Sunday, 16 December 2012

Not a bad day, so thought I'd head out

Got up this morning, had a quick look out my bedroom window and thought "hey it doesn't look like a bad day I think I'll head out for a ride".

Rummaged through my wardrobe and decided to go for my thick Endura legging (yes I only need one) and my thick Troy Lee shorts, thought if I did encounter any muddy/wet spots they would give me a bit more protection. Then it was just a case of popping on a few base layer tops and my Altura Jersey, finishing of with my RaceFace water proof jacket, oh and my Endura winter gloves and my trusty Buff. Love my Buff as it keeps me from getting ear and toothache when it's cold out.

Popped a couple of bananas and an apple in my Camelbak, filled up my water reservoir oh and slipped my camera in my bag. I was then good to go.

I wasn't entirely sure where I was heading so just decided to ride and see where I ended up. So it was left at the bottom of my street and I headed along towards the Farmer's Fields/trail. I had to stop at the bottom of the trail as the gate was closed and manoeuvre around a rather large frozen puddle. I thought when I first started my outing ever where was going to be pretty hard under foot...well tyre, but soon discovered I was in for a shall we say interesting ride up the farmers trail. You see as an amputee I can ride up most banks/hills or inclines pretty well, that is as long as I start off at the bottom and keep my momentum going until I reach the top. Stopping half way up an incline can be a bit of a nightmare. This is because it's real difficult to get the momentum to push off and get your prosthetic side round to keep the cycling action going. Anyhoo I was roughly half way up this trail when my back tyre just became so caked up with mud that I lost traction, inevitably I had to stop and put my good foot down. I then tried to find a spot on the trail where  I could push off and try and get going again. This is when I lost balance and err well fell over on my prosthetic side. Luckily there was a little bit of an embankment so I quickly put my hand out and managed to stop myself falling. The problem I now had was I couldn't get my good foot down as I was still sitting on my saddle and also there was a gulley on my good side so it made it even higher. So I found myself slightly stuck half on and half off my bike. I couldn't get my prosthetic foot out of the clip, obviously a false leg doesn't work in the same way as a normal one I couldn't just twist my foot to disengage lol. I'm just pleased no one was around to see me as it would have looked strange to see someone stationary on their bike yet hanging off to one side supporting themselves with one arm. Eventually I figured out how to get off the bike. I had 2 or 3 goes at pushing myself of the embankment and managed to get my good foot on the ground...Mission success lol and all this was only like quarter of a mile from home. Next plan of attack was push my bike up the trail, until I found a reasonably flat, un-muddy area and I was off.

I decided to head down onto the C2C and just kept going. I actually ended up at Roker, this is where I took a few pics of my bike up against the large "Nut". There are various sculptures and interesting bits and pieces on the way down to Sunderland.

 I was quite lucky I managed to get under the Wearmouth Rail bridge to continue on my way down to the Marina and the coast as it appeared there had been a large landslide and at some point the path had be cordoned off. Looking at the bank side which is vertical it looks very unsafe.

I saw this rather interesting ship at the dock, so thought I'd take a few snaps...

I rode from Roker to South Shields, up past the Port of Tyne and along to White Mare Pool. I then went under the bridge for the motor way and turned right and got myself on the road heading up through Springwell. By this time I had probably covered 30 odd miles and was gutted I was starting to run out of steam. Not making excuses, just I haven't been out riding for over 3 weeks as to be honest I haven't been feeling to well. But hey that's another story. I decided to move my Bartlett Tendon "Cam" to position one (1). This means there isn't quite as much resistance on the tendons and make it a bit easier. I managed to get up Springwell bank, have to admit got off and pushed for a bit at one point I just had no energy. Once into Wrekenton it was all downhill, until I came to Lamsley and then another bloody hill up towards Birtley.

I had rang my dad whilst I was on my way up Springwell bank, as I was worried I might not be able to make it home and thought I'd better give him a shout then, as my mobile phone battery was only on 9% charge. Stupid bloody phone always goes flat quick (new phone needed me thinks)

Just as I got to the top of the bank towards Birtley the cavalry arrived in the shape of my dad Ern. He's a legend. So we popped my bike on the car rack and then it was a quick ride home, where I could have a nice hot shower, something to eat and try and recharge my batteries, as well as my phones lol.

Although I didn't quite make it home under my own steam I'm still pretty chuffed, covered around 44 miles today, dam it only had to complete 6 or so more to get home. Never mind  not bad considering I'm going through a few health issues with this dam Lymphoma.

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