22 February 2022

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm often asked how Lizard can ride his bike with Parkinson's. It certainly is not easy! But this guy never gives up. He's amazing. Two years ago, eight weeks after total knee replacement (which ramped up the Parkinson's but enabled him to walk), he was able to get a full revolution for the first time. (shown above)

Five days after emergency back surgery in August of 2020, he was able to push the pedals all the way around once again. Oh, we had such high hopes! But the back surgery took its toll on the Parkinson's. And, we've since learned his Parkinson's is an aggressive strain, moving a little faster than normal even without surgeries.

We've worked our way up on mileage (six to twelve miles) a handful of times now, only to have to start all over again from scratch every time we aren't able to get back on the bikes for a few days. Lizard can do three miles, but getting above that in winter is a real challenge.

Last weekend, he was able to pedal eight miles for the first time since September 2021. I was SO proud of him! He experienced some difficulties at about a mile, and he wanted to return to the car. He was done for the day. By the time we got back to the car, he was feeling a little better, and he kept right on pedaling. Boy, was I surprised!

We got about mile away from the car again, and once again, he thought he was done. This time, he wanted me to go back and get the car, then return to pick him up. I encouraged him to sit for a bit and try to collect his strength. He downed a couple of energy gel cubes and drank some water. After a few minutes, he was ready to ride back to the car. When we got back to the car, he kept right on going once again and retraced the entire four miles we'd just completed.

Every time we ride, he asks me if he's regaining his speed. Last weekend, I couldn't hold his pace for about 15 seconds. The rest of the ride got slower and slower, but every time he thought he couldn't go any further, he challenged himself and succeeded.

Sometimes, he has to fight for every single tiny little accomplishment. But he keeps right on trying. This guy is my champion. He's had so many reasons and opportunities to give up, but he refuses to become an invalid. When we got home, he listened to Foreigner's "I'm Gonna Win" about six times, then REO Speedwagon's "Keep Pushing."

It is not an easy road, but he keeps right on spinning those wheels!


  1. Goooooo, Lizard, who has a name!!!!!! :) “Keep Moving Forward”
    ― Walt Disney

  2. Lizard, you can do it! Your courage inspires us. Hugs to you, and keep pedaling.

  3. Keep on going! You inspire me to get my legs back! Did 10 round trip walks yesterday... gotta work on my strength too!


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