Since attempting to cycle up Ben Nevis in August, (I was raising funds for a community health / water project in Tanzania), the “One Off” mountain bike has been based at Glenmore Lodge National Outdoor Centre, awaiting anyone with a disability who fancies an off-road adventure. If you’re interested, check out www.spanglefish.com/wheelhigh We’ve also got a second bike, part-funded by Walking on Wheels and a Sport Scotland lottery grant due to arrive in February. This will be a “Greenspeed” off-road bike Check out www.greenspeed.com.au
Since then, and after being on ‘bed rest’ (see my “handcranking” blog) I’ve been training, with the aim of doing a racing season next year and seeing how I get on. The new bike is great, and has knocked nearly an hour off a 30 mile circuit I do! So now I’m all for that saying “a poor workman blames his tools”. Errol Marklein, a German guru and champion himself at handcycling, kindly phoned me up to give me some help and advice. He was just leaving for a month of training in Gran Canaria - probably the best advice he could have given me, to escape from the sub-zero icy fingers of the north. So for now, its two hours a day on the bike, usually with at least four pairs of trousers, and my eyes are smarting from all the salt that gets flicked into them from the roads. That amongst fighting colds and injuries, I’m not feeling like an aspiring Paralympina, but I’m heading down under to visit my brother and nephews in January, on the way to Patagonia, so a month of healing sunshine should hopefully be lined up.