My 3 Secrets to Fast Recovery to Knee Surgeries #9 & #10

Posted by on 10 February at 11:42 pm

The last thing that I ever wanted to be known for, was how many darned surgeries I’ve had on my knees.

Last week I just had double knee surgeries, which add up to #9 and #10.

Vacuum on my right (arthroscopy) to clean up some torn cartilage and kibbles; Grind on my left (arthrotomy= open knee) to shave down arthritic bone spurs that were getting in the way of the joint mechanics (aka, a tendon was snapping over the spur every upstroke on a bike or walking up stairs).

That’s a lot, but I still have my own bones, I can ride a bike hard for miles and miles, and the pain is generally tolerable.  My doctor tells me the next stop is knee replacements.  I’m hoping my surgeries bought me 5 more years…and by then, who knows?  I’m hoping that the stem cell applications are proving to do amazing things by then.  If not, or some other cool new technological advancement, then knee replacements it shall be.

I’m a week post-op, feeling good without crutches, and making sure that I don’t do too much too soon.  I feel like my recovery is coming along fast.


What’s my Secret?

It’s not so much what I am doing now, it’s what I did pre-op, and you can do this too.

#1  Interval Training on a Bike

That’s right, get on your bike and ride!  Don’t just read a magazine and make your feet go around in circles…get your heart rate up, do some interval training.  If you are new to this, having a guide helps.  Try my 6 video set “Power to Pedal” – they are 1 hour long training sessions that you can split into 30 minute sessions if an hour is too much at the start.  Ride a minimum of 2X per week.  Make this your standard.

#2  Strength Training for Legs and More

Cycling is great for leg strength on a bike, but you need more than just cycling.  Definitely add in exercises that work your Gluteus minimus and medius, which are 2 of your 3 butt muscles and help control where your leg is in space.  Make sure to include core exercises and upper body strength too.  Strength Train a minimum of 2X per week.  Make this your standard.

#3  Get to be a Healthy Body Weight

Staying light helps your joints.  When walking, in every step you take the stress of your body weight is multiplied 2-3X in your knee joint.   If you are carrying an extra 20 lbs, that means when you are walking, you’ll have an added force of 40-60 lbs in your knee!  OUCH!  When running its 6-7X and jumping is 9-10X!  Imagine an extra 20 lbs could add 200 lbs more force in your knee when you jump.  No wonder being overweight is so hard on your joints.  So, if you know you have some pounds to lose, get to work on it right now and you’ll do your joints the biggest favor that you can.  I have to work at maintaining my body weight as well – and the combination of cycling and strength training is part of my program.

If you are heading into knee surgery, do all that you can before hand to get strong and light.  Your recovery will be much faster!  If you want to avoid knee pain, do all 3 things and you’ll be on a path to keep your knees happy for years.

Wishing you all the best!

Coach Robin



The Asteroid Year

Posted by on 7 January at 4:49 am

Hello again…

I’ve been quiet for some time and I’m finally ready to talk about it.

It was a year that I got through, another year to recover, and a year to ramp back up. I’ve learned now not to underestimate an emotional toll…

Alright, here’s what happened.

2013 was shaping up to be a spectacular year.  I had it lined up to film and produce the first Cycle Moles Videos and was so excited to think that I might be able to help more people get on their bikes and use the Cycle Moles program to get stronger, faster and in better cycling shape than they’ve ever been in.


The stones kept raining down…

So much happened in a matter of 4 months that I’m just going to sum it up and not go into details:

  • My husband had a bad bike crash and suffered a severe concussion (thank goodness for his helmet & no broken bones)
  • My 97 year old mom (who lived with us), was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  She passed away, peacefully at home, 3 months later
  • My son totalled a car (but he was OK)
  • My daughter discovered a lump on her throat that turned out to be Thyroid Cancer and had surgery just before moving to Vietnam.

Wow.  My world slowed to taking just the next step each day. Somehow in the middle of all of that, I produced the Power to Pedal videos, but I didn’t share the love and care for the cycling that I intended to.

I now look back at 2014 and realize that I needed to just recover from the emotional toll of the previous year.  I did not have the energy to do extra things.  I started ramping up in 2015 and here we are WITH EXCITING NEWS…

I’ve written a fitness book about cycling and it will became available on January 14th.  It even hit BEST SELLER on Amazon in 5 Countries (US, Canada, UK, Denmark, Australia!)

Check it out here:  www.healthykneesbook.com

I am wishing YOU a happy and healthy 2016 filled with good energy and adventure!


Do your Knees Hurt?

Posted by on 18 August at 8:30 pm

I am very excited to announce that our Healthy Knees Cycling Camp is on the schedule and ready for enrollment!
This 5 week camp meets 2X per week to help you and your knees feel better.

Most of you know that I have had 8 knee surgeries…
but still have my own knees. I’m 53 years old and have always been an athlete, even with these bad knees, and I want to share how to do this with others.

I got the news at age 24 that If I wanted to walk when I was 30, I needed to stop all impact sports due to severe arthritis in one of my knees (I was a skier and ran competitively for WWU ‘s track and cross-country teams at the time). This was crushing news!  I switched to bicycling and I am absolutely convinced that I still have functioning knees due to the years of bicycling I have done.


I’m so passionate helping people with knee issues that I have developed indoor cycling programs that focus on good form and building strength. I have led the “Cycle Moles” indoor cycling program at the Bellingham Tennis Club & Fairhaven Fitness for eight years and I’ve taken that experience plus years of cycling and coaching to create the “Healthy Knees Cycling Camp.” I’m also a certified ACE Personal Trainer, Functional Aging Specialist, and Level 2 USA Cycling Coach.


From achy joints, to preparing for or rehabbing after surgery, to arthritis…Healthy Kneed Cycling Camp is for anyone with clearance from their doctor to participate in non-impact activity.

• Bike Fit:   proper set-up of the bike for correct foot, knee, and hip alignment are key to comfort. I do this privately with each participant.
• Proper Tension:   Too much tension on the bike is hard on the knee joint; too little tension gives opportunity for bad form and knee injury. Our bikes have “shifters” with gear numbers so you know exactly where you are.
• Pedal Speed:   We teach participants how to pedal at the speed that supports their knee movement. Most people come in pedaling way too slowly with too much force. Our bikes have cadence meters so you know exactly how fast you are pedaling.

The 5 week Healthy Knees Camp meets 2X per week, Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30am –indoors – for a total of 10 sessions. We start with 30 minutes and build up to 45 minutes while practicing the pedal speed and tension drills to build strength, endurance, and improve knee health. With interest, other times will be available. Camps start on 9/15, 10/22, and 12/1.

I am looking forward to helping folks who suffer from knee pain to show them there is a way to reduce pain and stay active!

Check it out – just click over to your right on the picture of Cycle Moles Indoor Training For Outdoor Adventure and you’ll see all of our Cycle Moles offerings.