Reflection on a year to treasure

Wow, it’s almost a month since I last posted.

Today is my birthday! ūüôā

So I thought that I would briefly reflect on an interesting year. In fact one of the best years.

Since my last birthday I have:

  • been accepted to ride in a sportive I didn’t even enter
  • started this blog, to discuss the sportive which I didn’t even enter
  • projectile vomited, thanks to a bike ride
  • met the perfect man
  • inducted this same man into the cycling world
  • met some amazing cycling ladies (Dame Cycling)
  • competed in a time trial thanks to those ladies
  • joined a cycling club
  • ridden on an airfield, during the night
  • …and experienced being engulfed by a peloton
  • ridden in the sportive which I didn’t even enter (with the support of a couple of Dames!)
  • …in a hurricane, I will have you know
  • completed a century (but not the sportive that I didn’t even enter!)
  • raised ¬£1,100 for Dressability
  • passed multiple Masters modules
  • competed in a team triathlon (something I would never previously of considered doing)
  • bought a tandem
  • started a new job
  • ridden 3,361.90 solo miles
  • ridden 67.7 tandem miles
  • completed 242 hours on my solo bike
  • completed 4 hours in the Rear Admiral’s saddle

All topped off with a cycling birthday treasure hunt of 31 miles, which resulted in me finding my presents right back at the start!

Finding the second clue at the top of the White Horse hill.

Finding the second clue at the top of the White Horse hill.

Treasure! Right back where I started!

Treasure! Right back where I started!

I think Ollie wants more cakes... amazing present :)

I think Ollie wants more cakes… amazing present ūüôā

A fairly quick post, but thank you for your support and to everyone who has made this year so special.Thanks for the boost to the Carbon Bike Fund, the winter gear to keep me warm on these cold days and the games to play when I just can’t be bothered to get out on the road. Here’s to the next one, to all of us getting into the sportive that I did sign myself up for, and to some party planning for the big 3-0.

Laura x

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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 Рa system which is fundamental to everything the body does. MS, therefore can cause many different symptoms Р 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 

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