Not according to plan

I write this nearly 5 months after the last post and there is much to report. I am now 12 stone 5 lbs (much less than the 13 stone target which I hit in March) but this is due to a stay in hospital. All will be revealed in due course. A week after my first outing on my new mountain bike on December 1st last year I was invited to join the inaugural MTB group ride of the Airedale Olympic Cycling Club on Sunday 7th December. This was about 10 miles starting at Apperley Bridge, along the canal to just short of Rodley, over the pack horse bridge and though the woods back to Apperley Bridge before taking bridle ways and cycle tracks to Esholt and eventually back to the start along the canal again. I was pleased to keep up and enjoyed the trip very much.

As the first months of the year passed by I gradually got back on my hybrid and began to build a modest mileage with a view to riding the 48 mile Lincoln Arrow sportive at the end of May. All was going well until I decided, on the 14th April, to repeat the mountain bike route I had done with the AOCC last December. On the track running parallel with the railway alongside the water works I hit a patch of deep mud, came to a sudden full stop and somersaulted over the handlebars, landing on my back. I got up, felt OK, and carried on with the ride. What I did not realise is that I had ruptured my left kidney by landing on the water bottle in the rucksack on my back. I had a slight twinge when I went to bed that night but found I was weeing blood the next morning. To cut a long story short I was admitted the the Bradford Royal Infirmary on Wednesday and spent the next 9 days there. The damage was severe, a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 for damage, and when I left to go home I had a kidney stent and strict instructions not to cycle or play racketball until the stent came out. This would happen when the kidney was fully repaired, sometime between August and October. As it happens progress has been much speedier and the stent should be out before the end of June.

I also came home weighing 12 stone 5 lb, a loss of 1 lb a day while I was in the BRI. This is mostly fat but some muscle loss too which I am much more worried about. I’ve decided to keep my weight under 12 stone 7 lb (the weight I was when I met Julia in 1973!) until I can start riding, playing and training again, and try to get back up to near 13 stone by putting on some muscle. Apart from some scar tissue the damaged kidney should regain most of the 25% damage and get back to over 95% function. It’s been a bummer as I had to miss two funerals of close family members, pull out of the Lincoln Arrow and a number of racketball tournaments including the NE Counties Championships and also a week’s cycle touring on Islay.Still, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or, in my case, thinner. The lesson to be learnt here is not to carry hard objects on your back while you’re cycling.