Into The Groove

It’s the 2nd of January and there’s darkness at the end of the tunnel: the darkness that comes with getting up at 5:15am in the middle of winter. You know that feeling you get when a blissful holiday break is coming to an end and you know it’s time to re-focus your mind, your body and your energy into what really matters? Well it’s coming, and soon enough it will be right here. This is Thursday and the day of reckoning is Monday. And I’ve just seen the weather forecast for Sunday night going into Monday, and indeed for the start of next week: Same as, same as… It’s gonna be rough.

When I read back in October that this was going to be the worst winter in a hundred years, I expected snow and ice, perhaps lasting a couple of months. That may yet happen of course, but what I hadn’t reckoned on was what seems to be day upon day, week upon week, of wild, wet, windy weather. When you’re on a bike in exposed conditions, wild is not at all wonderful.

So now, after two weeks of getting up in the middle of the morning and generally slothing around the house, trying hard not to eat and drink everything in sight, now is the time to re-focus my mind on LifeCycle miles. The odometer seems to have been stuck on 2445 for an eternity and it will be nice to finally start heading upwards again: but after such a nice hibernation, I’m not planning to go chasing a big one next week. Five full days are currently scheduled (and a doctor’s appointment for my shopping trolley knee) but with the forecast as it is, I may elect to scale down my target and satisfy myself with 150 manageable miles instead of 170 tortuous ones. I can’t escape the Fenwick Muir but I can make the journey a wee bit more endearing (as opposed to enduring) by changing my route away from Kingswells and Fenwick.

I mentioned the shopping trolley knee. One of the driving forces behind doing nothing at all, except for one long walk on Monday just past, was to give my knee two full weeks off the bike. By the time I packed up for Christmas, the STK (shopping trolley knee) was 30% bigger than the good one so a visit to get it checked out seemed like a good idea. But that’s not till next week so then I started thinking “but what if it’s back to normal by then”? Believe me, after Monday’s round trip in 40mph of wind and rain, it won’t be.

The appointment should be interesting, not least because I like my GP. He’s a rare specimen these days in that he takes time (and an interest) to seek out the cause of whatever is afflicting you, and explain in layman’s terms what is to be done. So I’m expecting the conversation to go something like this…

“I’ve got a sore knee”.

“And how long has it been sore”

“Since November 1st when I hit a shopping trolley at 30mph”

“I see. Is that the same knee you had your operation on a few years ago”



The tricky bit’s going to come when I explain to him that I want to pick up where I left off and start banging in 150 miles a week in all weathers. Maybe he’ll fix me up with a season ticket’s worth of Ibuprofen and a roll of tubigrip. And if I get really lucky, maybe he’ll put me back on the six month waiting list to go back and see the orthopaedic consultant who messed about with it the last time. My requirement is very simple: I want my STK to work as painlessly and as effectively as the other one. The challenge for my GP is to make that possible. He’ll probably come up with a suggestion based on less miles (a lot less) but he knows me well enough to know that that’s not going to find favour in this patient. I’m of the opinion that my extravagant energetic lifestyle is worth a lot more NHS points in terms of preventing other ailments than it is in risking further injury to a bad knee. In short, exercise prevents a lot more conditions that it causes, and that’s a philosophy I carry with me every day.


January: target 555 miles minimum and take the total LifeCycle miles past 3000.

It all starts again on Monday.

Into The Groove….

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