Author Archives: Reka

Setting off

Setting off

I am knacked and was shivering only an hour ago when we rolled in to Boston after our first day which was sliiiiighly longer than we thought … 85ish

… but there is big grin on my face … today was really lovely

The setting of was really quite special… loads of lovely friends turned up some with bikes some with chocolate… and 10am (ish)  11 of us set off, most of  them said goodbye at the humber bridge some kept going over the river and beyond with us. The sun was out and the hills were gentle (well most  the time). The route was very well signposted and only got lost once when the route went off road and we found ourselves in middle of the field. After Market Rasen the weather got drizzlier but the road got staight and flat. We had an absolutely gorgeous ride next to the river …cormorans  and swans

The last couple of miles seemed for ever and very dark  and just before Boston when we were really really wet and well ready for a hot cuppa and a shower … Annabel’s brand new tyre burst. So we have our jobs cut out for tomorrrow morning.

But now we are just chilling with windswept faces, lightly achy legs and a bit fuzzy head

… sorry i am a bit tired to funny or clever … will try harder

Thanks for the White Hart to putting up with us.

 

 

Last night …

Last night …

 

Last night… manically packing … 3 dresses…  crochet bag … paper and drawing pen … who am I kidding … mind you, our support vehicle is a little camper van, maybe I can take the kitchen sink then. I did pack some sensible stuff too, like mascara.

Will set off at 10 with a little posse in tow who we say goodbye to at the Humber bridge. The route tomorrow seems ok although one of the longest ones, so it will be a little shock to the system but we have flapjack so I am sure things will work out just fine.

I had a look at the BBC weather and it looks a bit … well, promising the first autumn storm for Sunday with an A rated wind warning coming from the West and heavy rain …. The only problem here is the wind and the rain and the direction … well we just have to see

I am starting to not make sense, better if I go to sleep …. I will try to report tomorrow night.

Take care

 

If you just joined in …. Hi !

If you just joined in …. Hi !

Last year we set a bit of a tall order and a rather long distance … 1000 miles (ish) to be precise … on our bikes through the 5 capitals of the Isles; and although it was a giggle, a great way to see the sights and undoubtedly we ended up with perter bottoms. Whilst that was a perk, the real issue is about that having cancer and 2 weekly chemo treatment, is not a barrel of laughs, but we all have to play our cards as best we can.

Keeping active and gaining control back over our bodies and minds is our way of keeping our heads above the water and trying not to end up as a sob story.

This is the story; this is what The Ride is about.

And now we are embarking on a new challenge ratatata!….. the world first Hull to Paris cycle ride!!!!

All 5 of us are affected in some shape or form and 2 of us have a face to face relationship at the moment (yes it is damn ugly!).

Blimey…. Yes only a couple of days to go and all I have done in the last couple is bashing the computer to start to smooth out the last little bits … but it meant I haven’t moved seriously for ages which is doesn’t bode well when I’m just about to embark on a rather long bike ride… well it kind of happened last year too and I did suffer the first couple of days… last least I know what is coming. Everybody is really excited though, so the adrenalin will carry us for a while and then I have ordered a backwind and then I have to think of something …  harnessing horses … catching a lift from a unicorn?

We got together a couple of our friends and did a little photo shoot with all the lovely clothes we were given from our very generous sponsors. Jen is working on them at the moment and hopefully will be ready by Thursday so I can put them up just before we go.

preparation …. on holiday

preparation …. on holiday

We are in Hungary at my parents and all’s well, getting over the long drive by lounging around in the garden and going to the local lido. Yesterday I went to the last day of the Sziget Fest, the biggest music / art festival in Budapest, with my cousin. It is such a great venue -  an island on the Danube . It was great, we saw loads of great music from contemporary French sanzon (chanson?)to Franz Ferdinanad through Balkan Folk music, but the best for me was undoubtedly a young modern Hungarian circus company’s performance which I absolutely loved … I still have a bit of a regret not having run away with a circus!

