Achilles Foundation, advocacy, Angelina Jolie, athlete, Brad Pitt, Buffalo Bayou, Christopher Reeve, CW-X, cycling, Dick Traum, disability, Downtown Houston, Easy Street Recumbents, Firemen, Glenwood Cemetary, hero, Houston, ICE, Icebreaker clothing, inspiration, Leary Firefighters Foundation, marathon, multiple sclerosis, New York City, recumbent trike, service dog, stray dogs, swimming, training, YMCA
These are the relevant Facebook posts in regard to the finding & acquiring a recumbent trike, petitioning New York Road Runners for permission to use the trike to participate in the New York City Marathon, the training rides, and the fabulous charity organization I’m raising funds & awareness for: The Leary Firefighters Foundation.
I still need to figure out how to insert the accompanying photos & links properly. If only this blog technology was as easy as riding a trike . . .
~ Years ago I accepted I couldn’t ride a bike anymore due to MS-related balance issues. Yesterday I decided there are times when acceptance has to be revisited, challenged. I’m on a mission to find a way to modify a bike so I might ride again. So what if the bike looks silly, if I fall sometimes, if I even have to make the bike myself? So what if it doesn’t work out? Take that, you big not-so-scary MS Monster.
~ I’m researching recumbent trikes—dang, they’re expensive!
~ All research and advice for the best fit—given my unique & complex set of challenges/health issues—point to one maker of recumbent trikes:
~ I understand the reason the recumbent Lifecycle at the gym instructs me to Pedal Faster, and I have no objection to complying. The Pedal Slower command, on the other hand, is bewildering in its purpose—though it does makeme feel a bit like Lance Armstrong.
~ This guy inspires me!
~ “Every day brings a new opportunity to respond creatively to our injuries.” Christopher Reeve
Dear Christopher, I’m trying to live up to this ideal. You are one of my heroes—always.
~ I’m heading to Austin with Gary, Ana & Luke to test drive some recumbent trikes at Easy Street Recumbents & then feast on some BBQ. I’m so excited to take a step closer to finding and acquiring my own set of wheels.
~ Mike at Easy Street Recumbents is the king of customer service! I would definitely buy from him if we could afford to purchase new.
~ Jenny, you make my heart sing. Your story makes me more motivated than ever. Thank you.
~ If I get my trike in time for the NY Marathon, I hope to be a part of Team LFF—to ride in honor of them & all the good that they do for our nation’s firefighters and their families, for our communities. It would be amazing to be able to raise funds & awareness for this worthy charity. I hope I get in, and I hope they’ll have me on their team!
~ Here’s why my friend Anne & her sister bike the MS 150 every year. From me (& many others), a heartfelt Thank You!
~ If all goes according to plan I will begin training for next year’s MS 150 on my new recumbent trike this time next week.
~ My soon-to-be trike’s younger & faster sibling, the Vortex, from Inspired Cycle Engineering. I’m getting a 2006 ICE QNT.
~ I’m excited & impatient for something to arrive in the mail, which makes me feel like I’m 9 yrs old again & waiting for out-of-town birthday gifts. This just happens to be one that I’m hoping will hold enough magic to wheel me into a bit of a miracle.
~ Looking out the front window every 20 minutes for the UPS truck, ’cause it’s trike delivery day!
~ I’m now the proud owner of an ICE QNT recumbent trike. Wow, let the Return-to-Cycling journey begin!
~ My new-to-me 2006 ICE QNT recumbent trike!
Xena (my cat) is testing that the suspension and comfort of the mesh seat are adequate.
~ Training for the MS 150 (and hopefully the New York City Marathon) has officially begun. The recumbent trike is a marvelous invention.
~ OMG, my advocacy battle conquered: I’m an official entrant in the NYC Marathon! I’m the first athlete to be granted use of a recumbent trike as reasonable accommodation for a disability. I can’t believe this is happening.
~ I got detoured from my training ride yesterday morning by construction on the bike path, which added 7 miles to my planned 10 miles. Today, I rest & recover; tomorrow, back after it!
~ Off to an evening training ride in Hermann Park; oh please, let there be a breeze.
~ I haven’t had such a radical transformation in my way of life-as-affected-by-MS since being partnered with a mobility assistance service dog. I can officially declare that I love this recumbent trike more than chocolate & cheese & cheesecake. Heck, I even love it more than coffee!
~ Whodathunk wool would keep me cooler & drier than fancy-schmancy tech fabrics while training in the TX heat? The wicking & breathing properties of pure Merino wool are freakin’ amazing. Thank you New Zealand sheep & shepherds!
~ Hey everybody, here’s the phenomenal superfine pure Merino wool clothing I mentioned yesterday. It’s organic & from a sustainable source, whereas other performance fabrics are made from petroleum products (yuck). You can determine via the “Baa Code” the exact sheep farm the wool for your garment was sourced from!
~ Triking through historic Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. You can’t tell in this photo but there are actual hills. Probably the only hills left in Houston.
~ My new ICEBREAKER top just arrived from the cute FEDEX guy. I just may have discovered the performance wear equivalent to steroid doping. Don’t tell!
~ Spent my summer training for a marathon, which looks a bit different when I do it. In my twenties, before multiple sclerosis came into my life, I had a dream of participating in the NYC Marathon one day. I had to let that dream go over a decade ago; it didn’t fit w/someone who ambulates w/the help of a mobility assistance service dog. Then I discovered recumbent trikes & the world of competing as an athlete opened back up to me. I’m the first person granted use of a recumbent trike as reasonable accommodation for a disability. Not only do I have the opportunity of reclaiming the label of athlete, I have the privilege of raising awareness for a nonprofit organization I’m very passionate about, The Leary Firefighters Foundation. I get to make a dream—that I thought I’d buried long ago—come true, and maybe be a bit of a fundraising hero for some folks who truly are heroes, all in the same day! Is that Good or what? I’m one lucky woman, that’s for darn sure. I can’t remember a better summer, one filled with so much promise & anticipation.
