Why would anyone let a little hurdle like two hip replacement surgeries slow them down? Troy Huerta sure didn’t. With the love of his wife Darci and supportive friends, he’s back on the bike logging miles on his iBike Newton, racing again – faster than ever before!
Many people have stumbled into the sport of cycling after riding to rehabilitate from an injury. I fell in love with it while recovering from my knee reconstruction. And that’s how iBike athlete, Troy Huerta, of Swami’s Cycling came to love it as well. iBike had the privilege of speaking with Troy about his story. . .
iBike: You’ve been riding and racing for several years. How did you originally get into cycling?
Troy: When I was a kid I raced a little BMX. When I grew up I traded the bike in for a car and really forgot about bicycles for a long time. Years later my son, Mark, was jumping his BMX bike off a homemade ramp over a four foot ditch. I thought I’d show him how it’s done so I borrowed his bike and launched. Long story short, I broke my leg. After the surgery, I started doing a little mountain biking for rehab and remembered how much I enjoyed riding. So I started to do more. My cousin, Scott, turned it into a competition and bought a road bike so he could mountain bike faster. So, of course, I had to get a road bike. After riding for a couple months you and Cathie invited me out to a 28 mile Fourth of July fun ride and I had a blast. Then you encouraged me to check out Team In Training (Leukemia Society) and go for a 100 mile ride and raise money for a good cause. That’s when I really got hooked.
iBike: I’m sorry to be partially responsible for getting you into this mess. It was entirely my wife’s fault! I think she liked watching you suffer. So, what was the hook for you? What’s your inspiration for riding?
Troy: Well, I wasn’t in shape at that time. I was at least 25-30 lbs heavier than I am today. I remember just focusing on work and fitness and health just wasn’t that important. When I started riding, I really like the way I felt after the rides. It made me more productive in my day. When I started getting into the longer rides, I really enjoyed the inner peace I felt. Now, riding is kind of my meditation and prayer time where I can think and pray about life and all that goes on. It’s my “me” time.
iBike: How did you get from riding and feeling good to needing double hip replacement surgery?
Troy: I had osteoarthritis well before the BMX knee surgery thing. I was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease as a child, which led to osteoarthritis in my hips. I started doing some heavier riding, more mileage and faster pace. It started to become really painful to walk and even stand. My mother suggested that I get an MRI done because she didn’t agree with the doctors who kept telling me everything looked fine according to the x-rays. The MRI actually showed how bad my hips were. There was no soft tissue between my bones. I rode for another two years in a lot of pain.
iBike: I’m still amazed when I think of that! Here’s a guy who needed double hip replacement surgery but could still ride me into the dirt. I knew you were riding in pain for a couple years but what was the catalyst that made you get the surgeries?
Troy: Well, it got so bad that I couldn’t walk through the grocery store with my wife or even stand for more than 10 or 15 minutes. I knew it was time. I raced the Dana Point Grand Prix and spoke with Floyd Landis who was there helping out. Floyd directed me to speak with his doctor, who had repaired his hip just a few years earlier and not mess around or put it off. I took his advice.
iBike: I guess when a pro cyclist like Floyd Landis, who makes a living from his hips and legs, tells you to go see his doctor, you should listen. How did the surgeries go for you?
Troy: I had the first surgery at the end of April, 2009, and the second 30 days later at the end of May. By the end of June my friend got me on his tandem and I got my first ride in.
iBike: I thought you were insane then and I still do! 30 days off the bike after two hip replacement surgeries, 30 days apart – that’s nuts!
Troy: After another 30 days, so 60 days post-op, I was out on my own – not a group ride, but at least on my own bike. That felt great. The scars didn’t feel good but the hips felt great. That was a big part of my rehab. I kept increasing my mileage and made a goal to race El Tour de Tucson and make Platinum (109 miles under 5 hours). So 6 months after the surgeries I did it!
iBike: Incredible! I love hearing your story. It always comes back to the quote “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Awesome. What’s next for “The Bionic Man?”
Troy: Well, I love giving back. In my cycling club, Swami’s, we have a strong development team. There’s some really talented young racers coming through and I’m enjoying helping them move up – upgrade their categories. I love seeing young people in the sport grow, it’s exciting. For me personally, the last 12 months I’ve been focusing on time trialing. It’s a great discipline and I’m in the hunt for the top spot of the 35+ category, Southern California Time Trial Series Championship. Right now, I’m in second place but there’re still three races to go. Ultimately, I’d like to go against all the big boys at the State Time Trial Championship. I just want to continue to get better and stronger. . .
Thank you for inspiring me and many others reading this blog, Troy. I wish you the all the best in your quest for health and fitness. *A very special Thank You goes to Darci Huerta, Troy’s wife, for her patience and support.
We are all inspirational stories that need to be shared. Please share yours with me! As well, if you would like more on training, nutrition, or weight loss, I can help. Please e-mail iBikeBlog. Thank you!