My name is Christina Stuwe. I just turned 50 & I have Cardiovascular Disease. I was diagnosed with needing a triple heart bypass at the age of 47. What biking has done for me, is give me freedom to become a better, healthier me, away from the stigmas & stereotypes associated with heart disease.
Especially with COVID I have been able to experience such freedom on my bike. It has helped me conquer my own fears that I have built up in my mind. We all experience perceived limitations we or others have put on ourselves, biking evens the playing field & eliminates those perceptions. Those 2 or 3 wheels do not care who is on them, they just want to go & experience the roads & pathways of life together. By equalizing ourselves, all the perceptions, expectations & stereotypes melt away & we are just riders.
My most challenging ride to date was the 41km I rode with my 12 year old son Memphis, my encouraging husband Sven & my 77 year old father in law Jorg, on August 24, 2020. I completed the Legacy trail, starting in Canmore & riding to Banff, then back to Canmore. I beat what my perceived limitations were, 2 1/2 years after open heart surgery.
One barrier I have definitely had to overcome is that my beautiful bike is an electric assist, meaning I have to pedal, but I have 4 speeds to assist me. At first, I had gotten into my head that I was “ cheating” by using the electric assist. Boy, was I wrong. With it I have been able to ride farther, get stronger & become more confident.
I have come a long way from July 2018, when I first started to ride again, after my surgery. For all of this strength & freedom, not only is my bike responsible, but my husband, Sven, who is an avid biker & who encouraged & inspired me to love biking.
Bike riding has given me my life back, a new & definitely healthier life. Now I invite you to become a part of the biking revolution & allow a bike to grant you freedom too!!