I went with my bike, but it was a bit of a curse in the end as I had to conquer the steepest hill you have ever seen … And the bottom of it at two am in the morning  didn’t look really funny, not even the hedge of hilariousness… i kind of new what was ahead of me. I pushed and panted a lot. I  had also forgotten to take proper lights and the public lighting was a bit “gappy” there soooo… after a good 20 minutes hard pushing and sweating and getting scared of my own shadow at the top of the steepest hill in history I got back on the bike on the dark road with a small torch in my hand, still feeling the bubbly (I hardly ever drink so my head was hurting) and muttering to all divinity who can hear me to not to fly off my bike because of the potholes or simply missing the road … Luckily for me I did it with such a grace (yehh right)

I still feel the bubbly … Such a lightweight! 

I am conquering the hills again tomorrow  to see if my rusty steed and I will manage a corner or even a lamp post more on the steepest hill in history.I will let you know … I am so glad The Ride starts in East Anglia …

 

Et alors! En route… Paris!

Et alors! En route… Paris!

Hello again everyone. We are back on ‘the ride 2013′ and enrolled for Paris by night on 21st September. The plan is to cycle from Hull to Paris and then finish by cycling the 100k around Paris at night time, departing at midnight. The good news too is that ‘the ride’ is now registered as a social enterprise so we’re able to apply for funds and is going to make all our plans much easier. We’ve already started the sponsorship requests and the lovely Boden came back straight away with a return sponsorship of lovely clothes…. please join us again on the blog and we’ll keep you updated with how things are going. Lots of love from Reka and Penny xxxxxxxxxxxxx

We are selling off the very generously donated items …. please have a look

We are selling off the very generously donated items …. please have a look

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/farnley7/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686 

Why did we believe in ‘the ride?’

During chemo and cancer treatments, there is often an overwhelming desire to step back from life; your body heavy and your mind exhausted with anxiety. There is a fatigue in trying to manage not only your own emotions but the emotions of those around you who love you and don’t want you to go through all this nasty stuff. We wanted to do something for ourselves in the middle of being disempowered in so many ways; it would be our ‘adventure’ and the more we researched the importance of sustained physical exercise to manage side effects of cancer treatments, the more we believed that this was the right adventure.  We felt well and positive on our big cycle ride. The tiredness we felt was from cycling miles and miles every day but the well being, especially at the end of our ride was extraordinary.

 In our day to day lives, trying to fit in work, life, family and fun we know we can’t cycle 70 miles or so each day, but we can make that bit of extra effort to include some exercise as part of our daily lives.

 We are not elite athletes in any way. Sometimes we pushed our bikes up hills in tears of frustration, sometimes we sat by the side of the river with our picnic lunch and willed it to be the end of the day, but it didn’t matter. What was important was that we were pushing ourselves as far as we could go and that little bit further. We did it in a spirit of love, friendship, determination and bloody mindedness!

Réka and Penny x x 

Last push

Last push

We got to Reading a bit less than we thought but hey. Tomorrow is our last day and it’s going to be an other long one …
But we are going to Downing St for half past 4 so will start early and peddal very fast (… I hope their jam scones are up to standard.)
If you are reading this please leave us a message/ comment on the blog it would be really quite lovely and special to read them when we done
… No ifs no buts … It is tomorrow !!! (actually it is today as when I am writing this is well over midnight)

Edinburgh to Troon – amber weather warning for central Scotland! 80 miles today!

Edinburgh to Troon – amber weather warning for central Scotland! 80 miles today!

The radio warned of floods and it was Amber/Red weather alert for the mid part of Scotland … Yep you have guessed it … I woke up for the sound of rain. Ok I thought than I quickly changed my mind, actually it is not ok but not much I could do about it. Rob, Penny’s brother who was absolutely lovely and put us up for a night said it is soft rain. Well didn’t stay soft for long by the time we got out of Edinburg my coat was giving up so as the three pair of cycling shorts I was wearing. It was awful, bloody awful. It kept easing off a bit just to gather strength and come back with a gust. I was dripping and cold and after 25 miles I was a bit shaky I pulled up at a bus shelter and called Chris talking in half intelligible sentences, getting more and more upset about the weather. He did some magic which got me back on the bike. I felt angry I could not change the weather it was nothing I could do just carry on and brave it so I did. And than, the bloody rain bloody stopped bloody marvellous !!!!! Penny has done so extremely well, braving the weather the hill she is an absolute superstar it is such a  joy sharing the journey with her.

