The simple joy of cycling into town

A week last Friday, I spent all day on my back, only struggling to the bathroom with the greatest difficulty. It’s not the most fun way to spend a day, and you do start to fear how long this incapacity might last.

But, fortunately the muscle seems to be healing quite well. After a few days of going crazy staying inside watching the ‘best’ of Christmas TV on BBC iPlayer, I was relieved to be able to get out of the house. This time, of course, taking very great care stepping out of the front door. Didn’t want to go rolling into the rose bushes for a 3rd fall of the week. Those kind of things are only funny when you watch them happening to other people on Youtube.


Quite slowly and carefully, I was able to cycle into town. It’s only 3 km or so, but it feels quite satisfying after just a few days of inaction.

My Portugal experience has been rather clouded by getting knocked off bike at 50km/h by rabid / crazy dog. But, the simple commute into Oxford did have me nostalgically looking back to those very quiet and wide roads of the Algarve.

I soon forgave Portugal all its crazy dogs after being reminded of what it’s like to cycle around Oxford.

There may be no dogs in Oxford, but I got passed (closely) by more double decker buses in 5 minutes of cycling around Oxford than I did in two weeks of ‘idyllic’ cycling around Portugal.

Perhaps, because I’ve just recently been brought crashing to earth, I’m a little more sensitive. But, it is was a stark reminder that Oxford is no cycling paradise. Too many big buses and cars for my liking. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the simple sensation of cycling into town, viewing the beautiful spires and seeing the flooded plains.


For once, I was one of the slowest cyclists on the High Street – don’t tell anyone, but I even got overtaken by lots of old ladies on ‘sit up and beg’ bikes. But, for once, speed didn’t matter – I was just happy to get from A to B, without excessive hobbling and limping from side to side.

I may have been poodling along at the proverbial speed of a Boris Bike climbing Mont Ventoux, but already my mind was starting to race ahead to getting back training, perhaps as early as next week. It looks like I might be recovered just in time for the forecasts of sub-zero ice and the delayed ‘Polar Vortex’ thing arriving from the US. – I think I’ll start with some sessions on the rollers – don’t want to push my luck on my current run of form.

Also, when the muscle is ready, it will have to be quite a steady return to training. Unfortunately, I landed on the wrong side. This injury will definitely have worsened by left-right leg imbalance. The irony of  getting injured, is that you become more vulnerable to other knock on injuries. I have pains all other from overusing my right hand side.

My sister, who is a top nurse, recently sent me a text to say she liked my post – dealing with road rash – but I should have consulted her before publishing. So just to prove I’m dressing wounds in a professional manner, I enclose one or two photos. I did run out of surgical tape, though I’ve found Sellotape is a cheap alternative – perhaps it’s one way to reduce NHS costs.


My road rash is healing fine, it’s just getting to that irritating itchy stage, where any movement gives a slightly perturbing feeling of stretching scabs and skin. I won’t go into any more detail.

Just take care going out of your front door, is all I can say, and try to enjoy that short cycle into town.


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