Glenn, I notice neither one of your bikes has a drivers backrest. Have you ridden a bike with one, because it makes a big difference between sitting up straight and holding your back muscles tight, and having even just a little bit of something to lean back into. Even if its only in the small of your back, I will not ride more than 30 minutes without mine on the bike now. I dont have any back problems, but a couple hours of sitting up like Im on a bar stool is just no fun.
KCW, the spine damage is limited to high up in my neck, starting at C-1, almost up to the base of the brain stem, (and down to C-6) so any extra back muscle action has surprisingly little to do with aggravating the issue... which is why I am still able to ride a bike at all. I have thought, though, about adding a backrest to the V-Star, (but I am just not too excited about the look) as after riding the Honda I do find the V-Star's seating position to be less comfortable... I guess I am just accustomed to having my feet parked way back under my butt rather than way forward. With the footpegs under my butt, it helps take any pressure off my back altogether. It feels like I am slouching on the Star, but on the Honda I feel like I am sitting up nice and straight-backed, which is weird considering it's a sporty bike... but I bought the Honda after a lot of research, and trying a lot of bikes on for size, and I discovered that the CB500FA, with its nice high handlebars, means that I am not leaning forward as one would expect on a sporty bike, but rather I sit quite upright with no pressure at all on my wrists/arms... and more importantly no pressure on my "un-slouched" spine. My friends/neighbours think I'm crazy when I try to explain that the sporty bike is actually easier on my back than the cruiser is. Haha.
Even so, on either bike my limit is an hour, tops. But let me tell you... that hour of riding around this incredibly scenic island in the North Atlantic is a LOT
better than if I had spent it where I am most of the time since my workplace accident 13 years ago... laying flat on my back in bed staring at the ceiling!
But as time goes on, I am having more health issues which are making it more difficult to keep at least some level of mobility. Last year I was diagnosed with severe PMR, (Polymyalgia Rheumatica) a crippling disease which causes intense pain/inflammation of the joints; in my case mainly in my shoulders. (luckily I am now able to keep it somewhat under control with meds) And just recently I have developed severe arthritis in my right hip, to the point that it is now extremely difficult/painful for me to roll over in bed, or climb the stairs. And I have noticed over the past few weeks that it is getting more and more difficult to throw my leg over either bike. But I don't plan to give up riding any time soon. Yes, it may be getting harder and harder to get out on the bikes, but I'm having way
too much fun to quit!
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