Lost the battle but not the war...

As many who follow me know, I've been using cycling to help get me stick free & over 18 months ago I managed it. But last year my knee decided to play up for no apparent reason despite finally stick free for some months, done 2 Charity rides, cycled to Chelmsford & back to see Tour de France & those rides were all over 50 miles each.


Then after thinking I had knee sorted out, started a new job which involved a lot of walking & standing, leg had improved greatly. In February, the knee went again & worse than ever & back I went to see specialist. Who had done tests before & with physiotherapist notes to back up results, he diagnosed I had Osteoarthritis. This meant changes are needed to improve the condition but it will never go away, mostly lifestyle changes which reduces strain on the knee like sit with knee straight as much as possible.

But the timing of the knee flaring up was at the worst possible time, it was 2 months before Pedal 4 the J's & 3 months before Nightrider London. And having spent over 6 weeks unable to cycle on the road, both my knee & my level of fitness has been severely reduced. I had done 30 days of biking in April, but it was more of a 5 min run daily on a gentle setting of the turbo trainer & a few short rides at the end of the month.

And now that I'm beginning to cycle again I'm finding it difficult to do, partly coz I dont want to aggravate the knee again & I just don't have the leg strength anymore. The bike is feeling heavy & hard work so looks like I will be looking for an alternative 'lighter' replacement in the near future.

I had to drop out of Pedal for the J's last w/e as I just wasn't ready to cycle that course, but I needed to get things moving so I could do Nightrider London. So this week I decided I needed to start cycling further, so with a friend we went for a long ride around town to clock up the miles & it didn't go as well as I hoped. I really struggled to do 10 - 20 miles easily. This didn't bode well for me to be able to do Nightrider London let alone complete it, so after a few days of deep thought on the mater & a heavy heart I have decided I am unable to do it this year. The risk of doing more harm than good to the knee just wasn't worth it.

So I had emailed the organisers of Nightrider London to see if I can have the booking postponed to next years event so to give me time to get back to the level of fitness required & unfortunately they will not allow that. So on that premise I had to make further decisions as I now lost a good chunk of hard earned cash on an event I pre-booked to ensure I get a spot. It's not something easy to decide or I really want to do but I'm afraid I am no longer going to be doing the Nightrider London ride in the foreseeable future & I will not be pre-booking any similar charity event too as I can't guarantee I am able to do them on the day.

As for now I have to focus on my knee improving & able to manage it to avoid any further stick use if possible. The specialist has made it blatantly clear that I will never be stick free, but with the right management I can minimise the need of sticks. And until I know I can get the knee to be OK for more than 6 months, preferably over a year I think I will need to just work on my cycling distances on my own goals of getting the distances than try raise cash for charity on sponsored rides. Events like Pedal 4 the J's is still open for me to do as I can just turn up on the day & pay before I do it. Those sort of rides I will look out for to do in the foreseeable future.

So for now I may have lost the battle of going stick free, but the war to achieve it as much as possible as I have done for a decade isnt over. I'm just going to need new tactics & equipment as well as support to keep pushing forwards even if it is doing it slightly out of breath...