After a year of waiting, I can ride my bicycle again.
I've been off my two-wheelers for the past year at the request of my doctor and spouse, to see what impact not riding would have on the aortic/iliac aneurysm I've been carrying around with me since January 2002.
The hypothesis was that my "industrial" cycling of 2001, when I put on 3,000 kilometres in the first eight months of the year and another 3,000 in the last four months, contributed to an iliac dissection and aortic enlargement. The notion is that riding on the drops and fast revolutions put pressure on the arterial walls, and my arteries had a wall separation. My cycling involvements have varied since 2002. I've dropped my touring and some charity rides, mostly focusing on cycle commuting and errand riding. Last fall, after a steady increase in the diameters of the two affected arteries, I was advised to stop riding altogether for a year.
Last Friday, I crawled into a CT scanner in Toronto (isn't it odd that Toshiba makes microwaves and CT scanners?) and felt the heat as the dye was injected into my veins. Monday, the vascular specialist gave me the news: No change in the size of the aorta in the past year, and though it seems unlikely, an actual reduction in the size of the iliac.
His recommendation for the next year: ride again, although no 20K or longer rides per day. Reduce the medication I'm on to control blood pressure. Live my life, but be careful.
Who could ask for more?
Time to take the road bike down from the hooks, and take the winter "beater bike" to the spa to get it ready for another season of riding. It feels good to be back.