fanfare I wanted to accomplish this feat to encourage my sons to set goals and to never give up on living in the face of adversity.
It was a worthy goal. But, I learned some things about setting "worthy goals".
I took photos and sent them to my sons. Colorado Springs is stunningly beautiful from any height. The views from Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write America The Beautiful.
I Didn't Make It to the Top of Pikes Peak
I didn't make to the top.
This "Hill" was not like the rolling hills in Missouri where I spent my youth. I like to call them my Mark Twain days. Nor were they like the half day hikes up any of the mountains surrounding Phoenix, Arizona where I attended high school and college. Nor were they like the hills and mountains around my home in San Diego.
Pikes Peak is 14,115 feet high and at about 10,000 feet it started to get frightfully cold and difficult to breath in the diminishing air. I realized it was not going to be easy to finish the climb wearing a windbreaker jacket. I was not going to make it to the top by nightfall much less climb back down and be home by dinner.
I learned that to set a worthy goal it would take training, preparation and proper equipment.
It is difficult to describe a stroke. Strokes are the leading cause of deaths in the United States killing more than 145,000 Americans every year. Stokes attack 750,000 Americans each year. That is 1 in every 20 deaths according to the Center For Disease Control. From personal experience I can say half of your person dies. It is permanent. One learns to adjust and the brain rewires the body but the part that dies, stays dead.
For the definitive work on what it is like to survive a stroke I refer you to Maddi Nieback's book,
"Fast Fwd,The Fully Recovered Mindset."
Like me, Maddi suffered a near fatal stroke and lived to tell about it. She was 22 years of age.
Her book may be purchased on Amazon.com
It is a must read for every American and for stroke survivors. It should be required reading for every physician, physical therapist, occupational therapists, or any caregiver or healthcare provider treating the stroke survivor.
If you are overweight, drink too much, have high blood pressure or lead a stressful life it is a must read. You don't have to be old, overweight or have high blood pressure. Like Maddi you can be young and beautiful. Strokes attack all ages, all people regardless of health or social standing. I urge you to read this book. I purchased copies for all of my healthcare providers friends and family. With 145,000 American deaths per year it should be required reading reading no later than high school.
My Stroke Awareness Journey Across America
This Blog is about my Journey Across America. It starts with my training for the Journey.
The first goal was to ride the bike a few feet without falling off.
My next goal was to ride down my 450 foot driveway and make a turnaround and ride back without falling off the bike.
Within a week I was up to one mile per day. Within 4 weeks I was up to 3 miles a day.
Today I am up to 10 miles per day. I don't ride every day. I need healing time to the bike muscles. But, I do something every day to prepare for the trip.
What I Need From You
The Training Begins
Amelia Island Florida