I Ride the Bike

Get on your bikes and ride


Not my actual legs


My foot is doing great, thanks for (NOT) asking.

Lookit. You can barely see the scar (thanks to blurry photography):


Just a little swelling:


And no more—PRUDENCE!


Anyway, after three long months, my foot is healed and ready for weight-bearing exercise.

Way back in January, during my surgery consult, my only concern was how soon I could get back to my exercise regime. My foot doctor said, “Well, maybe after two months you can ride the bike.”

What the . . . Ride the bike? Two months? THE BIKE??? I was shocked. I thought it would be, like, 2 weeks. Plus, I don’t ride the bike. I do HARD exercise. I rock out on the elliptical. I stomp my feet and shake my butt in Zumba. I freaking WALK!

But for two months, I couldn’t do anything that involved my feet. After that, for at least a month, I could only ride the bike.

The recumbent bike.

I thought the bike would suck. You’re sitting on your butt! How many calories can you possibly work off? And there’s no upper-body movement. Why not just stick me in a wheelchair and tell me to feel the burn?

But as soon as my two months were up, I was ready. I would ride the bike and be a good sport about it.

I found the row of bikes, and all but one were occupied. By old men. Really old men, pedaling very slowly. One of them had a cast on his leg. Was this rehab or the Y? I would show these old men a thing or two. Outta my way. JD is gonna ride the damn bike.

I took my seat and popped on my headphones. Ah . . . movement! Two months of only Pilates and weights had gotten a little boring. Maybe the bike was a stupid baby-ass workout, but at least I could MOVE! And there was certainly no reason to hold onto the handlebars like some old man. I don’t care what my heart rate is. I started pumping my arms. And . . . yes, I can twist from side to side too. And flick my mighty ponytail! And rock back and forth . . .


The month passed quickly, and now I’m ready for my regular workouts. But for one month, I burned some calories, shaved a few inches off my hips, and finally figured out how to set the program to “Manual.” Most important, I showed up a bunch of old men. Yes, people, I rode the bike.

And I rode it hard.

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45 Responses to “I Ride the Bike”

  1. 1 feefifoto

    By the way — how are your feet?

    feefifoto’s last blog post..Am I Too Sensitive?

  2. 2 Jaffer

    I had to read “But for one month, I burned some calories, shaved a few inches off my hips” several times before I could finish reading to the end.

    Jaffer’s last blog post..Flying Sumos

  3. 3 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Um, can I sniff your feets? Prudence got to.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Sunday Comics with Daisy!

  4. 4 Pricilla

    Congratulations on liking the bike. I don’t ride a bike. I butt cats for exercise. Sorry Prudence….

    Pricilla’s last blog post..Pricilla Reigns Supreme

  5. 5 Stephanie Barr

    You’re so good.

    I guess you’re good so I don’t have to be.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..For Quadmama: Blog Makeovers

  6. 6 Marie

    Your feet look mahvelous darling.

    You really exercise like that? Really?


    Marie’s last blog post..Love For Sale OR Is There a Spouse in the House?

  7. 7 absepa

    JD, I fully respect your right to love the recumbent bike, but I hate it! The bike was the first exercise I encountered when I started physical therapy for my broken ankle a few years ago, and it HURT. When the ankle has been immobilized by a spaceman boot for five weeks or so, it does not want to pedal a bike. Little did I know that the bike was just the beginning of the pain to come! The therapy worked, tho, so I can’t complain TOO much about it.

    absepa’s last blog post..It’s About Time You Got Here

  8. 8 Maureen

    Weights? Pilates? WALKING??

    Holy crap, thank the gods you exercise so I don’t have to.

    BTW, how’s the foot? ;)

    Maureen’s last blog post..Deflated

  9. 9 Kathy

    Awww, little Prudence wants some of mommie’s toes! I have to say that’s a much longer scar that I thought you would have.

