From Crutches to 135 Miles of riding (in just 10 Months)!
October 3, 2017
On Sunday 1st October 2017 I completed a 220km (136mile) Audax ride on an ElliptiGO 11R bike. That achievement isn’t particularly remarkable, as many people have ridden further/faster – and in truth I probably wouldn’t have made it round had it not been for my fantastic support team of Idai Makaya (ElliptiGO’s main ambassador in the UK), Stuart Blofeld, Thomas Mönch and Alan McDonogh.
What makes this a little bit different is that the ride took place only 10 months after my second hip replacement operation (the first having taken place 2 months prior to that).
I take no personal credit for this, as it’s the staff at Wrightington Hospital who did such an amazing job in replacing my two arthritic hip joints and leaving me with no pain at all – and the designers of the ElliptiGO bike, who really deserve recognition.
After being diagnosed with arthritis in August 2016, I was a little despondent, as having been involved in sport for the majority of my 54 years (and enjoying fell running, Marathons, Ironman Triathlons as pastimes), I was unsure what I would find to replace these activities without risking damaging my new hip joints.
A combination of things – seeing an article in a magazine, talking to Idai, a love of quirky gadgets and a very very understanding wife – were all significant factors in my purchase of an ElliptiGO 11R in November 2016 (oh – and the fact that the day of my discharge from hospital was Black Friday and there was a significant price reduction on the 11R – Karma!!).
Frustratingly, due to my surgery, I wasn’t able to use the new 11R until January 2017, when I began with 5 minutes a day, on the indoor trainer. I increased this week by week, in 5 minute increments, until I got up to 45 minutes. My first outdoor ride took place in early February 2017 and was a magnificent 4.7 miles (at an average speed of 9.2miles per hour)! It’s a lot harder ‘ElliptiGOing’ outdoors than on an indoor trainer!
I gradually increased my distances over the weeks that followed, regularly checking in with Idai and updating him on my progress. When Idai suggested becoming part of a team of riders he was mentoring to complete Audax rides of 200km, I knew that I had found my focus and motivation to get my fitness back.
Using the ElliptiGO has been a revelation and my fitness levels are on a par with when I was training for triathlon. The low-impact nature of the machine has meant no hip pain at all, and more importantly, the psychological factor of not running is no longer an issue (as I can get a similar effect from a session on the ‘GO).
Having completed 200km on an ElliptiGO, I am not sure what my next challenge is going to be. I still own and enjoy riding road bikes (just not as much as I enjoy riding my ElliptiGO!!) so whether having a GO at a 300/400km ride is an option, I’m not sure. It’s been a while since I’ve felt such a sense of satisfaction upon completing a challenge, so I’m going to enjoy the moment and take a bit of time to decide on my next ‘steps’.
For anyone who is interested in keeping fit, I would say that the ElliptiGO is a useful cross training tool. The low-impact nature of the ElliptiGO gives you a significantly better workout than cycling (so much more time-efficient and, importantly, great fun). In particular, anyone like me (who has had joint/injury issues) should give purchasing one serious consideration. I am convinced you wouldn’t regret it…