Monday, 28 February 2011

A LOVE STORY.......

MY CURRENT COMPANIONS
Many many years ago when I was a young lad in my mid teens I fell in love..!
Well, it might just have been a huge crush, but it certainly felt like love at the time. Her name was Carol and I met her at a youth club.
I didn't have much confidence back then and it took me months to ask her out. Finally I managed to overcome all my fears of rejection and I asked her out to the cinema. She actually said YES. I was over the moon and couldn't wait for the seven day's to pass before the evening that we had set for our 'date'.
Then about 48hrs before we were to go out -  Catastrophe!!!  I caught a cold. Not just any old cold - this was a major man flu type cold - you know - the sort of cold that women just never get.
I was devastated. I had to cancel my evening of pure love at the cinema with the gorgeous Carol.
We did manage to re-arrange our evening of pleasure, but I have never forgotten that feeling of total disappointment at having to cancel the date that I had looked forward to for so long.

Well, it has happened again..!!
I had arranged a date with the luscious Tiffany - she has an Italian background you know..! She is as smooth as silk and just running my fingers over her beautiful shape is pure pleasure. There is something mildly exotic about her and any red blooded male would feel the same about her as I do.
We only met last June and since that time I have tried to spend as much time as possible in her company.
This has not been easy, what with all the medical treatment that I have had over the months. But I have spent quite a bit of time with her, although this all stopped at the beginning of February when I had my eye operation.
We had made a 'date' to go out together today and tomorrow.  You can imagine how upset I was when just after seeing the consultant at the hospital last week I contracted some kind of bronchial cold. I had to cancel my date with Tiffany.
All those memories of the cancelled date with the gorgeous Carol came flooding back.
Instead of the exotic company of the luscious Tiffany, my new constant companions are shown in the photo above. Lets face it they don't really match up to an absolute beauty of Italian extraction like Tiffany.
And what of Tiffany? Well she will wait for me...! We haven't actually made another date yet, but I have bought her a rather special present which hopefully she will wear when we do manage to go out together.

I will tell you about this special present  in a later posting. In the meantime, Tiffany (the Tifosi) has to wait with my other bikes until I shake off this pesky bronchial cold thing....!

Friday, 25 February 2011

LATEST NEWS....

Yesterday I had my appointment with the Consultant regarding my recent eye surgery.
He told me that the results look pretty good. Apparently he is a little concerned by some pressure in the eye but he feels that this will reduce over the next few weeks.
I asked him if I am am able to start riding my bikes again and he said YES, so long as I start off  slowly and don't try and ride 'flat out' too soon.
So the plan is that I will go out for my first ride on Monday 28th February - just a short ride of about 20 miles. The next day - 1st March - I will do a longer ride with JD  but obviously at a steady pace.
This will be the first time that JD and I will have ridden together for about 5 months and I am certainly looking forward to it.

The past few weeks have been quite difficult. From riding about 180 miles a week I went to ZERO.
I found that using up energy whilst not being allowed any real exercise was a problem - getting to sleep at night was not easy with so much surplus energy.
Maintaining my weight level was an additional problem as I did not want to start to inflate like a fat balloon! I had to adjust my diet accordingly. At least now I should start to get back to some level of normality.

As far as cycling goes, the past few weeks I have been reduced to moping around cycle racks looking to see if there were any interesting bikes.
It would seem to be the case that as far as Bournemouth is concerned any decent or really interesting bikes are not left in cycle racks. Given the level of bike theft in the area I am not really surprised. However I did see a quite smart looking bright yellow fixie sporting yellow pedals to match.
YELLOW FIXIE -note yellow pedals

RALEIGH-complete with wooden box
 I also saw an old Raleigh bike with the gear levers on the down tube and traditional curved bars complete with a box on the rack..!
Gosh....! I must be turning very sad getting excited by this..!!!

One thing that has happened over the past couple of weeks that is more important but not good, is regarding the 'Rock to the UK' ride that is planned for September.

It would appear that Dave Vaughan who is down to be be our support driver and logistics man has not had confirmation from work that he can take the time off required to complete the event.
There are factors involved that are making it look more and more unlikely that he will be granted this time and this in turn is posing a real threat to the whole project. It could well mean trying to find another driver - someone who can give up three weeks of their time in September to take on this support role.
You can imagine how this has now thrown the whole thing up in the air.
A lot of time as well as money has been invested in this ride and it will be a great disappointment to not only the team but also the charities we are hoping to raise funds for if it fails to happen.
I will obviously keep you posted.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

JUST A BIT LONGER........

I am still not able to ride the bikes or stare at this screen for more than a few minutes - I have to wait just a bit longer.
Anyway, so you are not too bored until I get back here is another short film. This time it proves what I have always said - you don't need a BMX or a mountain bike, all you need is a carbon road bike......!!
(Mind you - I wouldn't want to use mine to do it.)

Friday, 11 February 2011

BACK HOME.....!

I am now back from the hospital.
Before I left I was told that as well as no exercise I would not be allowed to stare at a computer screen for more that a few minutes at a time for the first 7 to 14 days.
So no blogging for a few more days.
In the meantime here is a short film about the 2009 L'Eroica.
I really love this event - full of atmosphere and history.......Enjoy..

L'Eroica 2009 // BROOKS ENGLAND

Monday, 7 February 2011

ISLAND MENTALITY.........?

