Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter…Take it from me

Under the Sea… Under the Sea…

Wow – I want to cycle the Channel Tunnel!!! It looks amazing! 

(or alternatively Yorkshire would do – there’s no potholes there you know)

While I am on the subject of Yorkshire check out this inspirational video even without the blemish free roads, Yorkshire looks like an incredible cycling weekend away!

The most watched sporting event of the year has kicked off, if you hadn’t realised then where on earth have you been? As a cyclist and someone who writes a cycling blog, people expect me to be able to make intelligent conversation about le Tour de France. I know the names of three cyclists: Wiggins, Cavendish and Froome (two of those aren’t even in the Tour) – I have no more knowledge on the subject than the average man on the street, in fact I probably know significantly less! I just hope that I can get through the next 20 days by pointing out that my blog is that of a novice cyclist. I spend all my time training, working and studying, so I don’t have time to follow the pros too! 

Saying that though, I am currently watching The Cycling Show, on ITV4 – Laura Trott has been on giving her top tips for riding London 100. As far as I can tell, the tips were; work your way up by adding 10 miles to your ride each week (time consuming!) and to do make sure that you’ve done 100 miles before the main event. However the main thing I took away from her interview was that she has never ridden Box Hill. I’ll be making my own rules then… and no chance am I doing 100 before the day, it’s not a race for me, it’s about completing the mileage.

Dressability Logo

MyDonate LauraKate

 

A pain in the neck

20140706_184833

 

At the weekend, someone asked me about my training plan in these last few weeks leading up to the event. Honestly, I don’t really have one. So, I’ve printed off a training plan and will have a look tomorrow – I suspect the diary is too full to make any routine work, though.

I’m not completely useless though, I have considered the need for a bike service and bike fit, however I can’t organise a bike fit until I have some new shoes. Needless to say, the two new pairs of shoes went back after baking. I am not at all convinced that Bont’s special ‘Resin’ is particularly mould-able at all. That brings the tally to four pairs of returned shoes, and now back to the drawing board. 

Tonight I did 27 miles and within the first two, my neck was hurting and it was a bit depressing at the 20 mile point, when I realised that I would have another 80 miles to do in a few weeks time, yet my neck was ridiculously sore already.  Hence the desperate requirement for a bike fit, in the meantime I have booked a massage for Wednesday, so hopefully that will make a difference.

Laura

Name in print, rides in stats

Earlier in the week I spoke to Liz Mackley from the Swindon Advertiser, view the article she has written about me here.

Liz is also raising money for charity and is writing a blog; Podge to Plunge

Finally, before I head off on my bike, here are some of my cycling stats: 

My cycling stats

and the details of my rides:  http://veloviewer.com/athlete/1479961/rides

Laura 

Inspiration to keep on pedalling

I’ve had an interesting, busy and ultimately successful week; I have a new job!

A highlight of the week however, was meeting a Dressability customer; Martin and his wife Beryl*. Martin, has a condition called Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which affects the Central Nervous System – a system which is fundamental to everything the body does. MS, therefore can cause many different symptoms –  though the majority of people with MS will not develop these symptoms simultaneously and thus will not become severely disabled. However, around 10-15% of people with MS will suffer from high levels of disability and thus many complex symptoms. 

In a person suffering from severe MS, the symptoms may take over a person’s life, and could affect almost every action necessary to get through the day – walking, eating and getting dressed… Each of these actions requires the help of a carer; this may be a family member or a friend – someone who has also made adjustments to their life. It is vital that these people, both patient and carer, get support to ensure that their lives are made easier and their independence is maximised.

Martin, is within the 10-15% of people with severe MS, and is highly dependant on his lovely wife. Whilst he is able to get around in an electric wheelchair, he relies on Beryl to dress and feed him (when it comes to ice cream though, this is very much a one for you, two for me kind of ratio! – Oops…not sure he saw that happening!), the former being particularly difficult for a petite lady – not simply due to the size and weight difference – but due to the awkwardness of clothes! 

To dress Martin in a t-shirt, jacket or shirt Beryl puts his arms in first and then employs a little bit of contortion and brute force to get it over his head. That’s where Dressability came in; they have opened the back of his formal suit and replaced it with velcro and opened the side of his waistcoat and replaced it with a zip. Martin and Beryl demonstrated this, while I was drinking delicious home made Elderflower cordial in their kitchen, and it made the task so much easier. Not only that but the clothes looked identical and no different to those you would find on the high street. Martin, Beryl and their friend who was visiting were genuinely excited, pleased and relieved to find such an innovative and useful charity – as we sat chatting they thought of a list of clothes which they would have adapted in the future.

It was great to meet such a lovely couple, to gain greater understanding of what my charity of choice does – and I also found out how Oxygen hoods are used. Oxygen is essential to the tissue healing process, but the inflammation which is typical of MS restricts the transportation of oxygen. Damage cannot be prevented, but additional oxygen can help the body to heal and this limit the damage.

Breathing oxygen under pressure causes the dilated and leaky blood vessels in MS to constrict back to normal size and reduces the swelling. At the same time, more oxygen is delivered to the bloodstream so increasing the amount available to help undertake repair.

Oxygen Therapy

*Names changed for anonymity 

Dressability LogoMyDonate