At Louth I spoke to one of the staff and she told me about Shermer’s Neck, something that many long distance cyclists have suffered. Shermer’s Neck is a condition where the neck muscles fail from fatigue and can no longer support the head. She told me another rider had already been through with an inner tube threaded through his helmet and under his arms to support his neck. I kind of laughed, in a nervous way, my neck didn’t seem as bad as this. I had done one descent and not been able to lift my head but after this, I was able to ride and support myself, I couldn’t imagine my condition deteriorating this way, to need to do something this drastic but I was completely niave. It is not a gradual ailment, after first feeling the symptoms, the neck will usually give out within two hours. I googled Shermer’s Neck, it was probably the worst thing I could’ve done at the time. Images flashed up on my phone of some very strange, homemade head braces, they freaked me out. I was still 250km from the finish line, a very long ride by itself but given what I’d already achieved it felt like nothing and I wanted to keep moving. We had a break at Louth and David and I discussed the options, the next goal would be Spalding. We knew we had some climbing out of Louth but the roads would start to flatten out and this could help my condition. The woman I spoke to was very well informed and also suggested we tip up my handlebars so I could ride in a more upright position, it would offer my neck some relief but for now, this seemed unnecessary.Continue reading “London-Edinburgh-London- part 5 to the finish line”
Day 3 Alston – Brampton (South)
Distance covered: 337.90km
Moving time: 15:35:53
Stopped time: 08:13:01
Average speed: 21.7kmph
The weather was now really awful, torrential downpours and headwind but it didn’t seem to fracture our spirit, today we were an unstoppable machine. I hated myself for entering this ride yesterday but today I had found my love of cycling again, I was full of enthusiasm and we were on the way to Edinburgh. We were laughing, we were having a really good time, I was calling out to other riders “we’re on the way to Edinburgh” and we urged them on, some jumped on the back of our train but most didn’t stay there for very long. David and I were riding really well together taking turns on the front, charging past other riders and riding with renewed strength and vigor.Continue reading “London-Edinburgh-London part 3 – I cycled 700km to Edinburgh for dinner”
I arrived at Barnard Castle and I met the physio, he’d traveled from Italy to offer his services as a volunteer to the riders. He gave me a pot of cream, it was down to the last dregs, so many other riders had been before me. He told me to rub the cream all over my knee, it would bring down the swelling and he continued to treat another rider. After this, he would tape my knee and this was my best hope for getting back to Loughton. I was full of ambition, hope, happiness, and strong will. I had made it over Yad Moss in really bad weather to get to him and now I had a chance to keep moving further.Continue reading “London-Edinburgh-London part 4 – I think we’ve gone the wrong way”
I was on my commute home from work, scrolling through Twitter and I noticed a Tweet from British Cycling. Without hesitation I found myself clicking through to the registration page and before I’d even had time to stop and think I was signed up for British Cycling’s South East women’s track skills session at Lee Valley Velodrome. I’d been told by cycling friends riding track was a great way to become more skillful on my bike but until now fear had got in the way of me trying this discipline.Continue reading “Fixed fears”
I’ve been riding with the club, midweek at night over the last months. It was an initiative of one of the club members, to keep our miles up in the winter. If we all got together and rode in a group it would be safer and we’d be more motivated to keep it up. One of the things that surprised me, that I found most difficult about riding in the dark is returning my bidon to the cage when riding at speed.
I was adding an extra light to the front of my bike tonight because only 2 of us were going out. However with my Garmin on one side of my handlebar and my other light on the other side I didn’t have any space for another light. Just as I was about to put the light away, I had an idea. I tried it for size around the stem and it fitted perfectly with the light pointing down. This gave a nice glow of light towards my bidon. Voila an illuminated bidon and safer night riding for me.