Monday, 30 November 2009

I love Angela Lant :), well not actually, but I am very happy my children attend a pro cycling school, which positively encourages its pupils to take safety seriously, and tempts them with a continental breakfast as a reward. So Totley Primary has a real bike presence about it, what with Pedal Ready, Bike It and me in my CTC tee shirt, and the area project manager Steve, collecting my son so they could both cycle home together. It's really good, and makes me proud.

Anyway I'm not too sure about whether this will happen? but it won't be through lack of enthusiasm, by the school or myself. But Steve Marsden (CTC) said that if school would let them use the playground, he would teach my mates to ride bikes.

I did a quick 'reccy' and it would appear that Monday is the only common suitable day as well. But there's all sorts of issues like, how many folk? Who's insurance covers the participants?

And I cycled to my lovely physios to show him, my super cool bike (in the daylight) Do I just bore people:D Because the shop was locked up.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

I either need to smuggle a child (one of my own preferably!) under my jacket, everywhere I go. Or get a handbrake for the bike I keep. I can't imagine what I looked like today trying to walk Jez up past the shop so I could park her on the flat bit. Thing is, I was still seated, with a big f* off recumbent bike in-between my thighs. All I needed was someone to wedge their foot by the back wheel to stop her rolling back as I dismounted. I saw this woman approaching, her gaze was obviously avoiding mine, (perhaps I embarrassed her, because I was obviously struggling?).

I said in a very loud voice, 'I wonder If you could help me please? please say you will' I explained she only needed to put her foot behind the back wheel to stop Jez, rolling back. The woman was delightful, and delighted at the same time. She came up to me in the shop and said, 'Please tell me when your going, so I can make sure you set off ok.' So in a very conceited way, I think I made her feel good, in return, for helping me immensely :)

I came back and had received an email from a Sheffield cyclist, who I must publicly thank, 'thank you'. He thanked me for writing my blog, awww thats so lovely, I love hearing that folk like reading about my sometimes mundane, sometimes amusing (well I find it funny) blog.

I have sent West Country Recumbents a wish list, because one massive advantage of borrowing Jez, is that I can see what I need, in order for it to be a success.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

I can conquer the world at the moment, (except if it was to just push my left shoulder :D) I left my son standing as I zoomed off on Jez, moving along with the cars instead of wavering in the gutter, almost apologetically, like I used to when I was on Gretel.

The only hitch came when I had to pull up at an uphill junction, doa!! I forgot to stop in a low gear. So when all the traffic moved, I'm afraid I didn't until in stepped my 7 year old, to gi' me a big push, bless him.

I anchored Jez, caught the bus into town, collecting her at the shops on my return. It was, brilliant, she is so fast. Hey do you know, my head lamp had broken into a billion bits again. I knew I'd need lights for riding Jez back, and the easiest thing to do was get some pretty red fairy lights, you know that run off batteries? We got home and everyone wanted fish and chips, what a shame ;) I'd have to go out on Jez again :)

One thing I'm struggling to understand, is because I find it so easy in comparison to Gretel, is it doing any good? You know what they say? No pain, no gain!!

Friday, 27 November 2009

(Photo shows Fred from Pedal Ready with Jezz and me at Hillsborough)

Woke up this morning, and felt great, I had a super cool cycle. No longer a prisoner of the 4 walls, West Country Recumbents emailed with advice, which was very nice. But I do get a tad tearful, when I think of who has made the difference to my life. I couldn't have done this on my own, no matter how determined I was, (and apparently I can be,) but what's the alternative to being determined???? I don't know anyone who'd be the alternative, do you?????

I have to get 'approval' even if it is for being a bit different. But without anyone to help me untangle the bikes, and nursing a poorly shoulder, I sulked a bit. But when my welfare worker called and asked if I needed him, I seized the moment. I was so excited, because H* has done the 'wheels for all' course, and I know loves recumbent bikes. And although it was a struggle, I am happy to say, it's sorted. He took Jez for a ride, and I felt proud.

Oh wow, I nearly forgot, I received my copy of the CTC 'Cycle' magazine, and there on the letters page, was a letter and an article about my article. It was saying how it made this couple cry a bit. So many folk have said that, and I tried to make it sound positive, because cycling has been a really positive experience for me. I am moved by the response because the story comes straight from my heart, (because I wrote it). I want to do a bit of a follow up article, do you think I should? I'll maybe wait till I get my very own bike.

