Thursday, May 15, 2014

Entertaining a Question:

The Decision to Ride

To Ride Or Not to Ride

That is the question

I used to write about this question occasionally, but usually the subject concerned the weather. Was it going to be smart to ride in today's weather. Sometimes I'd be mad because I missed a day of riding because I thought the weather would be bad, but turned out not to be so, or vice versa.

At Burnett's Mound in Topeka Kansas

 But today I'm actually contemplating something different

To Ride or Not to Ride



In other words, I'm beginning to question whether it is smart for me to ride at all given my health condition.

Like Hamlet, Here's the Rub,

You may not be aware, You may not care, but there are some subtle and sometimes wicked after-effects that result from a cardiac arrest.You might think that it's all about the heart, but the brain can be also affected by a cardiac arrest. A lack of fresh oxygenated blood to the brain during the arrest can cause a lot of symptoms such as memory loss and coordination problems including the ability to perform very basic functions. Some of these symptoms are severe, some minor.

So, what's the problem......

I believe I am continuing to experience some symptoms of brain anoxia (lack of oxygen) that occurred during my cardiac arrest. In my case, it's not extremely serious. I function just fine, most of the time. But 3 1/2 years later, I still have some minor symptoms, and they do not appear to be going away. I believe some of these symptoms affect my ability to effectively operate a 2 wheeled motorized vehicle. I say "might" because most of the time I think I am just as competent as before. But other times I know that I am not as alert, mentally,  as I should be. I am afraid that I might not be able to recognize and react as quickly as I should to certain situations that could be encountered on the road.

And I'm the kind of person that feels that if I'm going to do something, anything, then I'm going to do it right, and safely, and competently. Otherwise I'm not sure it is worth doing at all.

A beautiful day near Eskridge Kansas

So, I'm wondering.......

And it's not easy.

It's a bit difficult to think about it.

I hadn't ridden in about 6 weeks. But 2 days ago I started Max, expecting him to balk a bit because it had been a few weeks since I had even started him. Of course, he started right up on the first touch of the starter. What a good friend he is. And I've ridden the last couple of days to work with no incidents, even got a couple of nice waves from other riders yesterday. Weather has been spectacular. Upper 40's in the morning, maybe a bit cool, but about 70 for the ride home.

It's nice to be riding again.

But in the back of my mind I'm beginning to wonder......

I know one thing.... A long day ride, hours long, is probably out of the question. I don't have the stamina, mentally, to do it anymore. So short trips it will have to be. My romantic dreams of long distance motorcycle touring are probably gone.

I'm not selling Max, at least not yet. It will still be fun to take some fun rides here and there. And when I don't think I can safely accomplish that, well another decision might have to be made. I'm not there yet.

In the Flint Hills of Kansas about 60 miles northeast of Wichita

Ride On and Carpe Diem,my good friends,

And if by chance someday that I decide to cease my riding on,,,,,
I guarantee that I will continue Carpe Dieming!