If you’ve read my blog posts over the past several years, you’ll notice that one of the topics that I used to frequently post about is bicycling, where I would talk about my misadventures riding through the deserts near Tucson, AZ. However, a few years ago my posts ceased rather abruptly, so I thought that I’d explain why that happened.
I loved riding around Tucson in my teenage years, and I rode in other areas of the country as I moved from state to state. That being said, my favorite locale was Tucson, because the weather is amazing all year round, and the desert is a wonderful place to ride. The further I would ride out of town, the fewer cars I had to deal with, which made for an even better cycling experience. With that in mind, after I returned to Arizona in 2013, I became an avid road cyclist.
Shortly before I stopped posting about bicycling, I wrote a post about being diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Essential Tremor. My diagnosis didn’t originally have an impact on my cycling, but eventually the disorder caught up with me.
One of my favorite routes to ride in the Tucson area was Saguaro National Park East, which had few cars, gorgeous desert landscapes, a one-way path, and several difficult climbs that kept me in shape. However, around a year after my diagnosis, hand tremors prevented me from braking during a rapid descent into a steep turn. I was coasting downhill around 35mph at the time, and I only managed to make the turn by unclipping one foot and jamming it into the ground to arrest my speed (although that technique is not advisable for slowing down). I pulled off the road once I rounded the corner and could safely bring my bicycle to a stop, and the surge of adrenaline combined with tremors left me shaking uncontrollably for quite a while.
Make no mistake, if I hadn't managed to slow my descent, I'd have been just another statistic in a long line of stories about cyclists who died after losing control of their bicycles. As a result of that near-death experience, I haven't ridden outside since.