About three months post-stroke I yearned to be outdoors with the wind at my face, heart pumping, climbing the many of Seattle’s steep streets on some sort of human-powered wheeled cycle again. Due to my rather significant motor disabilities at the time, I had to accept my 2-wheeled cycles weren’t in the cards. I had attended a local stroke support group where one meeting’s focus was on accessible wheeled machines, where I test rode the leader of the group’s ICE recumbent trike. I was in love at first ride and just knew I had to go right home to start researching how I could obtain one!
I considered myself fairly knowledgeable of most things in the cycling-world, so I figured sat the time I shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a recumbent that should work for me. After about a week of research, I mostly decided on a used rather high-end German-made Recumbent that had some terrific reviews and at the time sounded to be priced really fair. Well, after patiently waiting a week or more for the guy all the way in NY to ship it to me, it arrived in hundreds of pieces! I was apparently still in denial of my physical abilities and figured it would be a ‘fun challenge’ to try and assemble. I couldn’t of been more wrong! After struggling for a week or two (even with the kind help of a friend), I decided to take it to a local shop to pay to have it assembled. Being such a specialize machine, it took the shop many many weeks to finish it.
Finally out of the shop, I immediately started riding it nearly every day right away realizing the tremendous benefit the great cardio workout and fresh air did for me! I rode the thing all over my local neighborhood. Then one day, it started to experience lots of annoying mechanical problems. In my infinite wisdom at the time, I figured a relatively inexpensive solution was to change/upgrade part of the drive-train. I was sort of fed up with the shop that assembled it for me, so taking it to a shop right down the street seemed wise. After again many weeks in that shop, it was out and I thought it was back again functional. It wasn’t but a couple weeks later when taking the trike out, riding along, where the entire machine would ‘lock-up’ as someone was locking the brakes on! 😦
I had no other option but to again take it back to the guy who assembled it. More than two months, now that summer is right around the corner desperate to have a working trike, in a much better frame of mind, I see all of brand new trikes available that are FAR simpler & in the end nearly the same amount paid for my PITA other one! I found what looks to be this wonderful shop dedicated to recumbents down in Portland here. So my wife & I are all set to take a trip down there next weekend to make a fun weekend out of it. Friday, we will treat ourselves (and feel like kids again) by going to an 80’s dance party at the Crystal Ballroom that has this awesome bouncy floating dance floor! Then it will be off to fit & hopefully take home a new trike that will serve me MUCH better for years to come! I plan to the sell my older one IF/when it ever gets out of the shop!!
So, the biggest lesson learned her is that be very careful making any rather big decisions or large purchases following a stroke! There are many big changes & healing that one’s brain has to go through and if you rush it, you may likely regret choices you may make!
I will be sure to post an update once I get my new machine here 🙂