Btw, my mobys crashed again so if I've been ignoring your texts, I can receive, but I can't give. (that wasn't meant to be rude - I'm so immature sometimes!)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

This morning was spent trying to find someone to put the chain on????? Jeza, Steve (CTC) couldn't come out again, Dave and Fred, from Pedal Ready were both training in schools. I have a couple of contacts who have said Friday, the other Monday. But as always I want it to happen NOW. Because for the first time since June, I wanted my electric scooter back. :(

I need to see folk.

Nearly forgot, I attempted to go to school on Gretel, and it hurt my arm too much, when I pulled back on it as I went up hill. I turned round, upset because I couldn't do it, and there was a replay of what happened a week ago, when I fell. Except, instead of letting myself fall or saving myself with my weaker left leg, I thrusted my pedal down, and rode out of the situation.

I came home, and booked my taxi for tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

I'm really sorry :( this isn't going to be my usual happy cheerful entry.), I attempted to take Jezza (the new bike) out 3 times, failing twice. First time was bright and early in the morning, wi my kids, early for the school run. And I couldn't understand why I couldn't get up the hill....doa!! was in 9th gear!!! Which I only found out 20mins later, when out of the blue Steve CTC turned up to bring a rear flag for Jezza.

Steve zoomed up and down the road on her, then he answered his moby. So I seized the moment and took her for a spin up the road. :) I was super happy, I couldn't wait to pick the kids up on Jeza, but at 2.30, I set off wi my mate (who was there for moral support) I got half way up the Rd, and the chains hanging off again I think it won't pedal freely anyway. So I had to walk her back, it was like leading a lame horse back to the stable.

Monday, 23 November 2009

I'm soooooo excited!!! I want to, but daren't, go out on the GT3 that I borrowed today from West Country Recumbents (Web: I'll wait until it gets light tomorrow, I'm still in my wet clothes because I've done nowt but talk since I got back.

Steve (CTC) picked me up at 10, we drove straight to Derby and arrived at 11.30. Greeted by the lovely happy, chatty Carol, who owned the small business with her husband, it obviously is much more than a business, it is a hobby that they both get pleasure from.

And to their credit, they obviously get pleasure out of seeing other folk enjoying their bikes. I came home (on loan) with the GT3, and a pair of Carol's cycling shoes (thanks 4 that). I need to know if I can make it up the hill to school, before I buy it.

I really enjoyed today, because I've come home with something different to ride to school. Because 'bless her' but Gretel gives me nightmares a bit, after my fall. And at a push I could take..............Eddy {new name) in a black cab to CFH on Thursday.

And, I finally got to tell Steve of my conversation regarding 'Wheels to Work' and he thought it 'Had Wheels' so to speak!!

Awwwwww I'm happy.

A bit extra......My physio must think I'm a fake because my shoulder is much better as the day goes on. It seems worst when it's been 'holding itself' to stop rolling forwards or back when I am sleeping. But anyway he did various tests that didn't seem to hurt. Poor guy, but he didn't grumble. And charged me a quarter of the price! He's beautiful.....his name Andy Okwera 07901968549 And he even acted interested, in my new bike :D

Friday, 20 November 2009

Today's been horrible, my ribs are just too sore for me to ride to school. Or even go out, I was supposed to be going to the pub later, but I feel all lackadaisical now. And it's only because I ain't cycled for 3 days, so haven't seen my mates :(

This week has made me realise something though, how much my life now depends on cycling. I was always proud of the fact that instead of living to cycle, like a lot of enthusiasts, I cycled in order to live. But this week has made me realise, I NEED to cycle or nowt happens and I become a miserable git.And I've had Gretel for 100 days!!! That means, I got rid of my mobility scooter 3 months ago. WOW!

It's good to be on the bush telegraph (ooooh that could be rude but it ain't meant to be). Another Mum txted to say she'd missed the bus, and could I fetch her wee boy from school, when I fetched mine. Eeeeeek immediately I phoned J* who was collecting my children, and sorted it, or rather J* did. But it's good to be networkin'.

Another example of this is how I read on the Inclusive Cycling Forum, about a place in Cambridge that custom made recumbent cycles. I suggested this to my dear friend Andy (CTC) who was trying so hard to find a guy with a left sided weakness a bike. Anyway, I got a message from both today to say, thanks because they thought they had found one, at the place I'd suggested. I know I've felt crap today, because I ain't been able to go out and spread any positivity, but sometimes I can give out some just by communicating.

:) xxxx

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Awwww, I missed my lovely Fred, and Cycle For Health. I decided this morning, that I would be ok to go, because I ride a recumbent cycle. And it might support my ribs etc. But the car journey to Cycle For Health proved that theory wrong, as I struggled to breath and stated to hyper ventilate, - yes I know I'm dramatic, but that's what it was like!!!!!! So I came home, and slept.

