Frank Wolfe - Hip Replacement
One year ago I had my right hip replaced. It had been a problem for a number of years but I delayed doing anything about it because I was afraid that I would not be able to get back to cycling afterwards. When I was at the point where I no longer enjoyed riding and was crawling up stairs, it was time to take action. I ride with several PTs who recommended Dr Mayman at HSS. He took the time to talk to me about the recovery process, what I could do, and when. There was no pressure and he let me decide when I was ready.
I went into surgery at 5pm on Thursday and left the hospital Friday evening. I was not rushed to leave, I was ready. I had done laps around the floor and negotiated the steps in the PT room. That first weekend was challenging as there was swelling for 2-3 days. After that, the pain medicine went away never to be needed again and the progress took flight. I live on a quiet, flat country road so going for a walk was easy and safe. Three times a day I headed out, gradually increasing the distance from 100 yards to 3 miles. I was also able to gently spin on my trainer, more for the mental benefit than anything else. I did not want any setbacks.
At my six week check-up, I was more than ready to say goodbye to the cane and gradually start riding. Dr Mayman reviewed my progress and gave me permission to ease back into cycling. I took the rest of the year to get comfortable on the road. My pedal stroke had changed dramatically thanks to being properly aligned. I no longer was hitting my elbow with my knee on every upstroke. When the warmer weather came this year, I was ready to get serious again. Endurance on rides on 50 miles was one area that needed work.
I had two events in mind for the first half of the year. First was the Tour of Battenkill, 75 miles with a quarter of the course on dirt roads. I rode the course about a month before the race to make sure I could complete it and it went better than expectations. The race was mid-May with over 280 riders in a mass start. I was 36th overall and 13th in my age group. Best of all, I finished 6th in the KOM (King of the Mountains) classification. I had never been a particularly good climber perhaps that was because of my hip problems.
The final test was the Farm to Fork Fondo on June 11th. This was in my home town and the course goes past my house. The year before I was unable to finish (it was four days before surgery) so I had something to prove to myself. It was another mass start with 400+ riders. The course is 87 miles long with the competition being over five marked climbing segments along the route. It was a very hot and humid day but I ended up winning. This is the first cycling event that I have ever won and it came less than a year after having my hip replaced. Sometimes life gives you a fairy-tale ending.