Did you guess a stationary bike?
You may remember some blog posts over a year ago about my forays into the French healthcare system. What you may not remember is the reason I had those adventures. I suddenly developed a very painful, very arthritic left knee. Well, it probably took years to get that way; it just manifested itself very suddenly. My medical treatment has me walking more easily, but not as well as I'd like. As luck would have it, a friend who has a second home here in Cadrieu is a well-respected physician whose specialty is...ready for it?...knee surgery. He concurred with my general practice physician that I can walk all I want, but to strengthen the muscles in my leg to better support my knee, I must cycle.
Okay, here's the deal. I live in a village built on a hillside...not conducive to riding a bike. I live right on a very flat road that people do cycle on. Laury regularly cycled into Cajarc. I see families on bicycles during the summer, and there are packs of boys in lycra who whiz by year 'round. However, I feel uncomfortable on this road on a bicycle. It's very narrow with no shoulder, much less a bike lane, along most of it. Although it's only really busy a couple of times during the day, cars, buses and trucks do speed by. A lot of the road is lined by stone walls that come right to the pavement. After a lot of reading, looking at what's available, and checking my bank account, I decided that a simple stationary bike would be my best option. I'm not training for the Tour; I just want to strengthen some muscles!
I ordered it from Amazon.fr with a bit of trepidation about its assembly. It arrived at 12:30 pm, and by 1:30 pm I was pedaling away...very easy to put together. It has 8 levels of intensity and a digital display that tells me distance, speed, calories burned and my pulse rate. Perfect! I was a little reluctant to buy something that doesn't actually go anywhere, but this certainly has advantages: it will strengthen my muscles and burn a few calories, I won't wobble in front of an oncoming bus and become road kill, and I don't have to wear lycra. Gotta love it! Plus with it set up in my sun room, I can watch the river flow by as well as the traffic on the road. Which, I hope, will help with the boredom factor. Better stop...must go pedal a little!