Rob has brought us lunch how extremely very kind.  I was riding with Carl in that afternoon, who does make me laugh a lot … for his afternoon ride he was wearing a long scarf and one of my helmet … He really really looked like he  was just about to be ready to be fired out of a cannon. We finished the ride with Penny in the rain once more.

Pru and Toddy are joining us tonight!

Newtonmore to Perth – in bright sunshine and warm breezes

Newtonmore to Perth – in bright sunshine and warm breezes

The hotel was funny the we have been told of for sitting at wrong places, asking for more toast, downloading pictures apparently slowing the whole system down (?)…  felt like a naughty kid but the sun was shining and I could not care less about anything else. We really needed a good dry day. The route looked like a gentle up and a gentle down. And yes it was an easy steady uphill in a great pace, wonderful  company and stunning landscape ( number 2 after Tongue) … the down the down the down was just pure joy, it was so so lovely. Jon was riding front of me in a near distance and dancing on his bike in the sunshine … It was one of the moment I will treasure It was all freedom and happiness.  It was exhilarating … Manford and son in my ear, zooming through forest and I just wanted to shout really really loud and out this came from down below this deep bellowing of a sound … I found what I was so longing a day before, such an opposite from yesterday desperation. I was feeling strong again and the world was on my side.

15/07 the black isles to Inverness

15/07 the black isles to Inverness

“It will be flat … actually a bit up, but not for much.” The famous last words. I did not really believe Liath as I remembered not liking the look of the gradients of the third day. Turned out of the house and that’s where we met the first hill of the day, which kept ‘hilling’ for a good 40 minutes… Warm up done. That’s where Jon and Penny joined me again. It was a great cruz down till Inverness. Than a bit up again  till Culloden. Than set off on my own to meet the gang 20 miles up the road.
It was very difficult. Up hill seemed constant and the rain showers just kept on coming at in an erratic and with ever increasing furiosity twinning up with strong head wind. I was struggling I really had to dig deep but it felt was nothing left to be found down there i felt empty. What the hell I am doing here. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor not long after diagnosis and thinking what about just giving up … Maybe that what I should do, sometimes we just have to surrender, it is one of the option it wasn’t a flippant thought there was one of the options … And i was there again … the rain and my tears was pouring down on my face I had enough and a bloody hill was staring in my face again I couldn’t see the point anymore. I marched on. I felt very vulnerable and my sense of  invincibility was going.
Penny has joined me for the last 20 miles.

14/07 Tongue to the Black Isles near Inverness

14/07 Tongue to the Black Isles near Inverness

Tongue to Alahar one of the most beautiful ride I have ever done. The baron study hills the lochs mirroring the angry sky … I wish you were there it was heartstoppingly beautiful. The weather stayed with us for a while but it changed its mind not far from Lairg just at the point when I started to get a bit weary and tired and needed to stop. Not long and it was so heavy I started to shake my fist at the sky … nop it did not work. Penny and John behind me. And then like in the stories really, in the middle of nowhere this inn (crask inn) appeared with a velvet voiced, full smile and kindness landlady Kay. And the others arrived. The fire was on and the drinks were wonderful… And that’s one of the most important part which makes the journey ever so special the people we meet the lives we are connecting for a little while.
We were couchsurfing that night (people offering their extra room to say) on the Black Isles near Inverness. We took the ferry to Cromarty and than cycled to Jemmiville( got a bit confused with the direction but helped out and escorted to the right spot). Our host Liath was  waiting for us, what a lovely lovely fellow, unbelievably not just willing to share his house but prepared us a fantastic meal. We had a really lovely evening … and Jon had a nasty hangover this morning.  