    Glad you got to show up old men at the gym. You gotta start out slow. After a while you can show up the monosyllabic, steroid-injecting lugs. Go JD!

    Kathy’s last blog post..An Unwelcome Visitor

  10. 10 dcr

    Did you ride the bike
    To go from stationary
    To “Where went the bike?”

    dcr’s last blog post..Tweet Week: Twitter Following

  11. 11 Puglette

    i am sure those old men enjoyed having a hottie in their midst. thank you for exercising for me, i appreciate the effort. ;o)
    so, do you listen to queen when you ride your bicycle?

    Puglette’s last blog post..May Flowers

  12. 12 absepa

    Also, I’m really glad your foot is feeling better. And I wish I had your enthusiasm for exercise. :)

    absepa’s last blog post..It’s About Time You Got Here

  13. 13 Florida Girl In Sydney

    You’ve almost inspired me to make my clothes rack into a recumbent exercise bike, I mean you’ve almost inspired me to dust off my exercise bike. I’ll have a little think about that….

    ps- you have cute feet.

    Florida Girl In Sydney’s last blog post..Yeah, Mom– it’s soup alright.

  14. 14 Regan

    Those pictures scared me a bit. But the picture of Pru made it all worth it. Go Prudence!

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  15. 15 Daniela

    Pth, i scoff at excercise. I just had cake for breakfast and am already planning my next meal. ok, i lie. but those bikes are killer. take a cycling class….hardest workout ever…

    Daniela’s last blog post..Penguins Can Do No Wrong

  16. 16 Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"

    When I use the bike I just try to see how fast I can get that speed and hold it there as long as I can, then drop back down for awhile and do it again. It helps keep me from getting too bored with it. I never was much for even real bike riding.

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”’s last blog post..Lucky Lady In The Lead–All Alone!

  17. 17 babs - beetle

    Oh JD, you are so good! Exercise? What’s that? The only exercise I ever did was sports and (fitness) dancing when I was younger. I only ever did natural exercise, and I loved it. But machines? Thumbs down from me. Maybe I’m just lazy ;O)

    Prudence has a glazed look in her eye!

    babs – beetle’s last blog post..What not to do as a front seat passenger in a car.

  18. 18 Jay

    Yay – way to go JD! I know how hard it is to not be allowed to exercise. I can’t tell you how much weight I put on just with having my shoulders done!

    Good news on the healing. Glad it’s all on track. :)

  19. 19 JD

    feefifoto: Oh, aren’t you sweet. Thanks SO much for asking. Really, you shouldn’t even bother thinking of it. My feet? Just fine. Thank you.

    Jaffer: You know I don’t really have hairy hips, don’t you?

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Of course! You may lick them too, if you like. Prudence loves to lick them right after I’ve showered.

    Pricilla: Prudence says, “Bring it.” She’ll butt you right back! And she uses her butt, too.

    Stephanie Barr: I’m good sometimes. I am literally driven to exercise by some mysterious force. It’s not even so much for weight loss (obviously!). I just gotta do it.

    Marie:Oh, thank you. They do, don’t they? I’m rather vain now. And, yes, I DO exercise like that. Compulsion. Plus there’s nothing like having someone tell you you can’t do something for a few months to make you wanna do it.

    absepa: Ugh. I can see why you’d hate the bike. That WOULD hurt. Ow. I was lucky, I guess. Nothing hurt at that point. NOW I’m in pain from using my foot to exercise again. But at least I don’t have to have PT.

    And thank you.

    Maureen: I know, I know. See what I do for you? Oh, and thanks SO much for asking. The foot, she is good.

    Kathy: Everyone says that about the scar (after I’ve forced them to look at it). Yeah, those grunting oafs are next on my list.

    dcr: Awesome! I didn’t even expect a haiku response! Talented, talented.

    Puglette: I have listened to Queen a time or two! Especially a particular song to keep me motivated. One of the old guys told me as he was leaving, “You’re the happiest person I’ve ever seen in here!” Once the music starts . . . JD RIDES!

