I recently heard a commercial about the warning signs of a stroke. Certainly a serious matter and, having known people who’ve had strokes, I’m happy to have some tips to help me remain vigilant.
I have to admit though that the first thing I thought was how similar the warning signs of a stroke are to the signs of a really good bike ride. Take the Kreme Delite Krusher as an example. As the ‘Krusher’ part of the name suggests, this is a hard ride. Done correctly, it’s common to experience some of the same symptoms of an impending stroke.
Face: Hard bike rides are so much fun you can’t help but smile but if you’re doing it well, you likely lack the motor control to manage an full, normal smile even if you believe you’re smiling from ear to ear. Your smile is drooping and there is probably some slobber and/or snot involved.
Arms: You don’t have to ask us to raise our arms. Hell, we live for posting up at any city limit sign, fence post, or hill top. Does one arm drift? Probably. There is also any number of bizarre combinations of imaginary pistols and peace signs.
Speech: Sometimes, I don’t even understand the things that come out of my own mouth when the ride is in full cry. ‘Car back, HOLE!, pull my off the right back, bottle dropped!’. If a doctor was listening, they’d surely dispatch an ambulance.
Time: If you observe these signs, you’re having an awesome bike ride. Unlike a stroke, you should not immediately call 9-1-1. Instead, you should meditate on Rule #5 and pedal harder because this ride will get even more awesome if you push even harder …. and why would you want to go slower?
Additional signs of an awesomely hard bike ride include, numbness or tingling in your extremities, a burning sensation in your quads, calves, glutes, lungs, and crotch, blurred vision, nausea, and a desire to have more of the same.
Of course, if you’re experiencing these symptoms but you don’t ride bikes, you should call 9-1-1 …. and then get a bike and start riding.