Edinburgh – John O Groats – Tongue

Edinburgh – John O Groats – Tongue

The alarm went off the painful time of 5.42, but we need to get going. It is an other 4 hours by car than 60 Miles. So … Well… Calculations are funny things and they are always go on their own stretchy way. We got to John O Groats about 2ish. Quick cup of tea and we trundled off to The sign. We were all standing there ready for the big adventure smiling hopefully in Carl’s camera when an evil seagull came and thought Hahaaaa…. and landed a huge sploshy poo on right top of my head. Good luck hey… Silly silly concept. (and the tonight programme is …. washing my hair … not as would anybody ask me out). Anyway 3 of us finally set off just after 3. The first 20 miles were really good mood is high, landscape stunning,weather fine. After Thurso I continued on my own still ok for an other 20 miles. But then I got a bit beyond myself and the hills just kept coming  towards me in a relentless manner, it was hard. Arrived 10.15 pm to the youth hostel. Lovely Penny has prepared this fantastic meal which was just a life saver. Shower and my hair smells nice not a speckle of bird poo. Off to bed now … Long day tomorrow  

Setting of hull to edinburgh

Setting of hull to edinburgh

The morning of Setting off with full of excitement, expectation and a fair share of empty mindedness in a bit of a manic la-la mode. I do the usual things, how predictable how utterly useless, running up and down looking for things … Which I  can live without and no importance what so ever my orange hair slide … Do I really need it?
My lovely people started to arrive to see the bonkers adventure begin. Carl is here so as John no we just need Penny. The bike carrier looks dodgy but it just done 4 bikes London and back so bound to be. (?) we pick Penny up and off we go north. After 2 hours we hit a small bump and things start to unravel the dodgy carrier passed the dodgy stage and entered the can’t carry on with this AND somehow penny s shiny new bike has wheel buckled. The clouds of darkness  hit us but plans were forming. Find a shop and just get the stuff so two towns and two shops later cheeriness and fresh air have found us again. Well just laughing in the face of adversity, we are quite good at that.
We are in Edinburg now just finished a enormous ball of past … Bring on the carbs…. planning for tomorrow
6 hours to John o groats and 60 miles on the bike so  I am going to sleep now, yes I better  

bit of a laugh

bit of a laugh

I had the last chemotherapy session on Monday and am having another batch straight after I get home in 3 weeks time instead of my usual 2 weeks…  that feels good, a bit more breathing space… and don’t have to bear the smell of hospital … which I have found increasingly difficult, but hey, it does keep me ticking. I had a treat on Tuesday and went to have Reiki and Reflexology with gorgeous Val and as I was flicking between trying to empty my mind (falling asleep occasionally) and going on a killing spree and telling the nasties it is time to go … out of the blue it suddenly hit me,  the 1000 miles thing … a bit out of nowhere (which is a bit ridiculously silly as i have been breathing this ride for the last couple of months) … and started laughing my head off … thinking for the first time that it is a bit bonkers… and you know maybe it is. I haven’t really thought about it that way… I guess it is a 1000 miles in a chemotherapy sandwich … but I always think things will just work out … never-ending bloody optimism that’s me  … but hey it is working for me … usually.

But I am ready to roll around the country with lovely people and meet new ones and have some stories to tell… so here we go with a big grin on my face; it will be a hell of adventure!

Share it with us

We will write, upload pictures and take video every day.

So see you tomorrow at John o Groats. Have a lovely day. I am sure I will.

 

Nightrider

Nightrider

100 kilometres at night-time in London … Nightrider!

