[SEE ABOUT 1/8/2016 MAJOR ACCIDENT UPDATE AT END OF THIS BIO] God gave me JOY through my Level 3 cancer (melanoma that got to my lymph nodes!)...been clear since 2004...praising Him every day...My greatest desire is to GLORIFY MY LORD JESUS in all that He allows me to accomplish in these "later years"...EVERY DAY IS AN AMAZING GIFT FROM HIM!! God's greatest physical gift to me has been my precious wife of 50 yrs (on 9/9/15). We have been blessed with 3 wonderful kids & 6 amazing grandkids.
The following more thorough record of this 72 yr. old "Lifetime athlete's" actual "Lifetime totals" (my Strava stats only started in March of 2014) is given here for the purpose of bringing honor & praise to my Lord Jesus Christ for his amazing Grace in keeping these joints, bones, & body parts going for so long. I am overwhelmed at His Goodness to me! My bike riding career of 25 yrs. began in 1991 (near age 49), and was the Lord's gift to replace my long running career spanning the previous 35 yrs (which finally came to an end as a result of continued major injuries & health problems). Since 1961 I have kept meticulous records of every workout--both running & biking--to the present time.
[I logged 100-150 miles per week of running for several decades--H.S. "B" 1320 CIF record & National H.S. record in 4-man 2-mile Relay w/ 1:54.4 half-mile + Foothill League X-Co Championship/record @ Glendale Hoover H.S.....in college & after ran 4:10 mile, 50 min. 10-mile, countless AAU road races, about 100 competitive marathons--including '68 Olympic Trials & a 50th at Boston in l969....ave. times in mid 2hr 30min's with best of 2hr 27min. Some day I may tally the total running mileage...expect it was well over 100,000 miles.]
With my most recent serious bike accident (15 broken bones on 6/30/15), [whoops! update on that--another major accident on 10/16/15...broken collarbone, rib, & femur--with titanium rod inserted] I have found the time to add up my biking mileage for each year back to the 1991 beginning. Here is the summary:
1st Half 2015 (to 6/30 accident)= almost 10,000 mi. (w/ nearly 900,000 ft of climbing)
2014 = 13,820 2013 = 12,272
2012 = 10,216 2011 = 13,544
2010 = 10,629 2009 = 8,981
2008 = 10,586 2007 = 8,746
2006 = 9,316 2005 = 11,260
2004 = 7,891 2003 = 5,240
2002 = 4,870
[2002 was yr of retirement from teaching science/math in Irvine USD for 35 yrs]
So Total Mileage 2002 to mid 2015 = 137,456 Miles w/ Average Yearly mileage for these 13 1/2 years = 10,182 miles/year.
For 1991 to 2001 (11 biking teaching yrs) total miles = 45,810
(ave. = 4165 mi/yr) much with a no-shocks, 44 lb, steel Costco "Motiv" Mt. Bike (complete w/ wooden rack)! So, TOTAL LIFETIME MILEAGE (1991-mid 2015) = 183,266 miles (Ave for 25 1/2 yrs = 7187 mi/yr) May my Lord Jesus be glorified, honored, & praised--whether or not He chooses to allow me to continue with the level of intensity & vigor I have been gifted with in this 'Old Age.'
Added notes: 99% of all bike rides have been Solo, with no drafting & no races (except continued urges to always pass as many riders, politely of course, as possible!) until last couple yrs where God gave me the 'go ahead' to represent Him ["THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!"] in the PlanetUltra KOM Century Triple w/ 2014 4th place overall w/ 60+ & 70+ course records for Mulholland Challenge--both 2014 & new 2015 course, and for Breathless Agony (5hr14m/ 5hr16m 2013 & 2014).
Interesting thoughts I've pondered:
How would I do competing (centuries or even the Strava segment games of present times) with the conditioning levels of my younger years? On my 50th B-day in 1993 I rode a (solo) century in 4Hr 27min (= 22.47 mph ave). Longest ride was 220 miles in 1995, with dozens of very long fast rides over Ortega Hwy to&from Escondido area. And what if I'd ridden a bike in those really peak running years between 24 & 36? I'd love to see how I'd do against the Matt Fords & other WOW KOM attackers.....AAAHHH....But that's not the way it works! But one conclusion remains for me: GOD IS GOOD....ALL THE TIME!!