    Florida Girl In Sydney: Hee! Thank you! I never thought I could possibly have cute feet. Let me know how that exercise bike project goes.

    Regan: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. Prudence just popped into the frame, so she must’ve known she needed to make the pictures less frightening. Go, Prudence!

    Daniela: I think you must be young. Altho it wasn’t THAT long ago that I, too, had cake for breakfast. I just had to run up a mountain to work it off. I’ve taken a few spinning classes, and I hate them. I agree: it’s a killer workout . . . but also boring.

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”: No, me neither. I tried using some of the various settings, but I don’t like the way the speed and everything change without my control. So I just play around with the level. Ugh. Boring.

    babs – beetle: No, you’re not lazy. I think natural exercise is the best, but I don’t get any! I lead a very sedentary lifestyle, so I really need that hour or so of SWEAT! (Yes, now that you mention it, Prudence does look a bit hypnotized.)

    Jay: Wheeee! Oh, your poor shoulders. I hope YOU’RE healing okay. Are you able to exercise now?

  20. 20 Tiggy

    JD, you’re an inspiration! I am now going to walk to the coffee machine slightly quicker than usual. Burn them calories!

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy’s Hit Parade: Puppet Pranks with Harry and Terry!

  21. 21 Jenn Thorson

    I notice all our online cat friends are now lining up to sniff your feet…

    So you can’t say we don’t care. :)

    Jenn Thorson’s last blog post..From Novel to Nostril: Book-Inspired Fragrances

  22. 22 Grace

    i switched from a treadmill (super boring) to a recumbent bike – wow, I love it. Better than a regular upright bike, which does horrible things to my damaged spine. I sometimes forget it is just a warm-up to the rest of my gym routine and just keep going and going. I really enjoy it. And your feets look terrific.

    Grace’s last blog post..Memorial Day

  23. 23 MamaNeedsaCosmo

    You had me at “Get on your bikes and ride.”

    Seriously. “Fat Bottom Girls” is in my top 3 all-time favorite songs (behind “Lights” and before “Wish You Were Here.”)

    And yes. Show the bike some respect. Even the recumbent bike. I used to ride that thing and study flash cards in college.

    How’s the foot? :)

  24. 24 Phyl

    I’m coming in in the middle of the story, so I wasn’t aware of your surgery. That scar just scares me, though! I’m glad it’s getting better — slowly.

    I think I’d really like the bike.

    Phyl’s last blog post..Simon Beckett blogging on “Whispers of the Dead”

  25. 25 Corrina

    Ok all this exercise talk is making me feel like a slug. Lol I think I’ll do some push ups or something.

    Way to leave those old guys in the dust, by the way. :-D

  26. 26 Musingwoman

    I’m so glad you’re riding a bike for me. It’s been over three decades since I’ve been on one and I don’t think I want to test the “you never forget” rule any time soon, ’cause I have enough medical bills already.

    Musingwoman’s last blog post..In memoriam

  27. 27 Natural

    “Why not just stick me in a wheelchair and tell me to feel the burn?”

    ROFL! i can’t ride the stationary bike, i mean i can, but my body thinks: puh-leeze. give me something challenging. i need to think that i could at least hurt myself on a machine before i’ll use it. i guess i could, but like you said, you’re sitting on your butt. that’s when i do the least amount of work.

    at least you can go back to your regular workout and your feet look just as perfect as they did when you were born, except bigger.

    Natural’s last blog post..Mirror, Mirror on the Blog….

  28. 28 JD

    Tiggy: Make sure you pass up some old man on your way to the coffee machine. It’ll make your day!

    Jenn Thorson: Aw. You’re right. Nothing says love like a cat smelling my feet. Thanks, online cats of the world!

