Saturday, 16 January 2016

A disastrous morning for poor John

John arrived at my house at around 7:30 am like we had arranged, he was not in the best of moods as his bike was cold lol. I think it must have got frozen during the night in his little shed as he was complaining of his rear brake and gears not working. I told him to bring his bike into our utility and had a quick check of his rear brake. It was  just a quick fix as the cable had come out from the brake lever.

It seemed to take me ages to get ready this morning, finally we were on our way. Just as I set off I discovered my adjustable ankle had seized. I gave it a few thumps but it wouldn't budge so I just thought 'Awww sod it'. As I caught up to John at the bottom of my street he said to me 'Awwww man I can't get me gears'. A quick look and I could see in his impatience and frustration he had stretched his gear cable, it was dangling down below his frame.

We carried along to the foot of the farmers trail and as John fiddled with his bike I set off. I hate stopping on banks, hills or inclines, especially where it is muddy or in this case covered in snow and ice as it is just so difficult for me to get a start again if I stop. So I was off, a nice steady pace to the top. John was unable to ride his bike and as i stopped at the top and looked around he was on pushing his bike up the hill. As we both approached the top of the farmers trail we had another look at John's bike. It became apparent that the inner cable for the rear gears had become stuck within the outer. A bit of poor maintenance on John's behalf there. John you need to make sure you look after the cables, it's not just a case of washing your bike, you also have to sometimes lube the cables. I can't talk of course, at one time I really didn't mind cleaning the various cars, motorcycles and push bikes I have owned, now I just cannot be arsed and only do it out of necessity.

As John couldn't really do anything with his gears we said our farewells. John headed home and I  ventured out alone. Bloody hell it was freezing and how I managed to ride a whole 10 miles without falling off is beyond me. I mean here's all this black ice which makes things more than difficult and I stayed on board my bike. It's ironic because come the summer and I am sure I will have a few spills when the weather is find and dandy lol.

Today's excursion was a somewhat muted one. I am still not feeling 100%, but cannot put my finger on what is up. I just feel a bit numb and desensitised to everything at the moment, a bit like I know I should give a shit but I don't. Kind of just on autopilot. That said even though my heart was not in continuing after John went home I pushed myself. Again thoughts of just how lucky I am sprung to mind and that inner voice which says 'don't quit, just head out and do a bit' came to mind.

I decided just to go down towards Beamish and although I did not get any pictures I did shoot a little bit of video with my GoPro. It's nothing spectacular, but hey I  was out and made the effort so instead of being overly critical I gave myself a bit of credit.

COLD RIDE OUT JANUARY 2016 from Glenn Johnstone on Vimeo.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

I'm back in the New Year...2016

Hello everyone, wow it feels like a lifetime ago since I last blogged or really did anything of any real merit come to think of it. Whilst 2015 was not exactly the year I had planned I refuse to class it as a total right off. As in life full of ups and downs, new experiences some good some bad, the major factor being I am still here to bore you all to death with my continued adventures.

South Moor Park was a bit muddy

 I am not going to bang on about the chemotherapy, but will say it took more out of me towards the end than I was expecting and the last few months have been tough. I don't really like this time of year, not sure if I get that Saddo Affective Disorder...Oh sorry Seasonal Affective Disorder, or if I just always prepare myself to be miserable around this time of year. If I get reincarnated it will probably be as a bear or a hedgehog as they hibernate around this season. Anyhoo I have figured I am not feeling depressed I am just a bit wiped out, which I am told by my Cancer Nurse Specialist is to be expected.

Good to be out
Today was to be my first ride out of the New Year 2016, bloody hell what a simply lovely day to go out for a ride. My mate John had to really work hard to convince me to get my ass out of bed this morning. I went out more for John than anything else, Oh and my boss at work Annie who had also tried motivating me all week saying "dude you need to get back out on the bike". I have been back to work around 3 weeks or so now, on a phased return. It has been tough, however such a relief to just get back in the swing of things. As I rode around today, freezing cold and soaked to the skin I said to John 'You know what sometime we don't realise just how lucky we are'. I then went on to explain that the reason I feel so lucky is in my job I see less fortunate people each day. People who have  undergone such life changing illness and I think to myself 'what would they give to be able to just carry on with life as normal'. 

Simply lovely weather
I remembered to charge my lights
John loves playing in puddles
Heading towards Chapman's Wells

 So although today was wet, cold and very muddy and both John and I were proper out of shape after each having a long lay off the bikes it was a great morning. I actually like being out in the rain. I love the sound of the rain drops as they pitter patter through the trees and create little splashes and circles in the puddles. It was proper foggy today and quite a few of my pictures came out with water splashes on the lens, captured in the images. Still managed to get a few not so bad ones.

Came across this wellie, just in the middle of the trail. I wonder if an amputee had been out for a quick hop and left it behind...

A Random Wellie

I think we did just over 10 miles today and in typical fashion I took John on some of the muddiest trails locally that I could find. We finally arrived back at my house where we both gave our bikes a quick hose down and then John said Bye and he headed up the bank home, whilst I went in and had a lovely hot shower. I then set about looking through my pictures, editing a few and writing my blog.


Here's to a Great 2016, already got a few things in the pipeline and it's only January. Must get out on the bike more, get back in the pool and of course get this running blade sorted.


Best wishes for a Happy new Year to you all...