Tag Archive: biking


Paratriathlon

I recently attended a triathlon expo, walked up to the USAT booth, and asked the question I asked on this blog a year ago: Can I do a triathlon on a tricycle? Through contacts made that day and further research online, I’ve discovered that I can.

A huge grin spread over my face as I read about USA Triathlon’s acceptance of paratriathletes in regular competition! As I read the rules, however, I noticed that the paratriathlon equipment modifications would not help a person with a balance disorder. But beginning in 2014 there is a new classification called “PC Open Division” (PC stands for Physically Challenged) that applies to ADA-disabled persons. These rules specify that stabilizing wheels are allowed on bicycles.

I don’t actually qualify as ADA disabled, so I will be invoking this rule:

5.12 Non-Traditional or Unusual Bicycle Equipment. Any unusual bicycle construction or equipment to which the specifications in Section 5.11 cannot easily be applied shall be illegal unless prior approval is received from the Head Referee before the equipment is used in the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

My hope is that because specifications are on the books for stabilizing wheels, I’ll be allowed to use them in a PC or other open wave. None of the local races I’ve looked at so far have a PC Open division, so I would ask to use the wheels in the Friends & Family open wave. (Many races have such a wave to allow buddies to race together. Since the wave is not eligible for age group prizes, it would be perfect for me.)

Now all I have to do is order my wheels, pick a race, and contact the race director!

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Spinning (in a good way)

Even before I got vertigo eight months ago, I wasn’t entirely happy with my fitness training. Yes, I got in rock climbing and yoga every week. A run and a swim most weeks. Bike rides seasonally. But I did strength training, oh, three times per month at best. I struggled with scheduling since work and commuting take 11 hours out of my day.

So I joined the gym at work, and I did my first workout at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon. It was amazing! There was hardly anyone in the gym, plus I returned to my desk totally energzied and did focused work until an hour past my usual quitting time (since I had to make up the time I spent exercising). Even better, I found some free spinning workouts online at http://www.trihardist.com and streamed one on my phone during my workout. I really appreciated having someone tell me what do to on that bike.

I felt like my normal self until the very end, when I lay down on a mat to stretch. I can’t lie flat without triggering symptoms — at home I use a small pillow under my head when I stretch. But there were no pillows in the gym! I searched around and came up with a half foam roller, which worked perfectly. Success!

High Density Foam Roller - Size: 6

photo credit: rakuten.com

I triggered BPPV at the end of January in a fast vinyasa yoga class (not the type of class I usually do).  I think I had trouble because I was doing more head extension than ever before — previously, old neck injuries  prevented me from reaching the full expression of yoga poses — and because the transitions were so fast.  During February, I experienced only a tiny twinge of vertigo when I first lay down in bed most nights.  By morning, I forgot all about it.  I saw my doctor for something else at the end of February, and it never occurred to me to mention that the vertigo had returned.  (I had it four years ago.)

I have been self-treating with the modified Epley’s maneuver, which provides temporary relief, but I still have vertigo almost everyday and sometimes the nausea lasts all day.  I’ve also had some weird experiences with delayed onset — strong vertigo and nystagmus that crops up many minutes after I change position in bed.  So I will go to the doctor next week and see if I can get a referral to vestibular physical therapy.  That solved the problem last time.

In the meantime, I am wondering about my triathlon training.  I just bought clipless pedals for my road bike and am shopping for bike shoes.  Last year was the new bike; this year is the transition to clipless pedals!  But what if the vertigo doesn’t go away?  It is different from last time I had it, so I’m worried.

My biggest concern is cycling, as right now I often can’t look over my shoulder without disequilibrium.  I looked up adult training wheels online and found two different styles – one set where only one wheel touches the ground at a time (like kids’ training wheels) and a second set where both wheels are on the ground at all times (like a tricycle).  The latter has a quick-release type fastener, which would enable me to still use my bike rack.  (The bike rack is new this year, and by being very careful and slow I was able to install it without triggering vertigo.  My wife wasn’t thrilled that I spent the money on the rack, so I will be in the dog house if I’m unable to use it!)

I am envisioning myself riding on rail trails with my little tricycle attachment.  I am idly wondering if USAT prohibits bikes with more than two wheels.  (I’m sure it’s against the rules!)  Then I wonder if I could talk the race organizer into letting me race and then getting disqualified at the end.  Really weird to be thinking about.  Also wondering if I should get an indoor bike trainer so I can train indoors until the vertigo goes away.

Damn!  Should have bought a trainer instead of a bike rack…