 4 of us and 3000 others, most of them bombing it fast as they can, while we played the sightseers, wide mouth full of laughter, amazement and flapjack. Started at Crystal Palace at 11.40pm and were thinking about doing it by 6/7ish … well it took us a bit longer; we rolled in around 9ish…But what an adventure!  The route was amazing, really well signed, only managed to get nearly lost once, which is a record for us by any account.. mind you, to get there was a bit of an adventure through a very dark park . Having all of London to ourselves was really surreal and magical; Canary Wharf with all  those sparkling shiny mega spaces.. Annabel was desperately longing for some colour and velvet at that point; Camden Town with all the jolly fellows who were very amused of the sight of two wheels pedalling when the only double usually visible at that time of the night is brought on by the drink . Alexandra Palace, half way point, the view, dawn… crisp, pinkish, smelling cold earth … and then the trickling down to the big landmarks …  but the best thing about it was pedalling with my wonderful mates; all the giggles and swearing of the hills the teas and wees  and the real hero of the night was wonderful Nicol who has never cycled more than 30 kilometres and using gears was only from sight and theory… she was whizzing by the end of it and the gears were clicking furiously.

… and we did it together; it felt good so so very good.

And our treat ….

Well … we thought we needed a treat after roughing it through the night. We booked afternoon tea at the Dorchester. But as we only had an hour’s sleep  we all felt a bit adrenalin fuelled, giggly and delirious. We packed our bags ..god knows how we filled with the car with 1 days supplies, put all 4 bikes back on my battered Zafira,  bits hanging off… and after an hour and a half, some going around roundabouts and a very dubious U turn later (sat nav estimated 42 minutes), we pulled in to the Dorchester and gave the key to the man in the hat who managed not to the snigger in our face. Mind you we were grinning had ear to ear at that point nothing could have stopped us. And it was really really lovely, didn’t feel out of place, we were very well looked after and gave the whole escapade rather enchanted finish.

Fitness and Exercise

Fitness and Exercise

The benefits of fitness and regular exercise have long been documented. These benefits can extend to those either undergoing cancer treatments or survivors trying to prevent cancer from returning. Initial studies linking the positive benefits of fitness and exercise with cancer involved breast cancer patients, but new studies link those benefits to patients with other forms of cancer too. The National Cancer Institute has long extolled the benefits of exercise to prevent cancer, and now endorses a regular fitness routine for cancer survivors as well.
A study conducted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada reported a link between high levels of physical activity and the reduced risk of cancer returning in patients who have recovered. Similar studies have linked being overweight to a greater chance of recurrence following successful cancer treatment. Echoing the importance of fitness, the American Cancer Society supports an emphasis on weight control and some form of regular exercise to help patients improve their strength during treatment and when they reach the recovery stage. ACS guidelines for fitness and cancer prevention include the following suggestions*:

• Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of exercise of vigorous intensity per week. It can also be a variation of moderate and vigorous exercise spread throughout the week.

• Children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of some forms of vigorous or moderate exercise per week. This can include any combination of moderate of vigorous activity spread throughout the week. Vigorous activity should be limited to 3 days per week.

• Moderate exercise includes: Walking, bike riding, roller-skating, yoga, ice-skating, dancing, and horseback riding.

• Vigorous exercise includes: Aerobic exercise, aerobic dancing, swimming, running or jogging, jumping rope, and circuit weight training.

*Before starting any fitness or exercise routine, a patient should check with their doctor first to determine if a fitness routine is appropriate. This includes any possible restrictions.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment have reported some benefits regardless of the type of cancer they have. Studies suggest that patients fighting more aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma cancer may have similar benefits seen in those battling lung and breast cancer. Even mild exercise can help the body better tolerate cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and even treatment through surgery or medication. Common side effects of cancer treatments that may be eased by some type of fitness routine include:

• Fatigue
• Nausea and vomiting
• Pain
• Swelling or fluid retention

Patients either undergoing treatment or in the recovery stage don’t have to dramatically change their lifestyle to adopt some type of fitness or exercise plan. Patients can get exercise from doing things they already enjoy doing. Gardening and working in the yard, for example, can count as moderate exercise. The same is true for activities associated with work such as lifting boxes, doing landscaping work, or light janitorial work. Sports can also meet a patient’s exercise needs. Sports such as volleyball, golf, doubles tennis, softball, and baseball fit the moderate exercise category. Soccer, football, ice hockey and singles tennis are generally considered vigorous exercise due to the effort involved.

