Cycling advancements & Chilly Hilly 2005

Two and one-half months after my discharge from the Harborview Rehab floor, Keith Heinzelman and I set out to ride the Chilly Hilly 2005.  With a huge amount of emotional and physical support we were accompanied by friends, family, church members, Seattle Symphony members, Bill Davidson framebuilder from Elliott Bay Bicycles, and Josh Golden my PT from the Harborview Rehab floor.

The day was a bit foggy and cool, but it was dry!  Off we went....

To spare you the details... we made it!  Nearly 33 miles and roughly 2500 feet of climbing.  The ride really went well with no major problems, thanks to the support of Jon Green and Rachael Swerdlow of the Seattle Symphony who jumped off their tandem to run along side us and push us over the steepest pitch.  Others helped too, cheering support or riding ahead to be ready at the last few hills to give us an assist.  In the end it was hard to fit back the tears of joy and happiness - having reclaimed a bit of life.  Many thanks go out to Keith Heinzelman, my PT, who dared to dream of this and yet had discovered the carrot to hold out for me what was to become a key to my rehab.




























What next?  Soon afterwards Keith would have me on an upright spinning bicycle in his office.  Yet my arms were so weak from my SCI and radial nerve injuries that after 5 minutes I would beg Keith to let me off the bike.  Without a trace of sympathy he immediately stuffed a large Pilates Ball between my chest and the handlebars, so that the weight of my upper body was supported by the ball.  This became my spinning routine, slowly extending the time till my arms failed and the fit ball needed to be placed.  This was all training for eventual upright standard tandem riding with Keith, and gym group fitness spinning classes that Gwen and I could do together.


In the meantime Bill Davidson framebuilder began drawing up plans for a road bike; one that he designed with input from both Keith and I regarding equipment, wheels, and frame dimensions.  His goal was to make it superlight, stable and functional for my disabilities - particularly considering my poor hand function.  Now all I had to do was to learn how to ride a bicycle again alone, this time two wheels and on my own power.  That story is up next....





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