I’ve always been rubbish at team sports.

At school we played cricket in the summer and rugby in the winter. I probably played in the First Team twice in the whole of my school time. And they were only ever Home Games when some of the regular team were off ill.

In 1973, I took up Jogging – it was the time of Jim Fixx – the guru of the running boom. I enjoyed the running – I wasn’t built for speed but I could run a decent distance.  I started to run Marathons, ½ Marathons and the odd 10k or 15K metre runs.

My first ½ Marathon was the Ellesmere Port Half Marathon – must have been sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s. It started and finished from the Speedway Stadium. I can’t remember my time – but around 1hr 50min. certainly no world record, but I got better.

I used to raise money for FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths – (It is now called the Lullaby Trust) by running in various charity and sponsored events..

The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereaved families

I never managed to get into the London Marathon – in those days you really had to be a member of an athletic club to take part – but I ran the Liverpool Marathon and shorter runs all over the North West and North Wales.

That was until the mid-90’s when my left knee decided it didn’t want to run anymore and blew up like a balloon. And that was the end of my running days – 25 years and a few thousand miles!

Still wanting to keep fit – I bought a bike – a Raleigh Road Bike – can’t remember the model – it was bright red and had the gear shifters on the down tube and extra in-line brake levers on the handle bar.

I’d had a bike when I was a teenager – but it was a flat bar with 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears. All my school mates had drop handle bar racing bikes

And so – I got back into cycling!

After a couple of years I upgraded to a Peugeot 2000 – seven gears and the most fantastic green and yellow bar tape ever seen.  It was a great bike; a bit like riding a tank, but it built the leg muscles up!

I rode it mostly around Wirral and in 2009 started to take my riding more seriously.

In February 2010 I bought a new bike a Scott S60 from Birkenhead Cycles. It’s an aluminium frame with triple Shimano gears, giving me 24 gears in all. And with the new ‘wheels’ my speed and distance slowly increased and to over 2,000 miles in the year, at an average speed of 15.3 mph

2011 saw an increase in mileage to 2,600 and 2012 a similar increase to 2,700 miles with my average speed creeping up to 15.7 miles per hour.

2013 saw another new bike MEKK Potenza 5…  with two of my goals being to ride a 100km sportive and a 100ml one… I achieved the 100km by riding the Etape Mercia for Marie Curie.

2014 / 2015 – mileage fluctuated with a lot of pressure from work, I wasn’t able to extend my mileage, nor was I able to get in many sportives.

2016 saw some improvements in mileage, and less pressure from work. I also started to become involved with SpeedX Bikes and I formed the Facebook SpeedX Riders Group. (Link HERE)

I also gained a place on the 2016 Prudential RideLondon 100, but that is a story told HERE.    So, 2016 ended with 3,400 miles (5,440kms) ridden at an average speed of 16.72mph (26.75kph)

And 2017 starts with a new bike on its way, a 100mile sportive ride booked and a commitment to keep riding…

And then the Fates took a hand…

On a wet Thursday at the back end of January 2017, there was a heavy pounding on the front door… with a very wet TNT driver standing there trying to deliver a very large box…!

The new bike had turned up. I unboxed it and looked it over… it was fantastic… awesome… stunning… magnificent… racy and colourful…

It was my new bike – a SpeedX Leopard Pro

Except…  on Sunday 28th Jan 2017…

I had the worst cycle crash ever.. !

(The Full story is HERE)

 

And that is it… my cycling is over for 2017.

The next Chapter:

2018, hopefully, was the year I’m back to full mobility… a couple of sportives and the PrudentialRide London 100 booked – However, it looks like it’s not to be….

Recovery is taking a lot longer than originally expected… balance and spatial awareness are (slowly) returning, and I’m still exercising and riding the Turbo Trainer…

As always, onwards and upwards… new plans for 2019…!

 

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