OK, now where did I put it?

So my aim this year is to ride 5000 miles, an increase of around 1500 miles on last year. To date I am about 200 miles behind my year to date target. 

You read correctly, I log my rides in miles. Getting ahead of the game come Brexit time and you ‘Km’ cyclists get deported.

I have recently lost my cycling mojo, fallen out with pedalling the miles on the new badly dressed roads of Essex. Imagine your very own personal Strade Bianche. The idea of cycling to a cafe stop for coffee and cake has lost its appeal. That’s right, I said it. No real reason for it and unable to pin point an event which has led to this. As a shrink would say ‘all decision can be attributed to a traumatic point in one’s life’ but there maybe one.
Usually kept for the winter or those summer months when it rains, I have been on Zwift. Using the platform to keep my fitness up and remain on the bike. Plus a post dripping work out coffee is on hand and I can have two!!!  
Last week I managed to ride around 85 miles, well I say 85. I run rollers for Zwift, which offer little resistance so climbing a hill, taking into account wattage, the algorithms of the program adjust my displayed speed accordingly. For me to climb and maintain a descent speed, I pedal harder. So after completing Rapha Rising 30 mile Challenge and climbing the 3 mountains of Watopia it felt more like 50 miles on the rollers. I actually hurt the following day.  
I think the ease of jumping onto Zwift and riding within a few minutes became very appealing recently and not having been online since the London extension, it has kept things fresh but I did not see my wife in the crowd cheering me on.

I did mention earlier there was no traumatic event that lead to my recent hermit approach to cycling, I had completely forgotten one moment. I did not have matching wheels on the summer bike, the embarrassment to be out would have been life changing. We cyclists have some real issues.
A few weeks ago I felt the back of the bike dragging when climbing, I went through the process of elimination.  Cleaned the BB30, chain cleaned, brake calliper alignment but no improvement. So I removed the back wheel and investigated further, after a discussion with Hunt Wheels, they arranged for the wheel to be returned for investigation. So I needed to replace it for my rear winter wheel, you now see why I stayed inside.
The service from Hunt was fantastic, they arranged collection on Tuesday, repaired on Wednesday, phoned to update me and my precious wheel arrived Friday morning. That is impressive. It would appear there was an issue with the freehub and pressure on the bearings from the axle, Hunt replaced it all.
So has my mojo returned with matching wheels? A little but feel Zwift still has a hold. Anyway I have ordered new tyres, new cassette and chain for the summer bike so it may have to wait a little while longer for a true test.
I understand that coffee growing countries are waiting on tenterhooks for my return but do not worry about the little dip in the market.

 

A Man with Warm Hands

We all know the knee is an important part of movement and needs respecting and looking after.  I have always been conscious of my knees, especially the right one.

When I was a little younger, I used to train for MMA, this I did for 3 years but after a series of training fight, my right knee kept giving way.  Every time, I acted out the final fight scene like Danny Larusso in Karate Kid, rolling around on the mat after having the knee swept by those nasty bigger boys!!!  It used to make me feel physically sick and finally I paid a visit to the doctor to be checked out.  This ended my fighting career, hyper-extension in the knee ligaments which resulted in 6 months of physio.  From what I remember my knee cap was floating a little too much and I was told I could carry on but I would eventually end up in wheel chair.

Fast forward a number of years, well to the 7th May 2017 and my final climb up Fangs Brow for the Fred Whitton Challenge.  The feeling started to return and steadily got worse as the ride went on.  It was a tough decision to make but I also know when to cut my losses.  The knock on affect for my main job would have been disastrous and my wife would not have been too happy if I took my usual pigheaded approach.  So I came to rest at the top of the climb and if you read my previous blog you will know how much this pained me.

After meeting up with my fellow rider Ian, back at the start, he explained my next plan of action and all hell would break loose if I ignored him.  He can be quite persuasive.

A doctors appointment was booked and to cover myself I booked a sports physio appointment with Jon at Shepherds Physiotherapy.  Due to the cyber attacks my appointment with the GP was cancelled and I knew the backlog of appointments would be huge, this is not a medical emergency so decided not to pursue it.

I arrived at Shepherds Physiotherapy and warmly welcomed by Jon.  Firstly we discussed the ride, my injury and what had happened since.  I had stayed off the bike for 10 days, only once having an easy spin on the rollers.  All seemed fine but you never know what is going on around the joint.  He checked my knee and there was still signs of swelling.  He explained that I had aggravated the suprapatellar bursa, one of the small sacks of fluid that aids in the smooth movement of the knee.  There could be an underlying issue somewhere else in my body and the ride had certainly added a lot of pressure to this bursa and caused the inflammation.  I was just happy there was no long lasting damage.

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Next he asked me to complete some simple exercises to see my range of motion, it became evident there were limitations on my right side.  I was asked to lay on the table and Jon started to apply some pressure on the right side of my back.  A range of muscles called the Ilopsoas in my back had become tight, he was applying pressure to release the tension.  It could be an area that needs revisiting or it could all be fine after one session of poking.  This man has magic hands.

Once I got off the table and stopped feeling dizzy.  My fault, I got up too quick, I completed the same range exercises and was now even on both sides.  He provided a brief explanation of what was going on and what affect the tightness of these muscles can have on cycling and a cyclist’s power.  He had now released my POWER!!!!! that must have been what has been holding me back all this time.

His final words were “take it easy, it will take a few weeks for everything to settle down.”  I planned to meet the rest of the Back On Track CC for a spin and if 19.5mph average over 45 miles is taking it easy then I am sorted.

Pressures of Blogging

I am not a writer, and I do not write a lot.  My brain works quicker than my fingers do and words are missed or the predictive text takes over.  I have never been versed with copious amounts of words that complete the English language.  Well I know a lot of words, whether I can use them correctly, spell them or even know what they mean is a different matter.

My intension with the Back On Track Cycling blog was to take fellow cyclist or those with an interest in my meandering text on a journey and hopefully an insight into something I am passionate about.

When I have written a blog I pass it onto my wife, Lainey.  She has been fantastic with her support.  She has proof read all my blogs before publication and this has been needed.  The day will arrive, at some point in the distant future, when it will be perfect, no over use of comma,s, flowing sentences, painting a beautiful picture with words and more importantly making sense.

Following the latest blog, she mentioned they had lost some focus, not as well written as those from the beginning and reading as if I have written with my main occupation’s hat on.  Those that know are aware of my other job, for those that don’t, I work for one of the emergency services.  I am in charge of a shift so report writing comes with the territory.  This type of report writing is regimented, clinical and needs to be matter of fact.  It is not often that I am required to flower things up so feel I have dropped into my default.

This did make me think so I went back to read my first and then my last blog. Don’t tell her this, but she was right!  I am new to blogging, I really enjoy it but finding the balance between meaningful pieces and dumping half hearted drivel into the internet is not always easy.  Rather than feel the pressure of publishing a blog every few days, just take your time.  Wait till there is something worth writing about, re-introduce the passion that I started with and apply that formula to all.

That is not to say every piece will deserve an award for literacy but to remember why the blog was started in the first place.  When I write about cycling and if my wife (who is not too keen on cycling, watching cycling, hearing about cycling, seeing a husband head to toe in figure hugging lycra or seeing a new piece of cycling equipment arrive daily) finds it a little interesting, then I am onto a winner!

Quite a woman really.