    Grace: Thank you! And, UGH! I hate the upright bike, which I’ve only tried during a few spinning classes. That thang hurts. Yeah, I do the recumbent bike now as a warmup for my elliptical rockout instead of the treadmill. You really can burn some decent calories (as long as you rock back and forth).

    MamaNeedsaCosmo: Hey, thanks for asking! “Fat Bottomed Girls” immediately pops into my head as soon as I plop down on the bike. I wonder why. Anyway, it’s my recumbent biking anthem now. I wonder if those old men are still singing it?

    Phyl: Try the bike! Push off an old man and start pedaling. It’s a great workout for when you don’t feel like getting off your butt (literally). WELCOME!

    Corrina: Ooh, push-ups! That’s one thing you’ll have to do so I won’t have to. ‘Cuz I can’t. So please do double push-ups. Thanks.

    Musingwoman: No, this may not be the best time to test that rule. I’ve always had my suspicions about it, anyway, since every time I try to get on real bike since the great accident of 1978, I feel dizzy and sick.

    Natural: They DO look perfect, don’t they??? Also the nails may be a little more thickened and gnarled than my baby toenails. Yeah, if I can’t throw my back out or sprain my ankle, how good of a workout can it be?

  29. 29 movers

    I hate that bike too, like you said it feels like you’re not even doing anything. You don’t need to hold the handlebars and your upper body gets nothing out of it. I often see people reading a book while pedaling, that’s how un-strenuous it is. Sure, you could ramp up the difficulty level but it just feels strange when you could be really working out. But you shaved a few inches off your waist? A few inches is great! Maybe I should try the bike after all… =] -Jane

  30. 30 Anne

    I appreciate your riding the bike so I don’t have to. In fact, I appreciate any type of exercise you can perform so I don’t have to. I would rather skip exercise completely.

  31. 31 Amy

    OMG I love the recumbent bike. Fabulously lazy exercise. I am one of those pedaling book readers – usually hop on for 20 mins or so after torturing myself on the treadmill.

    Amy’s last blog post..What Would David Do?

  32. 32 flit

    I like exercise machines that allow concurrent reading…but then I have been known to read while walking, too

    flit’s last blog post..Congress 2009 Day 2

  33. 33 Lin

    Hey, there is this weird old man at the gym by my house and he rides that bike. And then he starts pulling on his face–like his jowls. He’s pedaling away and pulling on his face and I cannot figure out what the HELL he is doing!! It totally creeps me out to the point that I cannot go to that gym anymore. When do you figure out your jowls need a workout?? What is THAT????

    Hey–BTW your feel look LOVELY!! Hardly any scar!! Remember to load those scars w/sunscreen this summer!!!

    Lin’s last blog post..Hoopty

  34. 34 Stephanie Barr

    You do know I answered your cat question on Ask Me Anything (actually a few days ago).

    Just sayin’.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..For Sherri: Making Money from Blogging

  35. 35 JD

    movers: I definitely lost a few inches from my hips and half an inch from my thighs. But, yeah. It doesn’t really feel like working out. My theory has always been, if you can read while you’re doing it — you’re not working out.

    Anne: Well, there you go! It’s a perfect arrangement! Wait . . . I don’t have to work out

    Amy: I have never read on any type of machinery since I dropped a magazine on the treadmill and almost broke the machine in my panic as the magazine got tangled up in my feet. “Lazy exercise”: yes, that’s what it is!

    Lin: Thank you for admiring my feet. I can’t figure out the connection between bike-riding and jowls, either. But that’s the kind of thing that would make me avoid a gym, too.

    Stephanie Barr: Yes! I saw it and commented, but my comment obviously didn’t “take.” Thank you!

  36. 36 Preston

    Girl, I so need to ride a bike or do any kind of work out. And I don’t have any good excuse not to like having my foot operated on. I think “I quit smoking so I can’t work out” just doesn’t cut it. And I see your cat loves your feet as much as my dogs live mine. Especially, my crazy dog, Dave. I’ll be laying in bed, half asleep, and then I feel a warm, wet sensation stroking my fit. He goes after my feet like a cow to a salt lick. (I think it’s the spots) Anyway, the foot looks good, blurry picture and all.

