Why all quiet since August?
This could be a long story, but I'll get straight to the point. Everything was going well until about three weeks before the London-Paris ride when I started getting pain in my left shoulder and tingling in my fingers. Lots of investigation followed and it turned out to be a Myeloma relapse in my spine which had not yet presented itself in my blood. For me, this meant the ride was not going to happen. Treatment followed and things are now back under control.
I'm hugely grateful to everyone who sponsored me and who, without exception, were happy for their sponsorship to be passed on the MyelomaUK.
Quickly wind the clock forward to April 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic is changing the world for everyone, and us myeloma patients in the UK are classed as being exceptionally vulnerable due to our suppressed immune system. That puts us into a category known as 'Shielding' where we're not allowed out of the house (or private garden) for, it's anticipated, twelve weeks. I'm exceptionally lucky; my other half has decided to follow the same isolation regime as me so that we can effectively have a 'normal' existence within the boundary of our house and garden. Without that we'd have to effectively split the house in half and maintain isolation from each other.
Two questions present themselves: will there be a London-Paris ride in September 2020 and what am I going to do in the meantime?
I'll have to bow to the decision of Myeloma UK on the first question. As of today (2 April) the ride is still scheduled to go ahead. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. My plan is to hold my nerve for a little while before signing up and starting any significant fundraising, just in case it doesn't go ahead. To fundraise then miss it once is unfortunate; to not ride on two consecutive years is simply embarrassing, not to mention the trauma of claiming back the entry fee from insurance for a second time.
The second question is much easier to answer - train indoors. With that in mind I invested in a smart trainer and Zwift subscription in December and haven't regretted it for a minute, to the point that we have just bought a second one so Mrs M can join me. If the world of indoor cycling is new to you and you want to find out more, I'd start by pointing you towards an excellent series of YouTube videos by GCN (Global Cycling Network). A couple to get you started would be "What Do You Need To Start Cycling Indoors?" and "Budget Zwift Setup Vs Premium | What Is The Difference?".
Now of course you can't ride all day every day, so I need other things to keep me busy (over and above the ever-growing joblist that seems to keep coming my way). I have therefore decided to do a bit of an upgrade to my bike, to install electronic gear shifting. This project will become known as 'Project-Di2' and this blog will follow the project over the next few weeks.
Let's get started...