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The Bike Saga...

As you all know, I just had hip surgery on Feb 29th and they are running me ragged with rehab, exercises, leg circles, stretchy bands of plastic, stair steppers and all other forms of torture you can imagine. I was very fortunate that I was only on a walker for a few day and then a cane for about a week and then I was walking freely. It has really turned out very well. But, I have to reflect upon the “Bike Saga” which took place two weeks prior to my surgery and lasted until two weeks after my surgery if you want a time estimation for you to understand the true lengths I have gone through for this hip (no pun intended.)

The doctor said that as part of this surgery I would need to use a stationary bike everyday for 30 minutes. No problem, I live in an apartment complex with a full fitness center that has a stationary bike that I have already tried so I am familiar with it. I called the office to find out the gym hours and the door code (in case it had been changed) and this is when the first bomb hits….”Oh, ummm, we hate to tell you this but the entire office, business center, movie theater, gym and basketball court is being torn up and renovated starting on March 1st and will be closed off to the residents for 6 to 8 weeks,” The day AFTER my surgery is scheduled? Great. I nearly passed out. There was absolutely NO convincing them of letting me “store” our fitness center’s bike at my apartment. Apparently it’s “against the fair housing act of allowing one resident to do, you must let all residents do” and blahblahblah. They just didn’t want me to use the damn bike is what it was. I said, “So, what are we going to do now?” So we asked them to get us into the gym at our “sister complex” called Coventry. It’s right here in town.

One day Mom and I got all dressed up and headed on over to Coventry to check it out. One of the maintenance men from our current complex was asked to transfer there so he was waiting out front for us when we got there. We were excited for him, he deserved the opportunity. Good guy, smaller complex, more money, just a whole lot easier for him to deal with on his own. Our place is big, he said almost 500 apartments but Coventry had about 350 and he was enjoying the new job. So, by the time we were done talking we had made it to the gym and as soon as I barely even saw the bikes (4 of them) I knew I was not going to be able to use them. They were SPINNING BIKES. The fact that it said “spinning” in large letters across the wall could have saved me a trip if anyone had bothered to mention it but I was grateful for their efforts nonetheless. I got on a bike and gave it a few spins but it was just as I presumed, I couldn’t tolerate that seat for 5 minutes, never mind 30 minutes a day! We thanked them and left, quite discouraged.

If you, as a female, have never seen or sat on a spinning bike my friend you will never forget the experience. The seat on a spinning bike is made to be so uncomfortable that you WANT to spend your time cycling with your butt up off the bike with your legs and your arms/hands supporting you. There is nothing like the pain of a banana seat like a spinning bike. I am supposed to be patiently sitting down on a comfy chair and pushing the wheels with my left leg while my right leg just follows the left one around down during my rehab cycling. My goal is to work the hip joint and strengthen it slowly, not tear it all up again. The spinners were not going to work. Moving on. Thank you.

Crap. Back to square one and my surgery was within a few days!! I had an appointment with my primary care doc and she said, “How about like a medical supply store? Do they supply that sort of stuff?” They do when therapy comes over to do home care, I can’t see why not. So, she gave me a prescription for it. When I got home I called the largest Medical Supply Company in town and they said we don’t supply that sort of stuff, it’s “sporting goods.” That’s not considered DME (durable medical equipment) so they can’t charge for it.) You would have to think of a sports place for something like that where they may rent equipment. Now where in the hell am I gonna find one of those in this huge city??? I just want a little stationary bike for a few weeks here people……..running out of options….

So I am in my surgeon’s office for my pre-op appointment and a lady and I were discussing my bike dilemma. She said, “Why don’t you just rent one?” There’s a sports store on University Ave that rents them out all the time. Then she proceeds to write down their name and number. I was so thrilled, bells were going off in my head, lights were all around me, birds were chirping, and all I could hear was “TAH-DAHHHHHHHHHHHHH…….” When I snapped out of it, It was like my name was being shouted from from God above until I realized that it was just the nurse calling me for my turn to see the doctor! I thanked the lady profusely and went on my way before I embarrassed myself further.

