Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Well seeing as I am sat heat with an infra red heat pad on my lower back, it appears to be the ideal time to rekindle my love of blogging and to start things off as I am new here, here is a potted history.

Four years ago, whilst at an international Archery competition in Estonia, I hired a bike for the day to sample some of the wonderful countryside the country had to offer. At the time I was 171/2 stone, if I breathed in and closer to 18 when I breathed out. Exercise was something of spectator sport usually achieved from an armchair with a pint in my hand.

The effect was fantastic, I recalled all the things I loved about cycling. On my return to Blighty. I hired a bike from Cannock Chase and proved the feeling was a flash in the pan.

I bought a bike, (£500 cycle to work scheme GT) and even on that first day I caught the train to Tamworth and cycled into Brum via the Canals. Yes I looked a state and yes I slept a little at work but wow what a feeling.

Then I splashed out on a Planet X road bike so that I could get those extra miles in. With the commute, which I did three times a week, one way from Burton on Trent and increasing distance training rides as well as meeting up with the "Chase Slackers" once a week. I was doing 200 miles a week, most weeks. I dropped from 17 1/2 to 13 1/2 stones. Then one Wednesday morning on those cheeky trails on the Chase, I managed to run out of talent on a drop off and received multiple spinal fractures and ruptured discs in my neck. That was three years ago.

I was extremely lucky, I was left an inch shorter, with some permanent nerve damage and a lovely hump in my back. I lost the taste for MTB, I did try but always bottled at the strangest places and the lovely mega bucks Marin became someone else's bargain and I stuck with my road bike.

I did put some weight back on as I couldn't cycle as much and I do like my pies. So last year I started again in earnest. I moved to Sutton Coldfield. I bought a single speed bike to go to work on and made the effort to lose weight, having reached 15 stone again. Everything was going swimmingly, back down to 14 stone, loving the SS bike and weeding those chaps with gears, where ever possible picking up bonus points for overtaking milkfloats and motorscooters. Then one night in the mosh pit at a Korn gig (did I mention I'm 48?), well the consensus is the Mosh pit is for slightly younger peeps than me, my knee went pop. I assume it went pop as I couldn't here much over the Nu-metal bass line and the motha-luvin vocals. 

Being, well 'ard I didn't seek medical advice initially and kept having spluttering starts at getting back on the bike. I worked out that singlespeeding up Kingstanding ( and now, as I moved again, Barr Beacon) wasn't actually helping and perhaps a doctor may have a better solution to my problems.

So I'm now two weeks into physiotherapy, apparently I tore a quadricep and my knee cap is out of line and I have bursitis . But all is not lost, I'm allowed to ride the bike, albeit, spinning it like Lance and things appear to be responding to treatment. So why the heatpad? Building a bike shed base at my partners house in readiness for housing my bike, my skyride Chopper and maybe the recumbent trike I''ve always promised myself.

But I guess that is all for another time.




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