• paul7834

It's Myeloma Awareness Week

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

I'd like to say that all the following was carefully planned to coincide with Myeloma Awareness Week, but it was more of a happy coincidence. I may have mentioned before that one of the amazing Haematology Nurse Specialists from the Royal Derby Hospital, Sue Robb, is also taking part in the MyelomaUK London to Paris ride in September. Sue has been part of my treatment and recovery journey for the last 18 months and I was chuffed to bits when she told me that she'd signed up. This of course started a conversation about sponsorship and in particular what we might be able to do at the hospital. Things are looking promising on this front and I'll save the story for later, when arrangements have been confirmed, but in the meantime I speculatively contacted MyelomaUK to ask if they had any surplus cycling jerseys from past rides that Sue and I could have to promote the charity before the 2019 jerseys are distributed. Luckily enough there were and they duly arrived a few days later, just in time for my first group ride last Saturday, the 50-mile route of the Bob Clift Memorial ride in Chester. This was also the first outing for Mrs M on her new road e-bike which has been transformational for her road riding and is worth a blog post in its own right. Watch this space.

Anyway, back to Sue and me. MyelomaUK have recently been in contact with Sue and are interested in her story and, by association, my involvement. One of things they asked for was a photograph of us together, ideally on a ride. Up until then we'd only kept in touch through social media or at the hospital, neither of which really gave the opportunity for a decent photo together. This, plus the arrival of the jerseys prompted us to compare diaries and realise that we were both free for a Saturday afternoon ride.

After the recent bout of miserable weather it was great to see the sun as we set off for a spin. The obligatory pre-ride photo got us on the way and we headed north towards the southern edge of the Peak District, deciding to follow Sue's instinct rather than a pre-planned route.

Ready to go, sporting our rather bright kit

Now I realise that it's very much in the spirit of cycling to grab the odd scenic photo as you head off into the countryside, but on this particular occasion we were too busy nattering to pause too much and enjoy the beauty of the Derbyshire countryside.

About 20 miles or so into the ride we decided to push on a little further north to the next town, Ashbourne, to follow another cycling tradition and stop for coffee and cake. In doing so I missed the next almost obligatory photo opportunity of snapping the drink and cake. We can definitely recommend Bramhalls Deli & Café in the Market Place, even if I didn't prove it with a photo.

As we set off back towards home we realised that we really ought to capture a selfie or two. A picturesque spot was found and photos taken.

Just outside Ashbourne, a quick selfie

We parted company at Sue's place having nailed 50 miles, and I continued home to add another 6½ miles. If you're interested, you can see the route on my Strava account. Full marks to Sue for her navigational guidance!

This was a lot of effort to get photos of us together - I hope they fit the bill for MyelomaUK, but it was an absolutely cracking day for a ride and we're very much looking forward to the next one.

Remembering why we're doing this

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