In July 2015, I first used an FES bike for my legs. Since then, I have regularly used the system and written about on here before. In the nearly six years I have biked, my legs have pedaled over 1,450 miles over hundreds of sessions. Those numbers are impressive and I'm very thankful God has allowed me to do it. However, I have been concerned about other results during my times on the bike.
As a review, the bike provides electrical stimulation to my leg muscles through pads that are placed on them. A motor in the bike moves the pedals while giving stimulation. If my muscles react strong enough to the provided pulse, the motor turns off and my own body does the biking on my own.
Early in 2021, I had a number of times during my 30-minute ride that I would go for a full minute or more on off the motor. My legs responded to the stimulation correctly and were able to bike without the motor taking control. It also meant for nearly 29 minutes I was just along for the ride, but it was at least something. Unfortunately, my legs have gone lazy the last several months and only done 7-30 seconds independently each time. Biking is still great for circulation, some muscle building, and bone maintenance, but it's best if my own muscles can put forth effort and also burn calories.
As I watched my legs slowly go in circles, I noticed the computer recording much more power coming from my muscles. At the end of the 35-minute ride, they had gone for 2:55 without the motor. On Friday, the time increased to 4:04 without assistance. Both of these times are new records for me in the years I've been cycling. I now go about 0.2 miles less per session with the decreased speed, but I would rather have quality than quantity.
Even though we live in a sin cursed world that includes disabilities, God has not abandoned us. I'm thankful He has provided technology like this bike to help with many areas. I look forward to this week's biking and to see what results come. After years of occasionally burning 0.1 calories, I may even double that amount for a full bite of ice cream!