[A public confession: I made my full-on Christian commitment in late December of 1985, & the LORD soon after took my "Running god" from me in allowing a serious parathyroid calcium imbalance to keep me from serious running for over 2 years....but He saw fit to 'give me a bicycle' in 1991, knowing that He was truly given Top Priority in my life. THE BIGGEST REGRET OF MY LONG LIFE HAS BEEN THAT I DID NOT GIVE MY LORD JESUS THE CREDIT FOR THE MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS HE ALLOWED IN MY EARLIER YEARS!! I have belatedly chosen with great JOY & enthusiasm to give Him ALL the credit for ANY positive, notable, good things I have accomplished in my long life--in both present & past years.] ALL PRAISE, HONOR, & GLORY BE GIVEN TO MY LORD!!
On 1/8/2016 I had my worst accident by far, as a car hit me hard as it did an illegal turn cutting me off on a steep downhill bike descent in Anaheim Hills area (CanyonVista DH segment, near Serrano & Weir Cyn Rds). I was in an induced coma for 1 week, & the surgeon who put on the 'external fixator' favored doing a left leg amputation....so sought a more conservative surgeon at Mission Hosp. who did 2 major surgeries: extensive donor-bone placement in the 4 inches of missing femur ("$90,000 worth"!) + complicated repair of the 4 left hip-joint fractures. Hosp.+Rehab, then home early March with wheelchair & slow-walker....Prognosis: It'll be at least a year of (hopeful) recovery....1 scary discovery: I have "Traumatic H.O. (Heterotopic Ossification)"--bone growth inside my muscle tissue of left upper leg, which has very long-term ramifications. Other complications are a knee that won't bend (it's only at 62 degrees after a couple months of regular P.T.), & 5 or 6 blood clots--so I've joined the "Coumadin Club"! Early April I purchased a recumbent exercise bike for my living room which I ride with only my right leg (5# weight placed on left pedal...bad leg out of the way).
STILL BELIEVING THAT MY LORD IS IN CHARGE & THAT HE WILL SEE ME THROUGH EVEN THIS....WITH JOY & THANKSGIVING.....HE PRESERVED MY LIFE ONCE AGAIN!! [Update 10/2/16: Bone graft failed; staph infection noted in the graft attempt area--had daily infusions of strong antibiotics for 6 weeks...surgeons: "no weight on bad left leg"...likely til early 2017...reassess poss. total hip replacement + total knee & femur extension prosthesis, but problem: shortened femur likely won't allow stabilizing metal inserts at both ends...full prosthetic leg from above knee down is a more likely prospect now...surgeon says my case is a 'head-scratcher'...]
Update (by Bill) as of 12/30/16: 11:00 AM on Wednesday,November 30, 2016 [My last Strava.com 1-legged Recumbent Trainer ride entry]:
1-Legged Recumbent Trainer ride #234- 50miles@ 3:14:25 [15.4mph]. Last ride B4 major surgery tomorrow. Surgeon: NO RIDING 4 @ least a month (danger of swelling in repaired leg). HAPPY RIDING EVERYONE! The Lord's will be done. [See 12/30/16 update below]
12/30/16 update: Surgery on 12/1 went quite well...The amazing surgeons, in the process of installing a full internal prosthetic mechanical knee + distal femur extension, were able to actually remove ALL of the disfiguring, disabling, abnormal, traumatic "H.O." bone growth in my muscle areas--including the scary large growth under my knee with the nearby sciatic nerve skillfully being held successfully out of the way. Knee bend was successfully accomplished at 115 degrees, though I will not be able to allow that bend for at least another month or so...my full leg brace has been set at Zero-degree bend up until 12/28, where it was loosened to allow a 40-degree bend....I'll be doing some PT in a week or so, loosening it out to 70 degrees in a couple weeks more, then full loosening (brace removal) in about another month or so. Still no 'cycling' allowed--even the 1-legged recumbent trainer I was so "into." Bad leg swells quite a lot even with no exercise. Also the 'drop foot' still persists to a lesser degree--my bad leg still has a lot of numbness--but improvement is coming slowly. I hate to see my right leg that got 'so powerful' with all those 70+miles/day of 1-legged riding (for the last 11 weeks) atrophying away with forced lack of use, but I know the Lord will allow it, & the 'long lost' (since the Jan. 8, 2016 accident) left leg, to get strengthened up in His time! I am so grateful I have not had to take any narcotic pain killer since right after the 12/1 operation (in which my left leg was deeply 'filleted' a full 17 inches)--I'm only on that 'heavy pain killer' (Tylenol!) & the non-narcotic nerve med "Gabapentin" (Neurontin). I continue to look forward to the steps of improvement which the Lord is directing....until my next (&last!...hopefully) operation about mid 2017 (?)--a total left HIP replacement in the same damaged leg. I'm still totally 'blown away' at the thought of how the Lord spared my life as I lay in the street, unconscious & bleeding out (7pints of 12!), on that crazy late morning ride on 1/8/2016--with my titanium road bike demolished & scattered in 3 pieces, & the offending car's condition being 'totaled'…. by a guy & his bicycle!!! [I cry profusely every time I think of this miracle!!...Surely the Lord has more for me to accomplish (yes, even at this "old age" of 73), in His name, in this short stay here on this earth.] PRAISE YOU LORD JESUS!!!!!
