I am by no means a professional athlete, but I enjoyed running until January of 2016, when I took a bad step in my new rental house and fell down the basement steps, dislocating my ankle and breaking it in two places. Recovery was challenging and even after the injury healed, it hurt. Running became a slog, rather than something that inspired me, and it certainly wasn’t fun. I ended up having a second surgery a year later to remove the metal hardware in my ankle, which created more scarring and loss of flexibility. I became more injury prone, but I had to keep fit to do my job, so I continued to run.
In late 2018, I was searching for an alternative to logging miles on pavement. I’d just run a marathon, and for a multitude of reasons, it didn’t go well. I finished, but I didn’t feel successful or strong. I needed a better base of fitness, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it without injury. An internet search led me to the world of stand up cycling, which was intriguing, but I live on a military base. There was no way I could ride a bike that couldn’t handle rough roads or uneven ground. Then I found the Cyclete Trail Runner and although I was sure it was the answer, I wanted to get my hands (or feet) on one to try. Unfortunately, there weren’t any Cycletes close to my location, so I contacted Steven Ascher about his product. After discussing options, I purchased one of the last Cycletes available in late 2018 on faith, without ever testing it.
When that box hit my doorstep, I was so excited. I hadn’t ridden a bike since grade school, but I had no issues putting it together (a very simple process), stepping on, and heading out. Balancing was natural, as was the movement. Turning was simple. Changing gears was easy. I felt like I was flying and I was getting a solid workout in the process. And best of all, my ankle never twinged.
A month after getting my Cyclete and using it for base mileage during the week, I took a physical fitness test and ended up running my two miles almost a minute faster than my last time out. Two months later, I ran a personal best 5K, 10K, and half marathon, all within three weeks of each other. The changes in my fitness have been amazing, but the feeling I get when I ride my Cyclete is even better. I can enjoy the scenery as I go, adjusting my pace to whatever my body feels like doing that day. I can take my Cyclete over uneven pavement and not worry about face planting. I can step off easily when I’m stopped at a light and zip off again when it changes. I ride my Cyclete to work every day, just for the fun of it. Just for fun.
That’s what my Cyclete has given back to me.
And that’s what I was missing.