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Just to be clear, I know the proper way to pick up a bike.

But my main concern is that now that I'm much older and suffer from back problems I don't know if I can lift a 500+ bike on my own. You see, I have four bulging discs (8mm) in my spine.

Just this year I aggravated/re-injured my back from lifting groceries (probably 70lbs). It was so bad I was bed ridden for 3 months. Consulted 5 doctors and all of them said it's pretty severe. And they don't think surgery will help in my situation because it's not just one or two discs but multiple.

So my question to you guys with similar back problems is this: After a fall, how do you lift a 500+ bike off the ground without aggravating/re-injuring your back?
 

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Hi Nemesis,

I've been told the best way is to turn your back on the bike and squat down with your knees bent, keeping your back straight as you lower yourself. Then grab the hand rail near the seat and the handlebar and powerlift with your legs keeping your back straight the whole time. Not sure if this makes sense but I'm sure a youtube clip must exist demonstrating how to lift a heavy bike safely.

Cheers,

Wadeo
 

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I suggest riding with friends. I'm a senior myself so I don't go off road alone. 10 years ago I could pickup my Goldwing by myself but I'm sure I could not lift my AT if I were in sand/mud/water. Not enough traction for the wheels or your feet for the "regular" method mentioned above.

We had a gentleman that road in our Goldwing group that was in his late 70s that was a very skilled rider. However he dropped his bike in a very rough parking lot one evening but with all of us there to help him it was no problem. When we talked later he told me the only way he would ride any distance from home was with the group.

Friends looking out for friends.
 

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If you absolutely have to lift it on your own, the 'regular' way with you back towards the bike is probably the best way to do it.

The main thing is not so much the weight itself but the leverage -- you'll want to keep the weight as close to you spine as possible, which is not really possible if you're facing the bike.

Also if you have the weight in front of you, you will tend to bend forward which a) puts the (most likely) area of your disk herniations under tensile stress and b) will tend to shift the nucleus of the disk in the same direction ... thus more likely exacerbating your injuries. Conversely, you do not want the weight too far behind you, so get as close to the bike as you can and make sure you have a secure footing. When you do lift, concentrate on lifting with your leg muscles, not you lower back. Just 'lock your arms' and let the thigh muscles do the lifting ... this looks pretty reasonable to me: https://youtu.be/cfsUZDA8CoI

Generally speaking, surgery would not be at the top of my list unless there are significant or progressing neurological deficits ... muscle weakness with functional consequences etc. Long term prognosis (>1 year) for a disk herniation is the same with/without surgery. But, it is a different situation entirely if you develop muscle weakness, urinary incontinence / retention, sensory disturbances around your rectum/scrotum, etc ... especially if it develops within a few days ... that's rare though, but may be a surgical emergency. (..rare though :)

Alternatively, bring a pillion passenger ... preferably a strong one :)
 
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