I’m testing whether I can ride a bike again after my carpel tunnel operation. It’s interesting (if it wasn’t so annoying) to consider how a small thing – like a great big incision just where the hand holds the bars – can destabilise the functioning of the rest of the body.
I will spare you the detail on what functions are impaired by temporary loss of use of a right hand other than to say riding a bike is one of them. Not only do you grip your bars with your hands to steer (obvious 1 that) they also stop your 5kg head banging of your handlebars (assuming that your core isn’t super conditioned – mine neither). A whole lot of your weight goes down through the palm of your hands and a whole lot of pain comes back up as you crash over another pothole.
Then there’s the starting off, keeping the bars straight as you stamp down on the pedals, accelerating away from the lights. You can’t change gears easily or brake when the muscles in your hand have been severed. Whilst I was listing out my exhaustive excuses not to cycle in the winter, a ‘good friend’ reminded me of Danny Crates, the 1 handed cyclist we rode with on Ride Across Britain – his only concession was to walk over cattle grids over the 960 mile journey.
So I shut up, which I think was my friends hope.
I’m back riding, out with some of the crew of the newly formed Kew Riverside Primary School CC. Formed with the intent of completing the 1st Bicycle Moaning Collective Sponsored Rides for Schools of 2017. They’ve chosen London to Bruges. It feels good to be back out on the road, it feels good to be helping the new to riding riders, talking them through gear changes, road positioning, refuelling, new kit choices and telling them not to worry (as long as they train) about cycling 200 miles in 2 days.
It feels good to be introducing new riders to riding a bike – hoping that my bike-chat isn’t putting them off.
The Bicycle Moaning Collective have 3 more schools signed up for epic 24 hour rides in 2017. That’s 4 new Cycling Clubs! Covering off the distance to their respective destinations (Amsterdam, Paris, Paris from Henley & Marlow) is half the test. Getting everyone up to pace (an average of 15mph), with the right kit and most importantly riding as a cohesive peloton the other.
The good news is that they’re already out training. I’ve got some catching up to do.