Even patients that don’t have time to play sports or aren’t able to do certain exercises due to physical limitations can still enjoy some forms of physical activity. Walking up and down the stairs a few times a day or just walking around the block can count as moderate exercise. Even cancer survivors who go back to work can still work in some light exercise by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking over to a co-worker’s desk rather than sending an email. Fitness and exercise in general can be beneficial for just about everyone. The added bonus for cancer patients and survivors just provides another incentive to keep active. Furthermore, it is important to note that a fitness routine is not intended to replace traditional cancer treatments.

by David Haas

Posters ready and sponsorship letters ready

Posters ready and sponsorship letters ready

Funding is starting to come in from friends and supporters, so we are ready now for our next phase of motivating companies and businesses to support us. Fingers crossed we can cover costs of the ride and be able to have some good documentation. Please think about joining us for a day or an hour or a moment and sign up as a rider or contact us so that we begin to have an idea of numbers… we are hoping to have the ride t shirts, so this is your carrot! The ride t shirt! and of course lots of fun and laughter and help up the hills! Also, don’t forget that there will be lots of photographs and a little film, so there will be actual proof that you have taken part and we promise not to take any embarassing photos or red faces puffing up hills.. just the ones of us all flying down a hill,hair blowing in the wind! x

10k with the lovely Mr Surgeon and Dr Oncologist

10k with the lovely Mr Surgeon and Dr Oncologist

I really do think, and lots of academic researchers do too, that physical exercise improves quality of life during and after treatment and I would like it if the medical world would give us tools such as exercise and diet when people ask what can they do to help themselves.
… so I am on a little mission to get people to notice

We are running! The lovely Mr Surgeon and Dr Oncologist and me and my ever so gorgeous friend Nicol are running the Beverley 10k. I kind of plotted and they kind of very kindly went along with it after a bit of a trickery. I first asked Dr Oncologist who said …no way, he had never run and he won’t and he would die if… (no no this is my line) … I had a feeling that he wouldn’t be that easy so I had a backup plan… Ok I said, but what about if … Mr Surgeon will come along … I got a tentative yes, in the expectation he wouldn’t be that daft to agree to such a nonsense. Well I had kind of done my research and knew lovely Mr Surgeon has done some running about before, so he might just do it. I asked and he agreed … I was prepared, reasoning, argument … but really did not need them; it was dead simple …he was just “yes ok we will do it”… with a smile. (Thank you, thank you)
So I was a bit giggly to see Dr Oncologist …It look like time had stopped with a look of shock and disbelief … with the realisation that he had got himself into, no previous running training, 10k running race ahead… in that point I am not sure if I managed to keep a straight face. But He is being brilliant and they have been training together since November … I am sure they are cursing me every now and again but I am sure they have a laugh too between puffing.

So wish us luck … I am hoping they won’t be whizzing past though …

http://www.bmycharity.com/anthonymaraveyas2012

the film and the road show!

the film and the road show!

Second blog today but wanted to begin to tell you about the short film we’re hoping to make and how we’d like to show it. We’re hoping to get sponsored to buy or rent a couple of cameras to put onto the bikes. We’ll use them to record parts of the journey and then supplement these recordings with interviews and conversations with members of the public who come along to support us. We’ll also film politiicians and any other well known people who agree to support us. It’s all about how treatment for cancer doesn’t necessarily mean we all have to stop doing things like cycling, swimming..walking. Infact having treatment for cancer might be the moment that we start taking exercise really seriously. It could be a walk in the park every day, half an hour in your local gym or a couple of lengths in the pool… The idea is that we would pass on the film to some of the cancer charities and organisations and hopefully arange some screenings where we can explain what we did (hopefully!) and why. We’re also going to make an exhibition of the photos we take along the way and lend the exhibition out to oncology centres, hospitals or whoever would like to put it up. We guarantee there will be a lot of funny, embarassing, omg moments! The quality of editing etc will be dependent on sponsorship raised, so fingers crossed!

