Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 2:45 pm 1 comment

On this momentus occasion, some 106 agonizing, yet hope-filled days post accident, our ‘Dougtales has officially returned’ to his passion of cycling!

With the bikes secured on the bike rack, Dan and I arrived at Moss Rehab at 10:30 am where Doug’s physical therapist and occupational therapist were waiting at the lower parking lot talking with Doug. We noticed numerous orange cones in the parking lot which were going to be set up as a ‘road course’ for his cycling test. For his first spin on the bike he decided to not use his clipless pedals and wore his sneakers. We watched through tears streaming down our faces and holding our breath……. to see our son get on the bike for the first time. He rode with such a smooth and unfaltering confidence and with complete balance around the parking lot, while his therapist jogged alongside him. Then Doug decided to put on the shoes and use the clipless pedals. Again holding our breath and sending up silent prayers for Doug’s safety that he would not fall and be able to disengage from the pedals when stopping, we watched him clip in and out, and ride effortlessly and gracefully. His balance was perfect on every turn; in fact the orange cones were then set up by his therapists several feet apart and he was then asked to maneuver around each of the six cones without touching them with the bike. His coordination was immaculate and his control of the bike was perfect! I looked at his face and could see such joy and happiness.

Next the test was to ride with Mom up the hill to another parking lot, circle around and come back down to the lower level, stopping at a stop sign for any oncoming traffic. I hopped onto my bike with my legs trembling and my hands shaking, knowing that my job is to be sure to warn him of any potential hazards on the road surface and oncoming cars. We proceeded up the hill, at a snail’s pace (knowing that his therapists were watching closely) controlling our pedaling and steering and then proceeded to wind around the lot and eventually descending the hill back to the lower level lot. I felt as if I couldn’t breathe but I know that God gave me the strength, and the eyes of awareness, to be able to ride with and for Doug. He rode perfectly and in fact asked to do the short course again. I briefly flashed back in my mind to Doug lying in a coma in the Critical Care Unit on day 13, when he was beginning to show signs of coming to…..several of us saw him begin to move both of his legs in a pedaling motion as he lie unconscious…..he was practicing for this moment today…)

I know that he wishes desperately to ride again at the pace he was at prior to the accident at 20+ mph, but for now he is willing to ride safely at a reduced speed.

Both therapists wholeheartedly agreed that Doug is ready to ride again having passed this test with flying colors! The restriction now is that he must ride with his mom and other cyclists who are aware of the potential dangers for Doug. He is cleared to ride this way on paved trails such as West River Drive on the weekends, Schylkill River Trail/Valley Forge Trail, Power Line Trail, etc. Doug will need to be cautious while riding and will be exercising his brain as well as his body, being alert to road conditions on the trail and other cyclists around him in addition to his reaction time to potential hazards.

All in all this is a tremendous achievement for Doug who has continued to show forth a spirit of intense determination, courage and hope. We are so very proud of the work he is doing along the road to a full recovery. Today is one more huge step in Doug regaining freedom and triumphing over so many obstacles. It’s not just ‘about the bike’….

We thank God for His healing embrace upon Doug and the miraculous recovery thus far; Praise be to God also for the love, continued prayers and good thoughts and wishes from his supportive friends, family, churches, colleges, and workplaces. Doug and our family have truly been surrounded by an awesome network of love.

Doug and I will see you on the paved trails around the area! Dougtales has returned!

“To sweep down hills and plunge into valley hollows; to cover as on wings the far stretches of the road ahead and to find them in bloom at your approach.” –Alain Fournier, The Wanderer”

Grace and Peace be with you all!
Jen, Dougtales’ Mom


Entry filed under: update.

An update after my team meeting– An Invitation

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. David Monahan  |  Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    even though I’m 300+ miles away..

    this post made my day. Doug, thanks for being yourself. Thanks for showing all of us what it takes to succeed- you’re the man.

    -a very awed david


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