Sanity lives somewhere between hopes and fears. Waking up Sunday morning, I hoped that my first actual ride in 3 months and 2 days, 3 months to the day after surgery (but who's counting) would be relatively similar to what I was doing before the shit hit the fan. I feared that it would be a total fiasco. What happened was - drumroll, please - somewhere between the two.
Spinning bikes must have really short crank arms because getting over the top of my stroke on my bike was difficult at first. Position differences between a spinning bike and my bike made the whole experience a little wobbly at first, but I got the hang of things quickly enough and soon wasn't in any real danger of just drifting off. Pedaling stayed a bit strange the whole time. All in all my first ride on a real bike felt a lot like my first ride on a spinning bike did a month ago. Standing, which I've gotten proficient at in the gym (10 minute standing climb intervals are not a big problem) was a bit problematic. Not horrible, but not automatic either - there was a definite hitch in my stroke.
Just riding along seemed okay. There were times when I felt completely normal and times when I, in the words of a guy on the ride, was "crawling all over the bike." Not surprising, but a bit disappointing because normally my upper body is very quiet when I ride. Starting from a stop sucked. Climbing pretty much sucked. Normally, when someone accelerates all I have to do is give a good hard stomp and I'm right there. Yesterday it took quite a bit more thought and action to keep with the accelerations. A couple of times I thought I was going to get dropped, which would have been absolutely tragic.
I also spent last week battling through a nasty head cold, which didn't help things. Normally I am something of a heavy expectorator on rides. Yesterday I was an historic expectorator. Whatever. When I ride I fully expect to be slimed by others and myself.
Moral of the story is that things were probably about how they should have gone. Initial feedback entering surgery was that I would just be able to bear weight right about now. As it is, I've been walking more and more on my own power over the last three weeks and now I can pretty well walk unassisted over reasonable distances. Sometimes I limp badly, sometimes not at all. That part of the equation is better than hoped. There's a lot of work to do on getting leg strength back but the work I've done over the last month plus gives me a good start. It's going fine.
New bartape under any circumstances is a treat. The new Fizik fuzzy tape is WAY better than hoped. It's like having your bars wrapped in very soft suede - vat izh that, velvet? Went with the black, which is better than my standard white for fall and winter.
If I am going to be anything better than meat for the Lost River trip in October I am going to have to be very disciplined.