I got my hands on a copy of Karras’ book, RAGBRAI: Everyone Pronounces It Wrong and it has made me come to the realization that I may chose to walk my bike up some hills. I read about a couple of the deaths that occurred the 1st years of the ride, including one guy who died of a heart attack. (I know there were others as well)
This year’s ride for me was meant to be a reward, or a victory ride for me. June will mark the first anniversary of a new, healthier, more disciplined life style for me. This change came about after needing to have a stent added to my plumbing. Days before I learned that my left anterior descending artery (aka The Widow Maker) was 100% blocked.
I know that my wife doesn’t want me to do ride, but I NEED to do it. The dream of riding through Iowa in July keeps me motivated to get on the wind trainer on days like today when the weather is so miserable. It motivates me to eat healthier. It motivates me to be more vigilant when it comes to taking my meds; something that I use to have a problem with.
When I exercise, I am mindful of my maximum heart rate, and ride with a monitor on. On some hills however, I do exceed that occasionally hitting 150+.
I am not concerned about going over my max for a short period of time, but wonder about doing this for an extended period of time.
I recently wrote to David Ertl, who suggest that I avoid “extreme rates” and “ride within a comfortable heart rate zone,” something I have no problem with on flat roads, or moderately challenging roads. Those long roads with a killer grade are another story.
I have a 6 month follow up in a few weeks with the cardiologist, and will talk to him about my concerns, and seek his advice. Advice on not whether, but how I should ride with these concerns in mind.
So if you see me walking my bike up a hill like Potter Hill, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t or don’t want to try to climb it. What it means is that I want to make sure that I am around for a good long time with my family, and to do many more RAGBRAI’s.