Once you learn to ride a bike, you always know how

By Phil Maxey, Administrator

     Six years ago I watched as my grandson got his cycling badge for riding on RAGBRAI, on the way to getting his Eagle Scout Rank. Seeing this I decided to get into cycling myself. So after not riding a bike for 40 years I decided to make an attempt and I’ve been biking since
     I work at Montezuma Specialty Care, now I use the term work loosely because I really love what I do. My 
father always said find a job you love and you never have to work a day in your life.
So fast forward a Saturday in early March, it was my turn to be weekend manager and I was supposed to lead an activity for the residents. I gave it some thought and decided that a show-and-tell about my bike riding would be the activity. 
     At 10:30 am,  I passed out treats and juice then started to talk about my cycling experience. I showed the clothes I wear and the shoes I used. I talked about the various rides I had been on and where I liked to ride. 
     Then I showed them my bike - it’s a recumbent 
tricycle. This is not a bike many of my residents had ever seen before. I showed them the lights, the gear I carry, how I change a tire. 
     Then I showed them how I get on. Then much to my amazement one of the residents said, “That looks like fun. I would like to try that.”
     Now, on first look, I would have never thought that a nursing home resident would be able to sit on a recumbent bike or be able to get up without a lot of help, (For those of you in the field getting the Hoyer comes to mind.) But to my delight my staff jumped in to the conversation and not only encouraged the resident but helped her to get up and approach the bike and to sit in the seat. 
     Then for the next five minutes she pedaled around the room with a big smile on her face and giggling like a school girl as she went around and around in a circle. 
     Not only did I get to see a person get to enjoy something, I got to share something I enjoy with my residents. 
     Then another resident came forward for their turn. The staff and I had to modify the way a person gets on the bike but we were able to get the resident on the bike and she took off. Again another person with a big smile on their face, but as I looked around, the room was full of smiling faces. It was a good day all around. 
     I want to thank the staff and residents at Montezuma 
Specialty Care for giving me one of the best days of my life.