What a beautiful day for a ride. Once again I forgot my camera, but Bike Freedom Valley was my first re-entry to riding beyond the loop and after only a week plus back on the bike after Annie's surgery I expected to ride maybe 15 miles out to around Conshohocken and back. But I felt good and made it to Valley forge for a 48 mile round trip. Perfect way to spend Father's Day except that in past year's Annie was with me. Not this year. I came home to be taken out to lunch by my son, and pick out an Utley Phillies jersey as a gift. Great day. Despite riding alone I met enough people I know during the course of the day to keep me from feeling bad.
Yes, it has been over seven weeks since Annie had her knees replaced and I would say she is half-way back to normal. She is more and more independent, still in moderate pain, still using a cane, still bedeviled most by the arrangement of our four story house. It has not been more difficult than the doctors predicted, but I don't think we ever internalized how difficult what they were telling her was going to be. On top of that the nerve problem that developed in her left foot resulting in foot drop for which she must wear a brace has complicated things. On that front, she has been getting improved control and some sensation and movement in the foot so the doctors predictions that it would also return to normal appear to be on target. However, they caution that that could take up to a year, as nerve damage heals slowly.
So for six of the last seven weeks I have been off the bike. I was needed to care for her, especially in the morning before I went to work. Again, the stairs in our house were the main issue. But I started back on the bike last Friday and have not missed a day since. I felt better than I expected, though didn't dare try a double loop even over the weekend with the Drives closed to traffic. My stamina was definitely down and I'm carrying more weight to boot.But that's been coming back and on Monday morning I managed a double without too much problem. In general my speed is still slow, but I'm getting there. I signed up for Bike Freedom Valley on Sunday with the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia. Two years ago Annie and I did this ride all the way to Valley Forge, a first for her...a ride I used to do almost weekly, but now I don't think I'm ready for. I'll see. I may take a chance and go all the way, but more likely I will do a shorter ride. Either way it will be great to be out there and with a crowd.
I haven't had time to focus on taking any new pictures lately. Might try to take my camera with me on Sunday. Should get a shot of the new South Street Bridge whose progress I haven't been following since I haven't been out there. But now I can see that the span is up and it is excitedly looking like it will be back in good time.
I am a 64 year old Conservative Rabbi, published theologian and professor of Jewish Philosophy. I have also published two books of poetry and have recently become an avid cyclist along with my wife of 40 years.
I write two blogs, Bicycle-Musings and Pipe Pulpit.
In the news section of one of his early Fredcasts David told the story of one Ludwig from Znnin Poland who at 84 years of age went out for a ride on his bike. To make a longer story short (and you really should listen to the podcast to get all the details) Ludwig ended up in London, England! So I figure if (again, according to the explanation on The Fredcast #1) a Fred is someone who not only rides a bike but is severely attracted to the gadgets and accessories of a certain bike-cultural look (and I guess I'm a Fred without the financial resources to really express my Fredness) then a Ludwig could be anyone over the age of 55 who is not only a Fred, but also loves to just keep riding eating up the miles pretty much unconcerned with speed. Go Ludwig! I'm a Ludwig. Maybe someday I'll figure out podcasting and do a Ludwigcast.