LATEST DELIVERY OF ENERGY PRODUCTS
My Dad always used to call it 'the island or siege mentality'. The desire to stock up on things.
As you can see above I have just received my latest delivery of energy products. It's a mix of ZipVit Energy drinks and bars as well as some Mule bars which I have written about before and a couple of boxes of 'For Goodness Shakes' recovery drink.
There are still a couple more boxes of various energy bars that are due to arrive this week.

I have always been like this - feeling the need to stock up on things 'just in case'. For me it creates a good feeling, knowing that I have things available for whenever I want them.

I was born on the Isle of Wight and this need to get stocked up on things was quite common place on the island. Mind you it was born out of practicality, as during the winter months back then the ferry to the mainland was often stopped during the slightest sign of bad weather. This in turn would affect what was available in the local shops as everything had to be brought over from the mainland. Even after we had moved to the mainland  I can remember my Mother always tended to buy things in twos and threes a habit that she had acquired during  our previous island life.

Nowadays I seem to perpetuate this 'island mentality' when I buy anything. Forget 3 bikes - lots of cyclists have 3 and often many more bikes- but with me it doesn't stop there. 3 cycling helmets (one for each bike) the same with cycling shoes and when it comes to cycling jerseys I had 21 at the last count. I try and explain that one away by saying - 3 bikes - 7 days in a week equals 21 jerseys. No -  that explanation didn't work when I tried it out on Anne either - she just looked at me and shook her head in a despairing kind of way.

Still it makes me feel secure in the knowledge that if washing clothes was banned I would be able to go out on my bike in a clean jersey for 21 days before it became a problem .Not that it's ever likely to happen - clothes washing being banned I mean..!!

All this applies to my backpacking kit as well. Numerous tents- boots - jackets - trousers - walking poles - stoves-sleeping bags - sleeping mats- etc etc... Every interest in my life has multi itemitus. Yes I know that is not a real word - but it describes quite nicely the problem - not that it is a real problem because everything I have does get used. If something doesn't get used at least once in a 12 month period it gets uploaded to Ebay............

 FINAL UPDATE BEFORE HOSPITAL.
JD made contact with me the other day to let me know why he's not been out on the bike for the past few weeks. Apparently he has been suffering with a bad chest infection which is what I thought might be the case. He reckons that he will be out training with me again from the end of February or the beginning of March. Now there's a plus, as that will be roughly the time that I will be allowed to re-start training again.
BIKES UNDER COVER
Speaking of which - above is a photo of my bikes all neatly cocooned in their covers awaiting my return to cycling.
Lets hope that we are not apart for too long...!!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A PHONE CALL......'we are going to take your bikes away'.

Yesterday I had a phone call - This woman on the other end said that 'we are going to take your bikes away'.

Well not really - but she might well have said that - the effect would have been the same. It was actually my consultant's secretary and she phoned  to inform me that I would be required to be at the hospital next Tuesday morning for my operation. She also reminded me that I would not be allowed to ride my bikes for a number of weeks afterwards. She said ' you do understand that don't you?' For some reason she obviously feels that I'm not going to be a 'good boy' and I will climb back on a bike the moment I get home. Someone seems to have informed her that I don't follow instructions all that well and will ignore all good medical advice. It certainly seems that way- as she wanted me to confirm that I will be following the advice I have been given.

After I mentioned in my last posting that I needed to go back to the hospital, a number of people contacted me to  enquire if this was connected with my Cancer treatment. Well I am happy to report that it is not. My Cancer recovery seem to be going to plan and my next set of tests and checks to ensure that it hasn't started to make a comeback will be in early May and I will let you all know the results at that time.
No, this operation is connected with the cycling crash that I had back in June 2009 when I got back to the UK after completing the ACCR . In that crash I received a huge impact to the head which demolished my cycling helmet as well as knocking me unconscious. The impact caused damage at the back of my left eye and this resulted in me losing the sight in that eye about three months later. I  later had an operation which recovered my sight and this new operation is to correct various other problems with that eye.

Now we have entered the second month of the year- and with the enforced break in my activities coming up next week - it has given me the opportunity to look back on January and see what I have managed to achieve.

I started the year with the intention of riding at least 25 miles each day for six days of the week. I have actually averaged closer to 30 miles each day. Obviously some days I will ride considerably more miles and some days less but I really needed to achieve the 25 mile a day average in order to build up my strength and fitness and because I also knew that I would be forced to stop riding the bike as explained above.
I think that my decision to display my 'Cycling Mileage' on this blog has proved to be a really good motivator for me. If I fail it's displayed for the world to see and I can't have that.........

I have managed to free up some of my time by stepping down as the Backpackers Club Dorset Liaison Member-something that I had been considering for some time.

The Ferry bookings have been made for our 'Tour de Brittany' Cyclepacking trip in May.

The date for another Cyclepacking trip- this time to the Isle of Wight has also been made for the beginning of July.

The dates for various Sportives have also been sorted - kicking off with a ride out of Wimborne in early May. Depending on my fitness after the lay off etc I might even fit one in during April.

So at the moment my training rides for the .Rock to the UK ride scheduled for the first three weeks in September are bang on target. I have not managed to let myself down yet..!!

I now have to plan what I will get up to when I can't ride the bikes..... Some walking.....some trips to my favourite LBC in the quest for an additional wheelset for my Tifosi. (I am looking for a nice Italian wheelset to use as summer wheels) ......some photographic trips to build up my photo library.....Yes I don't think that I will be short of things to do...!!