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Susan Myers: Bravo, winter cyclists

Posted Feb 27 2013 7:32am

By Susan Myers in ( )

An excerpt from the article about why I (mostly) take a break from outdoor cycling during the winters here in New England.

Jothy Rosenberg doesn’t bike outdoors in the freezing cold, either. Rosenberg, author and host of the television show “Who Says I Can’t,” has Reynaud’s Syndrome, a circulation disorder of the hands, feet, or both. It results in numbness and pain, and it makes cold weather biking miserable.

“I’ve seen my fingers turn chalk-white,” Rosenberg says.

He could wear gloves with chemical packs, he says, and he does for skiing and snowshoeing. But biking is different because it calls for steering and shifting gears. Manual dexterity matters. “You don’t want to wear mittens,” Rosenberg says. “So it’s really hard to keep your hands warm.”

Which means that when the temperature drops, he takes his workout indoors. He spins, where it’s warm.

Rosenberg has one more challenge when it comes to winter biking: he has one leg. Cold weather is a problem for all amputees. “We don’t have normal circulation or musculature in the stump,” Rosenberg explains.

Which makes it a body part that’s extra difficult to keep warm. When it gets really cold, Rosenberg sometimes wears a hat on his stump.

But he’s not biking outdoors right now. This winter, Rosenberg has parked his bike. He’s spinning, and he’s swimming. He’s philosophical, and maybe a little bit wise, when he talks about the seasonal shift.

“We were meant to have seasons,” Rosenberg says. “It’s really good for us. The end of the season is a blessing in disguise. I have to take a break from cycling. That’s the plus side of the seasons: switching gears. And then I get all excited when it gets warm again.”

Because, of course, he can bike again.


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