|When you're riding a bike using no hands, missing a finger doesn't matter.|
Heading out on the trail one sensation struck me as odd. While navigating down a rocky portion on a slight curve, the bike was needing to be controlled pretty heavily to stay on course. As my grip tightened, one of the rubber nubs dug into the bundle of nerve terminations where my finger used to be, causing a rush of feeling that conjured the muscle memory of my finger for few moments. It just felt like the finger was there and tingling in a strong, but not painful way. That may have also primed me for another realization. Apparently I used to use the middle finger to rest on the brake lever in terrain like that so that I'd be able to maintain maximum grip on the handlebars while still having a method to ease on the brake as needed. In order to achieve that now, I'm relying more on just my little and ring finger with the pointer reaching for the stopping device. When your bike is wanting to jerk around, grabbing the brakes accidentally (and full force) has a high likelihood of flipping you over the handlebars, and you are relying on some digits not used to the responsibility, it can make a fellow nervous. Thankfully, no actual disaster occurred and those obstacles were navigated without incident.
It was about a 5 mile course and that was about all my legs could handle at the pace I was attempting. Even though I'd been able to swim a bit, my cardio wasn't quite there and probably more importantly, my legs had been on vacation from that sort of activity for too long. That said, it was a great start!
So I am back in the saddle, however unfit, and ready to ride! It had been too long...