I had 3 mails of support from the CTC, when I got back. Which was really nice, they'd all read my blog :) So thank you, for following my ordinary life, and wishing me well.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

I woke up turned on my pc and moby, and received a barrage of well wishes from the CTC and Pedal Ready. Awwwww I was truly touched.

My left booby hurt though, ey up there's no taboo subjects, are there?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

This is a rare snippet, because I don't feel vulnerable very often, but today I feel shocking. Bearing in mind I only ever used to suffer from epilepsy, when I had a period, and today was such a time, with reduced medication. I really didn't feel well, and commented to my mate. I was sensible and had extra medication, hopefully avoiding a seizure.

I set off early for the school run, and only made it half way, and I had to phone my mate and ask her to pick up the kids, because my legs just were so weak, I'm so tired. I turned round, cycled back, but on turning onto the pavement, Gretel toppled to the left. And my left leg isn't strong enough to support my weight plus a bike. As my face headed for impact I briefly wondered if my helmet was bigger than my nose. Fortunately it was, my friend from 5 doors away rushed out, so did my cleaner. But the impact on my forehead was huge, I dread to think, what could have happened if I hadn't been wearing a helmet.

I now have even more reason to want a recumbent, that was sooooo scary. I think I've been in shock a bit because I'm shivering all the time.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Met a fantastic, well educated woman today, whilst out on Gretel. She asked if she could have a sit on her, saying it was exactly what she was thinking about, where did I get her? How much? Was she difficult to ride? Hey Steve and Dave, Nigel, she said 'I hope you get paid by these healthy cycling organisations? You couldn't be more effective, if you had a banner.' I smiled and said, I get paid loads in kindness. And gave her a contact card, I hope she gets in touch, as I think she too has medical problems, and would benefit greatly.

Awww, folk at the CTC, have really taken me under their wing. Whilst at the same time respecting my opinion, it feels good. I offered my experience to someone today which felt really cool, and I loved feeling useful.

If someone had of suggested at the beginning of the year, that I'd be so into cycling?????? I'd have called them 'sick', and having poor taste, for even suggesting it.But here I am, getting so much pleasure doing just that. I have thought, it is probably as a result of being single, because for once in my life I ain't thinking of what a partner might think. The only thing that worried me, was the kids, and their opinion. Which has been hot and cold if I'm honest, but they sooo love my new friends.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wow I imagined I would feel totally gutted when I heard that my ex was re marrying. But I'm honestly, truthfully, kinda relieved, in a weird way. I've got new interests now, interests that were not part of my marriage to J*.

I am a new individual, it's exciting. I am proud of my new interest, and incredibly proud of myself (sorry for being smug.) But it's bloody hard work cycling to school, but it's been the easiest and most rewarding way to get slimmer. I haven't had to change my diet, one bit, (sorry Nigel). And I have become a bit of a celebrity, in a world that I thought was unobtainable, in fact it was so far away, that I never even dreamed it. And soon, I'm gonna get my own tee shirt wi CTC written on it, as I become a volunteer. (I promise I won't wear it on a Friday night Steve.)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Peace____________The children did moan that the fire engine didn't show up :( But to be honest I couldn't afford it, I had thought it was really well organised with loads of adults on hand, but my kids said this morning it was boring. Which 'Cut me to the quick!!'

Why is it when ever I brush past, or gently blow on my front bike light, does it fall to the floor and smash into one hundred pieces. :$ Anyway I rode to the bus stop, but had to come home with no front light. I personally think the luminous jackets and waistcoats look unattractive!!! But if they make me more visible, I don't really care what I look like. I will pick one up next time I'm anywhere that sells them.

Received a couple of emails from people who'd read the article yesterday in the Sheffield Telegraph, it gave me a buzz because they weren't folk that I normally see, so it was nice for them to see a little bit more of me. (If you follow)

I can't wait to independently ride further, I hope I find my own bike soon, and I hope I can do it. I'm a bit scared/worried in case I can't after everyone including myself is putting so much effort in. It's a little bit like how I felt b4 I went to Cycle For Health.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Fabulous start to the day. Thanks to Dave (Pedal Ready) my daughter's bike was fine, and she rode off for her Bikeability test this am. My wee boy followed on his BMX, he's a bit jealous, because as of today, my daughter gets to ride her bike on the road. Her brother, on the other hand, only does it when he tells folk like Steve (CTC), that I let him ride on the road all the time ;)

I appeared in the Sheffield Telegraph today, promoting cycling. Owt I can do to help the cause I will. Because I just don't understand why more folk don't. It just makes sense, in this ecological climate, and economical for that matter. And most single Mums, for example, haven't got the time, or the money, to go swimming, or the gym. And they will soon get bored of an exercise bike (how long b4 it becomes a clothes hanger?)

