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Now retired but busy still living..

Saturday 26 February 2022

Sending good Karma...

 With everything that's going on in the world it seems right to send out some good karma.... There are a lot of people who need it right now......

Moving on to my bike dislikes I have another one this week. Tubeless tyres..... On mountain bikes it's all fine and dandy but I am against it on road bikes ...... Tubeless sealant can be messy..... If it does spill out it can leave a real mess over the bike. It also has to be checked every so often because it can dry out and needs to be topped up. I'm sticking with tubed tyres and change or repair the tubes as I have always done.

Health wise I was called into radiology on Wednesday to have a mapping exercise carried out. The growth in my back was matched up on a CT scanner and small tattoos were made on my body so everything can be lined up perfectly when the actual treatment is given which will be this coming Thursday. 

It seems that one treatment could well be sufficient sometimes a second one is given. In the meantime I have had my nerve pain medication increased slightly and it does seem to be helping.

I will find out soon if I am likely to have period of remission.  

Sunday 20 February 2022

Stormy Delayed Post

 Well the storms certainly made their mark. Over half the awnings on site were destroyed with snapped poles. The noise was horrendous and the caravan was rocking all night. There's nothing better than being close to nature but it can be scary at times ..

Following my thoughts on gravel last week I see that Chris Froome wants to see time trial bikes removed from stage races. He feels that training on a time trial bike is dangerous with a real risk of accidents. Even though a lot of his wins have been made on the back of time trials he feels that so much can be lost in a moment. So much time and effort goes into the race and it can all be snatched away. 

The same applies to cobble sections when they are in stage races. They are fine in one day monument races but shouldn't be included in a stage race when so much is resting on it.

Interesting points which I agree with. Time trials are a separate discipline and should be ridden as such . I started on time trials and there were a number of accidents with riders ploughing into the back of stopped cars because they were in the head down position. A time trial bike is difficult to train on. With your arms on the skis you don't have quick access to the brakes anyway. All  a bit different from the reasons that I dislike  gravel but similar in as much of a ride being ruined...... 

I had a meeting with a oncology radiology  consultant on Thursday and she showed me the scan images from a week ago and explained why I have been experiencing huge levels of pain that have been impossible to control. 

I have a growth on my lower spine and it is pressing on the nerves in the spine. Nerve pain does not respond to morphine. The plan is to reduce the growth with radiotherapy and remove the pressure on the nerve. Not all pain is equal so I have bone pain and nerve pain no wonder I've been in agony. On Friday I had chemo and an infusion so throughout the stormy weekend I have also been trying to recover from that ........

Just in case you were wondering my awning is still standing. It is an all season air awning and when the winds gust the air poles just collapse and then bounce back again. Solid poles try to resist the winds and that's why they snap..  The picture at the head of this post?  Just an image of the ordinary drop bar on the Tifosi.... no time trial bikes for me 

Saturday 12 February 2022

No gravel for me........

 Check out cycling channels on YouTube or have a look at cycling bike and component suppliers and all you see is gravel bikes...... 

Well let me tell you now I hate gravel. In this country most so called gravel routes turn into mud and slime. I have always liked to ride with clean components. Everything runs smoothly just as it was intended to do. Ride with the bike covered in mud and it will all grind into the components and speed up the wear. 

The riders on a lot of you tube channels are sponsored often riding bikes that are given to them to ride... They don't have to worry about wearing out the components as they often haven't paid for them. Currently there is a shortage of componentry. My local bike shop is having great difficulty accessing new bikes and parts.

 Why would I want to ruin my new bike that cost me almost £5k. I can understand the fun that some people get from riding gravel but it really doesn't suit the type of riding that I enjoy as well as making it more expensive. 

Another thing with gravel is the popularity of the 1x drive train. My Focus has a 2x with a 50/34  and a 11/34  11 speed cassette.. It's great for climbing with the emphasis on climbing gears with fairly close jumps between cogs. Use the front 2x properly and the chain keeps in line reducing the wear on the chain and cassette. 

A lot of 1x drive trains have some big jumps on the cassette wth cogs going to 44 or 46. Aside from the extra wear on those components a 1x will be slower uphill. The chain is not going to run in a straight line being prone to twisting because of the 1x and the very large dinner plate of a cassette. Add in all the mud and muck grinding away and the lifespan of the components will be reduced by quite a big margin..... 

No gravel riding is not for me. No way I want to keep replacing parts on the bike assuming that I could get them in the current climate of bike and part shortage couldn't afford it any way. 

The image above shows the cassette and chain on my touring bike ( now sold on) Nice and clean and smooth to ride. That's the condition I like all my bikes components to be in .......

My cancer pain has still not been brought under total control yet but it is still being worked on by the palliative care team. My bones have lesions that distort my skeletal system. They have a mind of their own... The one on my chest is really bad. It's a bit like the film Alien with something alive inside me and trying to burst out.:-)

My worry is that now Boris has decided that COVID is virtually no more people will not bother with sensible caution..... For me I have to maintain very strict care as  a person at extreme risk. Once the better weather arrives I will be able to sit outside and have visitors but I still need to observe very strict social distancing. I can't believe that I have been socially distanced with a few exceptions for almost two years now.

I do plan on visiting some friends this year but I will be super cautious.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Could it be rosy...?


This week I had a meeting with my consultant and I was told that all my results from recent tests are looking good. Some of the figures have fallen as low as trace. One of the figures had fallen from 19000 to 18.

 I have one more complete cycle of chemo over the next 4 weeks and one more infusion of Zoldronate to strengthen my bones...... It looks promising that I might manage a remission in March.... Things could be looking rosy ...  I am not going to believe it until it happens...  

  One thing that I have suffered with this past week has been agonising bone pain in my left shoulder. The consultant is going to arrange for me to have  radiotherapy directed at the point of pain which will reduce the pain. 

Even when remission is achieved pain in the bones can continue. This can happen because bone damage can continue to cause symptoms even though the myeloma is in remission. The consultant has explained to me that I will have some level of pain for the rest of my life however long that is...... 

The consultant was surprised that I have managed to ride my bike occasionally because even if I feel good I still have to overcome the bone pain...... Having always been keen on endurance cycling events I am used to managing certain levels of pain and I am sure that helps me control the pain with my bones when riding. I am planning to do a multi day ride in June if the remission materialises..... It could be rosy....... 

Most of my thoughts now are about riding my bike and cycling in general. Next week I will share some of these thoughts with you ..

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...