The last 3 weeks

The last 3 weeks

I am sorry haven’t been in touch the last 3 weeks has been a bit turbulent. I got a new CT result which was a bit dubious as there was a bit of a “dodgy” one in October it looks like it had been a slight progression in that time looking back all my result, but since than it is stable again. My husband, Chris decided to redo the kitchen as we got some cheap unit on ebay so i ending up project managing it all (and as we never follow bog standard stuff we ended up knocking 2 walls doing swirly worktop and breakfast bar supported by a real tree trunk). i just ran a marathon (the Hull marathon on the 8th of April) in just over 5 hours. and my sister quite unexpectedly offered me and my mum a ticket to Australia to visit her, I am going between two chemo sessions, flying this Saturday. So even by my standards it has been a bit windwhirly. Oh yes, and had my birthday in between. So the ride has suffered a bit; I haven’t been as proactive as before but things are ticking over and when I get back on the 29th I will fully refocus again. But things are ticking over and very excited about doing more cycling and a bit less running.

Change of plans

Change of plans

I really should have gone for a run today. It should have been my longest one before the very silly far too long one … and so far I have been good (ish) at keeping to the plan. Thanks more to the fear, than the overwhelming enthusiasm. I was kind of up for it in a head clearing, muscle aching, questioning the word and humming along with the bit-too-familiar content of my playlist kind of way. But then the devilish phone call came and was humming a different song in my ear … and the resistance was futile … sunshine, bike and great company, oh yes I was in. My lovely friend Lisa’s and her fantastic dad Frank were out for a birthday bike ride and I was invited, so no question about it, I was going. Frank is great, 67 (Happy Birthday Frank!) on his rather shabby bike, which is not far from falling apart, his legs go like mad as his the gears are stuck in high. On the picture is an attempt to unstick it … did not work for long… come on Frank treat yourself to a nice one!

I have not been out for a longish bike ride for yonks’ as this running about taking up all my exercise time. Oh it was so good pushing along in the sunshine. I can’t wait to get the running out of the way and get back to the saddle.

Jazz up!… please…

Jazz up!… please…

Well it’s maybe not everybody’s problem but …I am a bit fed up with boring cycle clothes mainly ladies’ ones.  I am aware of the difficult and wobbly bridge between practicality and glamour but at least somebody should attempt to sashay across it. There are many sites devoted to urban cool biking which is fantastic; you can see how can you pedal in stilettoes , floaty dresses … great, love it, point taken, I do the same . But when it comes to cycling a bit longer than going to the shop or to the café to meet with friends, the options to feel a bit proud of what you are wearing run out in no minutes. There is a choice between Lycra in black and pink or red if you really fancy variations of shapeless or sticking to you for dear life. There have been some attempts, the latest is a total disaster, Henry Holland… what were you thinking… frumpy frumpy frumpy. Even the models look uncomfortable… not a good sign!

 

So if anybody sees some proudly wearable interesting looking items, please give me a shout.

 

hilarious photo session

hilarious photo session

I woke up feeling much perkier than the last couple of days, so a run was on the cards. Interval training – I thought-will do (interval training – short burst of pushing it with recovery periods). Well it did me. My heartbeat was over the roof in about 2 lamp posts distance, even slow jogging in between was out of the question I resulted to walking and muttering under by breath about silly people who run. But apparently it does do the trick, I feel achier than after a 10 miles run.

Couple of days ago lovely Penny and Carl came to see us. Penny will be riding too : ). We ate vegan ratatouille, wild garlic soup and laughed a lot, such a lovely company …then we had a hilarious photo session directed by Carl … tremendous fun and more laughing. I just got the photos…

Had also great news from Mike, who will be joining The Ride for the Wales part of the adventure. The National Educational Trust has kindly donated £100 to The Ride.
Please check out his great web blog http://www.mikebakereducation.co.uk/beatingcancer/

I made some phone calls for sponsorship and had some discussion about the lobbying side of the website.