I went to Hillsborough today, to be a 'health champ' at Cycle For Health. And saw my 'lovely Fred', we cycled all the way to Oughtibridge, which is about 4 miles and turned round and did another 4 miles back and indeed 'I sweated like a fat lass' :D

My lift came, we called at my Mums, to take her a copy of the Telegraph, because I know she would have gone and bought one , had she been well. So I showed her and she was proud.

I then rushed up to school, I met my mates who'd began my journey of cycling with me. Awwww, they were lovely 'in their own way' :D, but they made the journey easier for me.

Got to the school gates, and the lovely Mr Marsden phoned (CTC) to talk over logistics of teaching Mums to ride.

:( The fire engine that was picking my kids and their mates up from school can't do it, it's broken down. Hey I wonder if the multi talented star of the CTC, Steve Marsden, could fix it? He used to repair broken fire engines.

Oh well, they've got a disco, make up for the girls, and tattoos for the boys.

I've got a Brain Injury Research Rehabilitation Partnership meeting tomorrow :) I like feeling useful.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

I'm so knackered, maybe I should calm-----------------------as opposed to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!excitement!!! I'm just a bit hyper at the moment, and my brains just whirrrrring about the possibilities of promoting cycling. I cycled to school at 3, and dearly hoped that I'd bump into Dave (Pedal Ready) and didn't :( . Spoke to a Mum, (she's poorly, and cried when I started being nice, so I felt shit). Another Mum who's in a wheelchair, and is as positive as me about stuff, agreed to having a go on Gretel, if I helped out with a learning to ride session, at the school, with some of my mates. That would be so inclusive if that happened :)

The lovely Dave came to see me to fix Daisy's bike :)

I cycled to the Drs, for a double whammy flu jab, because apparently I'm high risk!!'s all gone black. :D

I also have arranged to wean myself off my anticonvulsants. But she thought it good if I police risky times (eg, when I'm ill, stressed, partying all nite, etc) and keep a few for such times.

I've got Cycle for Health tomorrow, with my lovely Fred.

Monday, 9 November 2009

I've actually not done too much today, as I had to wait in for a repair man. But caught up wi Steve (CTC), who's actually bringing someone to meet me tomorrow, how exciting!!

A photo of me cycling taken by Dave from Pedal Ready is going in a magazine. (Ey, I'm a hot in demand model!!) And the journalist is going to contribute towards my bike fund, which is so supportive.

I cycled to the shops on my way to school, smiling at folk as I do. And I said hello to a child who was pointing in awe at Gretel, then I met an extraordinary gentleman, who must have been 75?

He stopped me to admire my bike, and went into detail about the old Totley Odeon Cycling Club that used to meet in a wee shelter, in the woods. Their bikes, were pretty knackered in, with no gears, seldom having brakes, but he obviously was so fond of those memories, that were 60 years old!! And something really struck me, cycling was able to stretch across the generations, as well as abilities. It really was all inclusive.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

B*!!! I'd decided, I was gonna push myself just a little bit further than my 'safe' trip to the shops. I don't know whether to blame my trousers, which are too big now, or the wet leaves. But I pulled up at the bottom of the drive, to give way to a car, and I went 'tits up' into the middle of the road, (fortunately the car had stopped). Grazing my elbow and denting my pride, though.

How glad I was that my neighbours (who find it funny that I try and get healthier), weren't around. Instead, some dear supportive residents came and helped me up. I brushed myself down, and went to the coop, only to find it was closed!!! Had I not have felt a bit wobbly, I'd have maybe ridden to Tesco express, I will next time. Only I just felt a little shaken, urgh I regret not making myself though, and curtailing to my insecurities.(I'll just beat myself up for a bit, but at least I live on to try again another day)

Ey, I'm right proud of myself, long story. A few months ago I needed to use my Individual Budgeting money to employ an electrician to fit me a 'trip switch'. So when I was plunged into darkness 5 mins ago, I just needed to lay on the floor and flick a switch :) Ey I feel rite empowered.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Well last night, was if I'm honest a tad disappointing. But it wasn't because I didn't pull, because I honestly didn't want to (well, I didn't want what was on offer.) So I just have to accept that I ain't going to meet anyone for a deep and philosophical chat over a dance floor!!