~ Verve Vim Vigor Zap Zeal Zest Zing Zip! Sometimes I allow exuberance to sway me away from the realities of this body. Overdid it w/that last training ride, but tomorrow I’m all over it. Moxie Fire Gusto Oomph & Chutzpah, be mine!
~ 343 firefighters perished on September 11, 2001. The Leary Firefighters Foundation raised 1.9 million to help support the families left behind. In the wake of Katrina LFF donated 14 boats to the rescue efforts & later helped to restore 11 firehouses so that people could move back into their communities. I’m proud to be pedaling with Team LFF in the NYC Marathon. Would you please consider supporting my efforts? Even reposting this link & talking up LFF to your friends can make a difference! I’m grateful for *anything* that helps raise awareness & funds for this organization.
~ Gary fancies himself as a semi-pro weather man, which is why I got caught in a lightning storm & had to ride through mud swamps; but also how I ended up watching the colony of Mexican free-tailed bats exit the bridge exactly at sundown. So, he’s forgiven.
~ You don’t realize how many stray dogs hang out in cemeteries until you start frequenting them yourself. I now bring snacks for them. A bargain: I feed you, you don’t chase me while I ride around. So far, so good.
~ Seriously, folks, I’m the 3-wheeled Pied Piper of stray dogs! Though I don’t actually *try* to lure them & I only feed them on occasion. (No dognapping – a’ la’ the actual Pied Piper, I promise.)
~ I received a call from Dick Traum congratulating me on making history becoming the first recumbent tricyclist entry in the largest, most prestigious traditionally runner-only event in the world. A call from Brad Pitt or Madonna could not have made me happier! Dick is a legend & one of my heroes. Check him out:
setting the pace: achilles international / nycgo.com
Visit NYCgo for official information on things to do in New York City, including adaptive sports and running with Achilles International in the ING New York City Marathon.
~ Looked up mid-lap from the pool & noticed a pack of young firemen standing nearby. I swam more swiftly than I ever have, with flawless, gorgeous form. They didn’t seem to care; next time I’m going to cough a little bit of water, strive for pallor–see if that gets their attention 😉
~ These things are like Spanx to the Power of Ten! Rheumatologist suggested CW-X compression tights to support my knees, hips & core while riding; says they will also aid in muscle recovery in the first couple hours after training. It takes me that long just to get o-u-t of them. But totally worth it.
(photo + link)
~ This might seem off-topic, but it’s not. My husband is the greatest champion, partner and friend than anyone could ever dream of. He’s the reason I believe I can actually achieve my wild dreams, like becoming an athlete again, like crossing the finish line of the NYC Marathon. This dance, to me, embodies Gary’s devotion in our journey w/MS ~
So you think you can dance – Fix you – Robert & Allison
Beautiful contemporary dance choreographed by Travis Wall; danced by Robert Roldon & Allison Holker. No copyright.
~ After a night of gusty breezes the too-green lawns & twisting lanes of the graveyard are left decorated with the heads of lilies, carnations & roses. A Technicolor obstacle course for the wheels of my trike.
~ Be still my grateful heart: a morning in the 60s. God, I love fall!
~ Note to self: when you pull a Gary & fail to ask for directions—going 6 miles out of your way—that’s 12 extra *freakin* miles you’ve pedaled.
~ I heard the unmistakable & grievous sound of my trike’s undercarriage scraping bottom on cement this morning. Crappity crap crap ;(
~ This marathon training thing is kinda kicking my ass; I’m constantly sore & exhausted; I keep wondering if I’ve gotten in over my head; donations are slim & I’m kinda feeling like a failure for my LFF team before the race has even begun. I’m humbly & somewhat-embarrassingly (yeah, I know that’s not a word) asking for a shout out of support from y’all—my friends—to keep me keeping-on over here. Sometimes you just need a little encouragement in the midst of the long, hard journey, ya know? I’d really appreciate it. Oh, & here’s the beginnings of the new blog, if y’all’re interested. Thanks for allowing me this much-needed moment of whining this morning 😉
~ The other falls were fairly harmless, but this one resulted in a busted lip, scraped chin & chipped tooth. The downside to the world of recumbent triking is that I cannot take Luke along & thus have only my own wonky legs to depend upon. Anybody know how to craft a golden-retriever-sized sidecar?
~ Had a great training ride in Houston’s historic 6th ward yesterday; though I almost ran into a squirrel while admiring the gorgeous old homes. Sorry, dude.
~ I have determined that the term “squirrelly” originated from the situation when a squirrel runs into your impending wheeled pathway & then instead of continuing forward out of harm’s way, it pauses & decides to turn & run back across your wheels’ now-even-closer-route, thereby endangering itself AGAIN. They *all* do this. To me, anyway.
~ There is nothing in the greater Houston landscape that can prepare me for the first mile of the NYC Marathon, which is entirely Uphill. I have nightmares of not being able to pedal forward anymore—close to the top—then rolling backward, picking up speed, colliding w/an unsuspecting pack of runners.
~ I would rather end up rolling backward down a hill & making a 3-wheeled fool of myself than not attempting to conquer the hill at all to save face. That said, you might not want to be running directly behind me. Seriously. :o)