The start of my blog

Well, I thought that 2012 would see the start of my cycling blog.  But that was before I fell off my bike!

I’ve got four bikes: a Dawes Galaxy tourer, a Brompton S-6-L folder, a Peugeot Princeton hybrid that I use for going to the shops or into the town centre, and a Saracen Tufftrax mountain bike.

On December 18th, the Dawes Galaxy and I parted company on probably the only bit of icy road in the whole of Northamtonshire.

With a few other intrepid souls, I had cycled that day – it was the Sunday before Christmas – to the CTC DA Christmas Lunch at the Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe.*  It was snowing when I set off but that soon cleared up.  We made some good decisions about using roads which cars had already been along; and we cut the route short in order to spend more time at the coffee stop at Flore.

Lunch was really good – it lasted from 12.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.  On the way home, it got dark and cold.  I didn’t mind; I’ve got very good lights and was well wrapped up.  Lights and clothes didn’t save me from the patch of ice, though, on the lane between the Althorp estate and Harlestone.  The bike went one way and I went the other, landing on my right hip and elbow.  I was really shaken up.  I rang home and my wife came and picked me up in the car but, after ten minutes sitting in the passenger seat, I could hardly move out of it when we got home.  Hot bath, ibuprofen and bed.  I didn’t have the presence of mind to quote “Just put me back on the bike!” (Tom Simpson, allegedly) to the companions who were with me!

I was indeed sore and stiff both through Sunday night and Monday morning.  The ibuprofen helped and I found I was quicker around the house on two walking sticks (!) than just leaning on walls and grabbing furniture. The funniest thing is that they used to be my father-in-law’s; it’s just that I’m 6’4″ and he was 5’4″!

For a precaution, I made an appointment at the health centre for the next afternoon.  The doctor confirmed no breaks or chips or cracks; rather, a swelling of the membrane around my right hip (bursitis) and some soft tissue damage.  He couldn’t tell me more because he said the swelling stopped him prodding and poking.  He was pleased I’d taken ibuprofen, gave me a prescription for co-codamol to make up a cocktail, and said my wife had to massage me with Deep Heat!

The really annoying thing was that taking co-codamol means no alcohol; and I was so looking forward to my birthday (23rd) and Christmas.  I’d been saving Belgian Trappist beer and looking forward to other nice stuff on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  And Sue’s massaging can be painful too!  Everyone else had champagne when my daughter and her partner visited on Christmas Eve to announce their engagement; she brought a non-alcoholic fizz for me!

On the first Tuesday in January, I went again to the doctor.  He said the swelling had gone down a good deal, enough for him to examine my hip/thigh properly.  Apparently I’ve really hurt/damaged the main tendon of my thigh.  He gave me a steroid injection and a repeat prescription with the ibuprofen in higher-dose tablets and plenty of co-codamol.

I was to see how the injection works over the next few days; it was brilliant – there was considerable improvement!  the tablets are for a fortnight at least.  Ah, well!

I’m now coming to the end of the co-codamol but there’s plenty of ibuprofen – which the doctor said was the more important – that will last to the beginning of February.

By which time, I might be back on a bike and able to commence this blog in earnest!

*CTC = Cyclists Touring Club; DA = District Association.  I’m in a “member group” called CTC Northampton; our website is  In turn this is part of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes; the website is  The national CTC website is