So, I called them the minute I got home and he had a bike that they could deliver at a decent price but then Mom started to second guess at what if the bike was a piece of sh*t, what if these delivery men carried the bike into our (beige carpeted) living room with dirty boots when we “just had our carpets cleaned” that same week, what if this guy didn’t give me my deposit back, what if I still hated the seat (even though I looked it up online and it seemed fine)….and on and on it went. No matter how many justifications to reality I could present she could always find something else wrong with renting a bike. I didn’t have any more time for her excuses, I needed a bike! It had been two week since my surgery now and my hip was tightening up. I was taking more pain medicine every day, P.T. was no where in sight (paperwork and scheduling snafu) and I was being able to do less and less each day. The bike was becoming critical.

So that was it, that conversation really pissed me off, I was getting a bike one way or another. That night on the computer, I started with Craigslist–nope, nada. Then I went to FreeStuff at Jacksonville–nope, nothing. Then FreestuffatJacksonvilleBeach still nothing. Damn it. So I went to and discovered that you can actually get a fairly plain stationary bike for just under $100 tax and delivered! I couldn’t believe it. This was less than the guy was gonna rent the other bike to me for! I said. ” You mean to tell me that I have been running all over this town, bothering people at their jobs (like at Coventry), picking people brain’s (like the lady in the waiting room), freaking out every day about how my hip is scarring up and the pain was increasing, going back and forth with my mother endlessly until we were both stressed and worst of all, going two weeks post op without a bike when all I had to do was email WalMart and say, “Hey! Send me the would ya? Yah thanks” and **BAM** five days later it was on my front door step!?!? Holy crap man. That was too freakin’ easy. Done. Lord, I love internet shopping.

Above you will see a photo of my little torture device that I get to ride 30 minutes on every day. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistle but it tells me time, speed, distance, calories and has an odometer. I put it together myself! Yes, yes I did and thank you very much for those of you who are clapping right now. So, it really wasn’t too difficult. They ship it to you with the body pretty much intact and you just add on the seat, back seat (which folds down nicely), arms, meter, and feet. There you have it, my tiny stationary bike that sits in the corner of the living room and is where I will be spending a lot of time over the next six months or so….sigh.

All in all, I’m glad that I bought my own bike. Now, when I put settings in certain places they will stay that way until I change them. No one else is getting their nasty sweat all over the same equipment that I will be using. I can ride whenever I want which suits my night time schedule so I am likely to be on there at midnight or 2am (like when I blog). It folds up and stands upright so it can get even smaller to stand in a closet if company is coming over. Thank God because this place is a tuna can already…Ha!

Truthfully though, the biggest feature most women I talked to wanted in a bicycle was the same exact thing I wanted…a comfortable SEAT! I just wanna get off that thing and not feel like I have dry humped the jungle gym for 30 minutes. Praise the Lord! Can I get an amen? This bike has a seat with some meat to it. Your whole butt is covered and you don’t feel that when you try to climb off it, Your pubic bone will need an application of ice for the next two days of so before returning to normal. It’s Just a nice cushioned seat that covers everything that needs to be covered which puts you in a semi reclined position because the seat comes up under the back of your hamstring a little on each side. Let me tell you though, the saving of the tutu is worth the loss of being perfectly upright in my opinion.

So, there is my bike saga and my high recommendation for the bike that I purchased because I love it so much. If you are in the market for a bike go get yourself one of these. I think that I paid about $106 total DELIVERED to my house and it would have been way less if I picked it up. You don’t need any tools, they give you everything that you need to put this bike together all in the box. The instructions were simple to read, just lay out your parts and take your time because you can end up putting nuts in the wrong way and the bolts won’t go on correctly. Gotta pay attention to the small details on this one, use the washers! If you go step by step, you put this together correctly and it will last you a long time.

I am off to go do my 30 minutes now as I have been a slacker lately. It’s the first few weeks of actual physical therapy and I can barely move when I come home so I usually wrap myself in ice for two days, down a bunch of painkillers and don’t move until it’s time to go back again. That’s just between us, ok? Shhhhh be quiet about that now……. Ok bye for now….

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