Ben takes his Edge from two wheels to three


All this was great fun, but being injured still had me in the dumps emotionally - until we reached our final destination. The friends we visited on Vancouver Island were Scott and his wife Leah. Scott is a respirator-dependent quadriplegic. He has partial mobility that he makes the most of with his awesome collection of manly toys and a love for life that instantly yanked me out of self-pity. (I’ll leave out further discussion of the emotional turmoil caused by my stress fracture and go straight to the toys.) Scott has a love for sports cars (amazingly enough, he’s a great driver) and endurance adventures. I told Scott I needed to do some kind of workout or I might go insane, so he asked if I’d rather use the kayak or the hand cycle; I choose the latter. Before I left Scott warned me that the road would be a bit hilly, then smiled and said, “watch out for wild dogs.”

The first thing you should realize as I describe this adventure is that arm muscles are quite a bit smaller than leg muscles, and this was the first time my arms have ever “pedaled” a hand cycle before. The route, which took 90 minutes out-and-back, was the most demanding form of cycling I had ever done, according to my Edge 705. The two-lane road was without shoulders and my head, at three feet, was the highest point of the machine. Nevertheless I was excited to be moving! After hugging the eastern shore of Vancouver Island for several miles the road turned and headed up into the evergreen forests of a Native American Reservation. My Edge said I was on a 7% slope and the fastest I could get myself to move was about 3 or 4 mph at an effort that completely disabled me after several seconds. My heart rate was near maximal, I was barely moving, and that’s when I heard the territorial bark of a displeased dog.

I froze; Scott’s warning took on a horrible reality as adrenaline raced through my blood stream. At that point the road was too narrow to make a U-Turn, and too steep to climb. The barks were getting closer. My arms took on a new life and began to accelerate in moderately fast circles - propelling me uphill at record speeds (later analysis via Garmin Connect would show that my speed was in the “slow jog” zone). The barking was close; I could hear rustling in the woods. The road turned slightly and I could see it begin to flatten out. My arms ached; my ears were on red alert, awaiting the moment when I would have to decide between using my hands to pedal, or to fend off wild creatures. The hand-cycle accelerated as my Garmin indicated the grade was now 0%. The barks were losing both frequency and ferocity. As I gained momentum I turned my head to see just a glimpse of a straggly brown mutt watching my escape from what must have been the edge of his turf.

Back at Scott’s house he offered to let me take out the kayak, but when he mentioned I should, “watch out for orca whales,” I settled for a glass of iced tea and pleasant conversation.

The post Ben takes his Edge from two wheels to three appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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