90 days of life …

I like to think that there is a poet living inside every cyclist. I’m sure that if Shakespeare had lived today he’d be riding a bike. Had Henry VIII owned one he may have just settled for 2 wives, and yes, the bike had been invented by the time Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture, but had he lived in this century, I’d like to think that he would have called it the 5242 Overture in Sram minor!

And so back to this decenium: Yesterday I went for my first check-up since an operation in November to remove a tumour from my large intestine proved to be cancerous.

It’s a weird situation to be in: back in 2003 the tumour was a massive clump in my intestines, but there was good margin to work with, remove and resection, a straight forward choice; this time however, doctors didn’t know if they’d gotten it all out due to the fact that there wasn’t much room to work with. This plus the fact that lymph nodes nearby could / may / can (take your pick) get infected had them recommending major surgery to remove the lot! Just to be on the safe side.
Add to that the fact that they might remove the lot only to find nothing cancerous was left behind and you can perhaps better understand the quandary I was faced with.

Yesterdays check-up was just the start of a long road ahead and thankfully everything so far looked just fine. *punching the air* So the first hurdle out of the way. I do honestly believe though that ‘if’ something was left behind, it would not have shown itself by now anyway but, I needed a starting point. And this starting point has given me 3 months (till the next check-up) in which I can relax, get my head out of my backside and focus on the near future with a smile and a skip in my step. A starting point in which to test something new.

Today I am going to shy away from Zwift and have a go at another site; Fulgaz. {click for link]
Now I enjoy Zwift immensely. I appreciate the format, the friends that are there that give me “Ride on’s” and the little pushes I receive when the program informs me “Close the gap” which has me pressing myself just a little bit harder in order to close just that gap (one of many) and not to forget; The banter. It’s damn nice to be able to chat with others on the rides.
In races that doesn’t happen, because as soon as I start texting someone I mysteriously (irony) lose about 100watts of power.

The main difference between Zwift and Fulgaz (without having fully tested Fulgaz) is Zwift is in an animated environment and Fulgaz has real live videos of existing roads to ride on. I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking “’eh … no, the main difference is … ” or perhaps not … I will find out soon enough and give an update on my findings.

Riding a bike though- to me, is all about just riding the bike and everything that gives me and I’m kind of hoping that Fulgaz will take me on sunny roads in England, Italy, Spain and Australia and enjoy the scenery as much as the cycling. For me cycling isn’t about punishing myself through the next kilometer, although I fully appreciate the need to push it in order to maintain the level of fitness required so that I can enjoy the scenery.

Whether it be on the slopes of Andalucia, Buckinghamshire or Lombardi, there is something immensely theraputic about the sound of your bike chain whirring, the tyres biting the tarmac, feeling the sweat on your brow, the sun on your back and a slight breeze in your face. The occassional car passing with a low melodic rumble, birds in the trees where the leaves hardly move in the stillness of the early morning heat and then, above it all; your own rhythmic, heavy breathing and a heartbeat; the confirmation of which is displayed in large numbers everytime you look down at your GPS device. Kilometer after kilometer of glorious riding recorded for your next Strava upload.

Fulgaz may not offer the above, but I’m hoping it will move me a little bit closer untill it’s time to ready the bike for Italy and the slopes of San Marino, San Leo, Villa Grande, Mondaino, Tavoleto and Tavullia. Where coffee and pastries never disappoint- neither in price nor in taste and your breathing and heartbeat are as steady and compelling as an 1812 overture with cannons firing in your ears.

For the next 90 days, as far as cycling is concerned,
that’s where my dreams lay, and I am going to live them.



I came, I saw, I biked

Gary Fleming: Currently a 55year old father of five girls living in Sweden who loves nothing more than to get out on the road and pedal.

You are cordially invited to join me at this blogg where I will re-tell the stories, experiences and history of my own battles with my trusty carbon steed plus reporting on current topics, training rides and camps, cycling in other parts of the world and finally what you may or may not have thought about; what you may need to make your Vätternrundan an event to remember.

Now a Veteran with 26 completed Vätternrundans in my water bottles I will be in Motala on June 9th for Halvvättern and again on June 15th. I have only one motto when it comes to cycling. ”My destination is not my goal, the road is my goal” Hopefully we will meet on the road