UPDATE: 10:00 AM on Monday, April 3, 2017
1 1/2- Legged "RESTART" Effort#1 - 4/3/17 1.0 mi. @ 8:22...Metal Internal Prosthetic Knee (+Femoral extension) barely able to rotate the 360 degrees (only at 95 deg. knee bend--very painful each top stroke) [The Lord is in charge of all this, still!]
First "ride" since the extensive 1-legged trainer months ending 11/30/2016 @ time of major surgery to implant full prosthetic (internal) knee + 5" femoral extension metal....had (2nd) major leg infection late Jan'17...most all surgeons recommended amputation (5 inches above knee) at that time..."bravest" surgeons (Wilkens & Park) opted to attempt a 'save' strategy: cut out, keep draining sinovial fluid from large infected areas, followed by daily (1 month) infusions of strong antibiotics, & current indication to stay on (strong, oral) antibiotics "for the rest of my life"....just recently given the go-ahead to attempt bending of knee (same 16 in. incision of 12/1 was reopened on 1/23/17 to address the infection)--incision healing coming along ok, but knee bend stretching of that thin skin is slow-go......I STILL can't walk even 1 step (must use a walker or wheelchair everywhere--or my 'mobility scooter') due to instability of knee & severe arthritic hip (from initial Jan '16 operations to repair the many fractures there)....recent fitting of knee side-movement stabilizing brace is helping some to try to have the leg accept more weight bearing..........I remain so grateful for the scripture I can hold on to in these hardest of times (it's been about a year & 3 months since the 1/8/16 accident): "You [Christian believers] WILL have tribulation[s], but fear not, for I [The Lord Jesus] am with you always [through them all]!"
MEDICAL UPDATE to 4-28-17.
Dr. Park, the surgeon who did my last (severe knee/leg infection on 1/23/17) operation just informed me that he cannot in good conscience do my much needed total hip replacement. The extreme pain in my severely arthritic hip will definitely get worse & worse. Despite my being on strong daily antibiotics for the rest of my life, he says the likelihood is too great of another super-serious infection in the hip area. He says my bacterial infection can only be "suppressed"--never wiped out--as it resides in/on the much-metal knee+femoral extension internal prosthetic which makes up 1/2 of my left leg. The metal anchor in my much shortened femur bone & its cement reach so near the femur top end that a hip replacement anchor would need to touch this bacterial-laden area, & the spread to the hip area would likely require leg amputation indeed at the hip (NOT a pretty prognosis!). Amputation at the mid/lower femur is not possible any longer, due to the upper-prosthesis anchor--serious reinfection likely even from that at this point. Dr. Park said I could "surgeon shop" & probably find a surgeon (like Dr. Sherman...? who boldly did my "H.O." bone removal operations & my internal prosthetic implant operation) who would agree to doing my hip replacement surgery...and that he (Dr. Park) would begrudgingly agree later to do another "messy clean-up operation" to remove as best as possible the likely reinfection in my hip area as he recently did (1/23/17) for my severe knee-area infection.
The awful short of it: I likely will NEVER RIDE A REAL BIKE AGAIN. The bad arthritis in my hip (from the leg-shattering bike accident of 1/8/2016 & subsequent operations) will get progressively worse. I still cannot walk 1 real step, though I get around fairly well with several types of walkers & mobility scooters, & I'm so grateful for the improvements in the knee-bending (reached a record 108 degrees today @ P.T.). The recumbent trainer increasing effort ability is one bright spot. My current goal is to get my scar-infested tissue, nerve-damaged left leg/knee to support enough weight to be able to walk again without assistance.
I know that my Lord Jesus Christ has been, is, & will be with me through all this hardship, & will even use it for His (& my) good. [And as Job professed: "Though He slay me, yet will I still praise Him!"].
I covet your prayers. May God Bless all your precious rides, and keep you safe......."signing off" from all future KOM challenges--of the bike kind, at least, WILLIAM ANDERSON --The 'Old' [previously very active] guy [now 74]