#346 – Bicycle Just For Me

Bow River, Alberta.

I knew the features I needed in order for my bicycle to work for me. I cycled through my spiel at each bicycle shop I visited. I went something like this: I have rheumatoid arthritis and I’m looking for adjustable handlebars. I want to be able to raise them up in order to lessen the weight on my wrists. My knees hurt if they bend too much, so I want to position the seat so that I’m comfortable and safe.

It was an exercise in frustration, as the salespeople either didn’t listen closely or kept trying to push me towards bicycles that they thought I needed.

I eventually found a bicycle that worked for me, but it took some doing. No, it wasn’t the perfect fit like you see in this Global B.C. news segment, but it was optimal for me and my condition. So much so, that I was able to enjoy a variety of rides over dykes, trails and on the street.

Having rheumatoid arthritis does not mean an end to everything. I was diagnosed when I was nineteen. For at least twenty-five years after that diagnosis, when I wasn’t flaring, I cycled, windsurfed, played racquetball, swam and cross-country and down-hill skiied. A flare-up does not last forever. With good treatment and fantastic self-management skills (which I’m still practising), you can still do some of the things you love. Modified.

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3 Comments to “#346 – Bicycle Just For Me”

  1. Do you still cycle after the hip replacement?

    • Ramana,
      I did after the first one; mainly because I had a good leg to stand on. 😉

      Since the second one and subsequent dislocations, cycling is out, unless it’s in the gym.

  2. I’m glad you preserved to find the perfect bike for you! The news segment you mentioned is very informative and useful for people, especially those with RA, that are looking to start cycling in a safe way. Like you said, alignment and good form is important for staying out of arthritis pain. Most of all, I’m happy you are able to still have so much fun on bike outings.

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