Actually in addition to cycling, there was fly-fishing before or after our five stages. Ken, Mickey and Bob were part of our tour as well. The stages took us thru the Driftless area of Southwestern Wisconsin, up and down the Ocooch Mountains. While not quite the Col du Mont Ventoux, one of the stages of the Tour de France (Bob and I had ridden Mt Ventoux some years ago while biking in Southern France), our Garmins recorded an average speed of 13.5 mph for 60 miles on day one with a total altitude ridden of 3,200 feet in the Ocooch range.  Beside blogging and riding, I had the opportunity to interview Bob during the several stages of our tour. What makes this unique is that Bob is the friend who hadn’t skied in two years because of his arthritic left knee and left wrist and was having increasing difficulty on his road bike because of the the knee and wrist. In the late fall, I performed a stem cell procedure on both the left knee and left wrist. While I am not Phil Liggett, the English voice of the Tour de France, let me share with you an interview with someone who returned to active skiing this past winter and recreational road cycling this spring after his stem cell procedures.

Q “How did your left knee feel during the first stage heading up Carrie-Smith hill on Highway 56 followed immediately by the ultimate test on County SS to Viroqua?”

A “When we started out, I felt a little tight in my left knee but that quickly disappeared. I no longer give any thought to the left wrist, it hasn’t been a problem after six weeks following the stem cell procedure”.

Q “Did the knee bother you when you got out of the saddle on the 7%grade at the top of County SS before it leveled off?”

A “I didn’t think about it, there is no pain and I no longer use anything for pain”

Q “When we hit the 60 mile mark, did you want to quit riding?”

A “I could have ridden another hour. After what I had endured theses past several years, to ride without pain is thrilling”

Q “Is there anything else you want to share?”

A “I can’t wait until you do the stem cells in my right knee at the end of the bike season to assure me another great ski season”

When the riding was over for the day, we showered, had dinner with our wives and headed out for the evening hatch in pursuit of the elusive brown trout in the nearby spring creeks. If cycling places major demand on an arthritic knee, climbing up and down the sides of a southwestern Wisconsin trout stream in a pair of waders, will certainly put a knee to the test.

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