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TRAT 2010 – lumbago blues


This morning I went for a short ride but had gone no further than three miles before my back went as I rose from the saddle to get up a hill.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a long history of lower back issues. The pattern seems to be that it takes a day or two to decide how bad it’s going to get and then another three or four to clear up again. Given that I have two rides of 100 miles or more at the weekend, this is not great timing.

I started this training programme with a mix of gym and bike work with the initial emphasis on the gym, to help strengthen my core and back muscles so that this kind of thing didn’t happen. Lately the emphasis has shifted to the bike as the mileage requirement rose and training time became harder to find. So now I’m kicking myself, convinced that I could have prevented this with a few more exercises and stretches.

But I know that’s pointless. It’s time to be positive and patient as I wait for the dust to settle on this latest episode so I can establish exactly how much recovery time is likely to be needed. By this time tomorrow it could all be sorted or I could be adjusting to the prospect of a week or more of lost training and trying to dig out the osteopath’s number.

In cheerier news, I threw a fund-raising party on Saturday night that generated £350 in sponsorship money. This takes me three quarters of the way towards my £2000 target, which is great.

If I’d filled the venue I could potentially have generated enough money to hit the target and put my fund-raising headaches behind me once and for all. I’d allowed my hopes to rise to unrealistic levels on this score so I was disappointed at first as more and more people contacted me to let me know they wouldn’t be coming after all. But wiping £350 off the total is a marvellous thing so I’m not complaining.

So, with 68 days to go I have £500 left to raise and a backache from which to recover. I hope you’ll forgive me if I plug my sponsorship page again – who knows what beneficial effect on my back might be prompted by a sudden influx of money?

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine ( 

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