But why are we so shallow? I do try not to be but I admit, I'm as guity as the next. Most men, aren't interested in me when they see that I limp. Which is sad, not only for me, but for them, because I think I am an asset to have as a mate. I've gone all deep and heavy now, soz xx

My mate's just travelled from Leeds with his wee boy for a coffee :) J* popped in this morning, now she did enjoy last night ;) We've planned our next night out, perhaps next time I'll know what to expect.

My children aren't back till tonight, I'm just gonna cycle to the chippy for tea, because I can.

Friday, 6 November 2009

I thought I'd better write this entry before I got hopelessly drunk tonight and forgot, (sorry Nigel!!).

I arrived at my Health Champs meeting, not too nervous, because although I didn't know many, everyone seemed friendly and 'normal'.

I spoke a bit, I think I did ok, I just worried about mentioning everyone who'd supported me, in supporting everyone. I also met a guy who had conquered his own mental health stuff and was now leading health walks. And I thought, good on ya!! But thinking about it I bet that's why I have an impact. Then my cycling heroes of the moment arrived that was Dave from Pedal Ready and Steve from CTC .

Nigel (Health Champs) spoke a bit, and was urging us to decide what we wanted to do with the experience we'd gained, and if we needed further training. Steve Marsden, suggested that I do a 'community welfare' course, the same one that he'd done. Nigel thought this was a great idea, and introduced me to the relevant folk. Steve and Dave were so lovely for being my guests, and Nigel was so lovely for letting me invite them. I wanted to cry, I was so proud of knowing them.

I'm knackered!!

I cycled to school to get my children, and catch up wi the other Mums, who are going out later. My children are stopping out at my bruvs. Do you think I'll pull?

I'll let you know tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Fabulous day, today I'd got the luxury of time on my side. Fair enough I'd got a bit of phoning and sorting to do. But thankfully I'd got a lot of time to do it in.

My children, were so excited because 'David Bocking' was teaching Bikeability at their school :) and they only know him because of me. Which makes me feel chuffed, and it kinda displays the fact that cycling is inclusive, and that mum's disability is inclusive.

I have just come back from my dentist. What am I like? Just gi me a mega phone!! There's a new bike shop in Hathersage, next to my dentist, called The Bike Station. I went in the shop wi a lop sided mouth, and probably dribbling, but managed to introduce myself and gave him a few contact cards. I think the guy thought I'd got a lotta front.....bum bum, (no pun intended). He was just very friendly, but maybe a bit taken a back.

Went to school at pick up time, and I can only presume it was because I'd only just finished my lunch, but I was in agony, when I got there, it's a good job I get there so early, and I had time to compose myself. Before I bumped into my beautiful Dave and Fred from Pedal Ready, who introduced me to another attractive guy ;)..Richard. Hey it was really cool because all the Mums and Dads will have been gossiping.

I'm looking forward to Cycle For Health tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

:( I just want to cry, I have just taken on too much this week, thing is though it's all things that I really want to do. I can't wait till Cycle for Health on Thursday. Because once I'm there, with my packed lunch, I can forget solicitors, brain interviews, children (eek sorry!) lunch do's and boozy singles nights.

Massive problems with the bank, but not really. But it reminded me that I am in fact brain damaged!!! I love being busy but I have folk who I think a lot of and they are getting neglected. I can vaguely cope, but when my tumble dryer breaks down, like NOW!! My life goes to pieces, I sound self pitying now, sorry.

A couple of sheds on my road have been burgled this week, thank goodness we lock all our bikes together.

Back from my solicitors, just done kids tea and taken my boy to Beavers...........peace, I feel like I should be smoking a cigar, whilst sipping my wine.

I do feel a bit crap for neglecting Gretel (but myself really) I just ain't had time.

Monday, 2 November 2009

What a fantastic day :) I'm really happy and relieved, because for 2 years, I've been involved in a research project called, BIRRP. Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Partnership. And today, I actually interviewed a fellow survivor of brain injury, with the most senior member of the neurological team, and together we were a fantastic success, (but I wouldn't like to be the one to transcribe!), because the other survivor opened up to me so much, we chatted like old mates. She was great. Coincidently, she had sustained her brain injury, when she was knocked off her bicycle. Well that was a bit of a neon light for me, to hand out my contact card :)

I came back, and spoke for a while with the lovely Steve Marsden (CTC) who I've missed. And we've arranged to go to Derby to look at a recumbent for me on the 19th of November.

I didn't have to go to school today, as my wee boy is having tea at a mates. And my lassy is 11 in a week and can walk home now. But I just wanted an excuse to ride Gretel, and it was great, I'm in a fab mood.

Had some messages from a forum that I've joined called Inclusive Cycling Forum....(CTC)

D* has her bikeability at school on Thursday, I might have gone up to help but, I'm doing Cycle for Health instead.