About Me

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Now retired but busy still living..

Thursday 24 December 2009


Seasons greetings to everyone.

I trust that the spell of bad weather does not prevent you from spending the holiday with your loved ones and that this Christmas is everything that you wish it to be.

Obviously this year I will not be 'out' for a Christmas morning ride but I will manage to spin the pedals on my indoor trainer for about 25 virtual miles. Actually the training has started well although I am still struggling with my weight. I must remember to make some attempt to avoid eating too much over the next few days. I feel quite positive about it really as the shock of standing on the scales recently was a bit of a wake up call - although after everything that has happened this year I do have a genuine excuse for it...!

Wednesday 23 December 2009


I thought that you might be interested in an E-mail received this morning.

Dear Purpletraveller-

You made a posting on the 26th November this year with the heading 'A Solution'. You showed a picture of a bike/trailer set up that your team mate John thought might be the solution to your transport problems if your health does not improve.

This set me thinking and I decided that this could well be the solution to MY problems. Let me explain-

For many years now- towards the latter part of December I have needed to make a round the world trip delivering lots of parcels of various sizes. Over these years I have always used an open top style of vehicle on runners that is pulled by a number of 'beasts with antlers'.
I have always thought that this was quite a 'green' method of travel but I have now been told that I am wrong as apparently the 'exhaust' gases given off by these beasts is not as green as we were all led to believe. Indeed these gases could well be harming the atmosphere and helping to speed up global warming. On top of all this -all the years of just sitting in the vehicle being pulled around the world has not helped my own weight situation. On many occasions during my deliveries over the past few years I have got stuck in various chimneys. This has been caused by my growing rotund shape and lack of fitness.

So you see- the bike/trailer set up that you highlighted could also solve MY problems.
No exhaust gases from the bike-totally green. Room in the trailer for all the parcels. Plenty of exercise to help improve my weight and fitness.

I have managed to obtain one of these bike/trailers and am planning to try it out for the first time on the 25th December- I will let you know how successful it turns out to be.

Thanks for the idea-



Friday 11 December 2009


Ever since Bradley Wiggins came in fourth on the Tour de France way back in July there has been talk of him joining the new Sky team.
Bradley seemed to drop little hints but when pushed on the subject always denied it. Indeed as recently as last Saturday evening at the Manchester Velodrome he said "Once we get into January and it's apparent I'm still with Garmin everything will settle down. I'm under contract to Garmin so I'll be racing with them".
Well he HAS signed with Sky.
He had a contract with Garmin until the end of 2010 and after last years T de F placing the only way that Garmin would have released him from his contract was for an offer that could not be turned down. That means loads of the folding stuff........!!
At the time of writing this posting Garmin have still not made any mention of this on the Team website.
On the Team Sky website the signing is of course mentioned but it is interesting to note that in the Bradley Wiggins 'fact file' on the site no mention has been made of him ever being with the Garmin team. Mention is made of his various achievements on the track and the Olympics but no mention of his fourth place in last years tour whilst he was with Team GARMIN.
Before everybody overlooks the fact that Bradley was a Garmin rider for a short but important period of his career- just take a look at the Garmin shirt in the photo above with Bradley's signature on the front. This is part of my collection which I acquired direct from the team just prior to this years T de F .
A week appears to be a long time in sport- particularly where money is concerned..........!!!

Thursday 10 December 2009


It would appear from my observation that a lot of cyclists believe that they are made of Lego.
Click on this to see what I mean: http://tinyurl.com/legobike

Tuesday 8 December 2009


A few weeks before I started having problems with my left eye- I purchased an indoor training bike to help me with my winter training. Like a lot of people I always have problems with my weight and fitness over the winter months. The cause is a mixture of not wanting to ride in bad weather and eating too much over the Christmas period. This year I thought that the problem would be even worse now that I no longer have to set off to work each day- plus nearly six months of hospitals/treatment etc. The eye situation just made the matter worse as I was instructed by the Consultant not to get on ANY bike as I was required to keep my heart beat and blood pressure low.
Last week I had a trip back to the hospital to follow up on my recent eye operation .The news was good. The operation was a success-the sight has returned although I am very short sighted now in that eye and I was warned that I might develop a cataract in the eye which will need a minor procedure to remove-this will take about three months to form and is quite normal following the type of operation I have had.
The other good news I was given is that I can start to ride my indoor training bike (Still not allowed on a REAL bike).
So I have now started training again in an effort to catch the rest of the team up in the fitness stakes and a big task it is going to be.
I have gained two and a half stone since I came off my bike in June and because of all the resting that I have had to do I am very unfit.
The training bike is fully computerised giving me lots of feedback on speed-distance-calories-power-cadence etc. I can also choose from various route programmes such as hills-mountains-rolling terrain etc and I have started off in a small way by doing a five mile virtual commute in the morning over an undulating route and then I am doing the same again in the evening.(My virtual return trip). My plan is to build up on the distance and the route as well as introducing some more performance specific sessions over time.
I am due to come off my blood thinning drugs in January. I have been on these since July following my accident and the subsequent blood clots I suffered.
I will then be able to start the cancer treatment at the end of January and I have been informed that the radiotherapy can make you feel quite tired. My plan is to try and build up my fitness as much as I can between now and then- just in case I am forced by tiredness to ease back a bit on training after the first few weeks of the treatment.
So good news all round at the moment. No-the picture with this posting is nothing to do with my indoor trainer but is a shot of the rear wheel and Shimano Dura Ace transmission on my Felt Sportive bike. If my training goes well I hope to be riding this bike in the Ducton Sportive on the 9th May.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Waiting to See.

After seven weeks of having no sight in my left eye and having had an eye operation two weeks ago -I am really happy and relieved to report that I am starting to recover some sight in the eye.
I am back to the hospital tomorrow for a post operation check up and hope to find out then what the longer term prospects are for sight improvement.
The loss of my sight in this eye has proved to be one of the most scary things that I have experienced. I will never again take my eyesight for granted. A truly life changing experience.



T.van der Kelf.

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...