    Preston’s last blog post..CA Supreme Court Sends Mixed Message: Gay Marriage No, Sort Of

  37. 37 Preston

    Uh, I think I should proof read my comments or perhaps type a little slower, eh? Change live to love and fit to foot. :)

    Preston’s last blog post..CA Supreme Court Sends Mixed Message: Gay Marriage No, Sort Of

  38. 38 misstfied

    Wow, just reading your post about exercise makes me feel like I had a complete workout, I now need to take a break, lol. Ow, that scar looks pretty painful but, at the same time, it also looks pretty “clean” (not all raggedy and gross like some scars do) so it should heal wonderfully overtime. If not, get Prudence to give it a few licks as that should make it all better in a snap. Wow, but she sure is a cutie! Oh, and yes, your feet are cute too, so no need to think we all didn’t notice, lol. ;-)

    misstfied’s last blog post..Missing In Action…For The Time Being

  39. 39 JD

    Preston: Well, maybe you have a bunion you never knew about. I’m sure there’s an unethical doctor out there who would be willing to operate on your otherwise healthy foot. THEN you’ll have an excuse. I’d tell you to just start smoking again, but I only want to dole out positive advice here.

    (Oh, and I think it’s funny the way it is. “Stroking my fit” seems to have several meanings, tho I can’t figure out what they are.)

    flit: How do you do it? I have a friend whose husband reads while DRIVING! I can’t even read while on Vicodin, unless it’s an Us magazine.

    misstfied: Ha ha! Prudence will only lick my feet after I’ve showered; she’s a very discerning kitten. Yeah, the scar is nice and neat and fading more each day. Like I care. I kind of wanted a jagged, awful scar, but there you go.

  40. 40 Tim

    Cute feet :)
    You can’t really blame all of us for forgetting to ask about your foot. You distracted us all by talking about all those other things you did, and what with the flat throat and all I lost track :)
    Anyways, how is your foot?

    Tim’s last blog post..A New Guru To Lead Us All

  41. 41 JD

    Tim: Oh, how you do go on. My foot is just fine, thank you. I don’t foresee any more medical issues for a while, so let’s put all that flat throat business behind us, shall we?

  42. 42 Baron von Rochester

    I would have asked about your foot, except I feared that the answer would be something gross and then I’d pass out.

    Glad you’re enjoying the bike! And I’m sure you raised the heart rates of those old men just by being there, so you did a good deed.

    Baron von Rochester’s last blog post..Of Two Vastly Differing Enthusiasms

  43. 43 JD

    Baron von Rochester: Aw, ain’t you nice. I think those old men are glad I’m not there anymore. I was too competitive! And I hope my nice scar didn’t make you pass out—or perhaps you didn’t even look?

  44. 44 cardiogirl

    I want you to know I have added the recumbent bike to my routine simply because you have written this post.

    I am pinning a huge amount of hope on your shoulders because of these words:

    “…I burned some calories, shaved a few inches off my hips…”

    Today I did the elliptical machine for an hour and the bike for 32 minutes. I chose the variety routine on the bike and only burned 200 calories. Now I will tell you that I feel different muscles being used in my thighs and I hope that will result in lankier legs.

    And if it doesn’t, I’m coming back here to complain.

    cardiogirl’s last blog post..Why is working with frozen bananas such a tricky bitch?

  45. 45 JD

    cardiogirl: Complaints are welcome (but will cost you a small fee.)

    Well, it’s true. You don’t burn as many calories as on the elliptical, but I think your legs get a good workout. Mine certainly did. I do the bike when I’m too tired or lazy to do anything else. Can’t beat a sitting down workout when you’re exhausted. Good luck!


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