Steroid story

Steroid story

I have kind of decided to get a bit better with blogpost … so I am on a little mission to write a little bit every day… we’ll see how it rolls
Not the very best day to start off with, but we have to start somewhere so it has been bit of a difficult day. I have GP, golden poison for long, and chemotherapy for boring, 2 weekly on Mondays. This is a cocktail of drugs on the day followed by a 46 hours companion in a pump form, escorted also by some steroids which give me rosy cheeks and help me to perk up and not to feel queasy. Reading back this sounds exhausting but it is bearable. Anyway … so I decided as I am usually fine just leave the steroids out; as I might just not need them and they give me wrinkles (joke… well kind of) and see what happens … well I got a bit shattered, which made me feel cross, which made me feel powerless, which I am not really good at a throws me into wobbles. I think I will take the damn things next time.
On the other hand
It looks like the accommodation for the Wales part of The Ride is sorted which is great.
Also I have been called by my MP Diana Johnson’s secretary, a really quite nice sounding young man, who assured me things are in hand and he is working on helping The Ride to get recognition at the end of the journey.
But
One of the funding bids I put in has come back and the answer includes the word … unfortunately … so I got a bit disheartened, but by the time I am writing this my head is in a bit better place.
Tiredness and rejection do not make a cheerful couple.

The ball is starting to roll…

The ball is starting to roll…

Loads has happened and I’m very excited about it all;  indeed things are starting to move in the right direction, things are starting to happen!

Researched and contacted loads of accommodation.  First I am concentrating on the rural areas of Scotland and Wales, as for a biggish size group places are not that ready available. I have found some nice looking bunkhouses in Mid Wales with availability (just no hotels big enough on the route)and some good looking hotels in the Highlands and between Inverness and Edinburgh.

I am also trying to get something out of the ferry companies.

The sponsorship letters are going out next week and I am hoping to report you some money rolling in from sponsors next time. If you would know any businesses/organisation which you think would be interested I have attached the letter I am sending out, but please do not feel obliged, if it is not your thing there are plenty of other ways to be involved if you wish.

Also working on some media and have had some interest from local and regional TV , newspapers and magazines –  working on the national ones and will put up a link when it happens.  Made contact with the Wright Foundation (http://www.wrightfoundation.com/) who invited me to their conference and also put an article in their newsletter which reaches 12.000 professionals.

I met my MP Diana Johnson who was very keen and enthusiastic to help. She asked me to send a following up letter which she will forward to the Health Minister and we are hoping for a letter of support and maybe other things but will let you know if it happens. She also discusses issues with our local MPs and the new GP Commissioning lead for Hull.

The website also has changed appearance and content will develop continuously.  A downloadable poster will be available by the 27th.

On a personal note

I hope you had a great time enjoying the snow… such a treat.

How are you lot getting on with the training?

I had to stop l but bit as I pulled a muscle in my knee but I am on the mend now (I am doing a bit more running about at the moment). I `was ordered to do some low impact exercise like aqua aerobic … I never thought I would venture to that kind of depth. I always thought it looked just a bit too silly, women splashing about, but there I was enthusiastically making waves with all of my limbs and actually it wasn’t that bad. I am hoping to get back to running this weekend.

If you want to be involved organising/campaigning/lobbing you are more than welcome … but if is not your thing please do not worry for a minute. Honest!. So just stop reading here

There are couple of things which would be good

Practical stuff

Fundraising if you fancy some letter sending or have a good contacts please drop me a line and

I will send you the sponsorship letter.

If you know anybody who  might be interested in helping to run support for the riders during the ride please contact me.

Media

If you would like to contact your local/regional/national media please contact me and can send you press releases and all sorts of supporting material.

Lobbying

The Ride aims to empower people to make a positive contribution to their own health through nutrition and active lifestyle. This not only improves their physical well-being but also improves their mental well-being, both of which we know have huge influence on quality of life and cancer outcomes. Leading by example, The Ride aims to inspire, and educate people living with cancer and also to influence changes in service provision in relation to diet and exercise.

So the more people know about the message the better particularly in the medical and political worlds. the more impact it can make. If you would like to write to medical (oncology centres/units, other departments) and/or to your MP and want some sample letters please contact me.

I am working on putting sample letters onto the website… that would make our lives easier… hopefully.