Ride Like A Girl Cycling

Learn ~ Laugh ~ Love it!

“I Can Pedal Better Than I Can Walk”


The reasons for biking are endless: to have fun, see new places, socialize or to get fit. Some ride their bikes to commute to work, run errands, train for a race, or just to enjoy the outdoors on a nice day. But how about biking to regain lost mobility?

Four months ago, while walking in a park in Phoenix, Arizona, with her son and grandson, my friend, Deb stepped into an unmarked hole. She broke both ankles in that sudden, unforeseeable drop. Unable to stand, walk or do any weight-bearing activity for eight weeks, she began her grueling recovery process from a hospital bed. Through physical therapy, pool therapy and hours of exercises, she has regained some of her ability to get around, including limited walking. While she is grateful to be back on her feet, she feels unstable and hesitant now and has a great fear of falling. Her ongoing pain, along with her concerns of traversing uneven surfaces and of passersby bumping into her, are just a few of the challenges that test her resolve to get around, run errands, shop or meet a friend for coffee. She is currently able to walk about a half mile.

John, her husband of forty-one years and an avid cyclist, was thinking of ways Deb could increase her mobility. He wanted something that would be safe and help her to move more confidently through her day. A traditional bicycle was not an option, given the need to bear full body weight on one leg as the bike comes to a stop. He asked himself, “What would I want if I couldn’t bike on two wheels?” And the answer came to him: a tricycle!

Deb thought it was a great idea and together they set out to select and purchase a three-wheeled solution. Initially, she didn’t know how people would react to seeing an adult riding a trike but was pleasantly surprised; “People look at me and they smile, and I think, they want one.”


Deb on her new trike (aka, “Sachi”) with family dog, Kiyoshi.

Deb is thrilled with her new mobility. The trike gives her a freedom that she has not enjoyed since that fateful day in March. She has worked up to riding a couple miles to a community pool where she continues her recovery regimen. She also rides simply for her own enjoyment along a river trail in her rural neighborhood. “It is amazing! I can pedal better than I can walk. I am starting to feel like Debbie again because I can do things I did before.”

She has named her trike, “Sachi” (pronounced, “Sah-chee”), a female name of Japanese origin that means joy or happiness.

With ongoing therapy and exercises, Deb is hopeful to realize increased mobility and independence, but at this point her prognosis is not fully known. Recovery may take a year or more. As a woman of faith, Deb endeavors to view life as a glass half full, but she is quick to admit that some days the glass appears more empty. I know she would appreciate your thoughts, prayers and well wishes as she and Sachi roll along the path of recovery together.


A special note to you, Deb: Thank you for letting me share your story, my friend. I think it will inspire and encourage RLAG Cycling readers. Should you and Sachi ever find yourself back in Portland, Ride Like A Girl Cycling (along with a band of girlfriends) would be honored to host you on a ride along the Portland Waterfront to celebrate your hard work, remarkable recovery to date and to affirm that you are not rolling alone.

Author: Carolyn @ RideLikeAGirlPortland.com

I am an avid cyclist, passionate about training and encouraging other women to discover the joys of cycling. I believe that if women have a learning environment that feels safe, is fun and includes the support of other women, they will naturally Learn, Laugh and Love it!

9 thoughts on ““I Can Pedal Better Than I Can Walk”

  1. Deb is the second adult I know of who got a trike after an injury. It actually looks like fun, although I know there is probably some pain and discomfort involved. I broke my right wrist in March and was told it could take up to a year for full recovery. I’m almost five months into it, and it’s made a lot of progress but isn’t 100 percent yet. Hang in there, Deb! Give it all the time it needs, and enjoy your trike as much as you can!

  2. Portland Century. Seems like everyone knows you! Ted says hi. 😉 On Aug 2, 2015 2:57 PM, “Ride Like A Girl Cycling” wrote:

    > Carolyn @ RideLikeAGirlPortland.com posted: “The reasons for biking are > endless: to have fun, see new places, socialize or to get fit. Some ride > their bikes to commute to work, run errands, train for a race, or just to > enjoy the outdoors on a nice day. But how about biking to regain lost > mobility? “

  3. Wow, such an inspirational story! I love how God answered prayers with wheels! What a testimony you have to share with others, Deb. If there are wheels in heaven, I’m sure you’ll be in the lead!

  4. Deb, you GO girl! So many in your situation would have said “I can’t” but kudos to you for getting to the part of your recovery journey where you can enjoy Sachi. There is nothing better than enjoying what life has to offer outside. The dog probably loves it too! Hoping you achieve a full recovery so you can partake in many more rides. You are AMAZING!

  5. You are an inspiration Deb. All the best to you in your recovery and I have a feeling you are going to be back on your feet sooner than you think! Keep up the good work and keep smiling!

  6. Deb, you are truly an inspiration to us all! I think anyone who loves riding a bicycle can identify with the joy and happiness you find when you ride “Sachi” What a great name! I wish you all the best as you continue to recover!

  7. Pingback: 2015 Our Blog in Review | Ride Like A Girl Cycling

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