VEULTA TIME AGAIN

Here we go again

The Veulta a Espana kicks off again on 10/20, and unlike the Giro, NBC is broadcasting this race, which in the past I have always enjoyed because of all the mountain top finishes, and this year there are 8 !

Two time Winner, Chris Froome,  back for his last race with Sky/Inneos after his awful crash in 2019

Seems the TV coverage swaps about between NBCSN and the Olympic Channel but I think I now have it sorted for me to watch. Meanwhile I think its time to cast my other ballot on the Power ball lottery as something new has come up on my horizon!

2008 HSE with Strut grille and with the more reliable engine

Overall not bad

Oh well, keep dreaming, and in the meanwhile bang in those miles while the weather holds. Temps creeping up this morning, still cool and forecast for the ever strong winds. I’d like to get out there earlier today and I’d also like to hit another 35 for the day.

Some wind but manageable and the sun and fall colors were quite outstanding and a 27.72 morning flew by. Out again and topped off the day at 41.25   Wow!

Start of the new week and chemo again!

Blood work tomorrow and chemo Wednesday afternoon so 2 more days to try for another 50 miles and stay on target. Need to start the annual firewood collection, at least it should be dry as I can’t remember the last time we had rain!

The day starts off with the Giant MTB selling at the asking price and all paid for via Paypal, all very nice thank you!

SOLD

A couple of good runs in these golden fall days and yet another 38.45 piles up on the odometer taking me up to 4390.78 for the year.

BEE’N BUZZING with over 80 miles in the last 2 days!

Tuesday, and a busy day with a dose of Vuelta to begin. Looked pretty miserable in the rain and all seemed to be going well until the last couple of hills where my favorite, Chris Froome, started falling back and was clearly not on his best form finishing 11 minutes off the lead. Unless he goes from strength to strength I think he will just be using this event as a training run before joining his new team next year.

A quick ride before going into town for all the other jobs and a good ride even with a strong Easterly. Miserable outbound but fantastic on the inbound run for the 11.60 to take me through the 4400 kite. Now get the blood work done and drop off the Giant MTB which they were waiting on. A new tarp for the Cadi as it’s log time again and then fill up for tomorrow’s Durango Chemo fun!

Pulled out my old bike rack for the car so that will get a clean up and try it’s luck on Craig’s List. Also finally got the Beemer on there for a $5 fee but success breeds success as they say.

A gift for someone with only 11k on the clock and all yours for a meagre $7000

Chemo Wednesday, and the highlight was definitely a superb piece of honey almond cheesecake for lunch! No problems so far and able to drive myself home. Perhaps a little dehydrated after all the junk being pumped in.

A message re the Beemer ? not sure whether its genuine ? I replied so we will see if anything happens.

Session 2 of phase 2 of the chemo and so far no nasty side effects but a poor night’s sleep. Breakfast soon and those nice “Trumpty Dumpty” steroids. The Vuelta continues in strong winds and rain and doesn’t look too nice for  the riders.

Time to bag up and get out there for a little more and see if I can get down to the last 200 by Friday. In town today, as its road work, going towards Telluride. Snow in the forecast for Monday with a high of 40F !!!!! Now they are saying a SEVERE Weather Alert with 6-12″ of snow from Sunday onwards and temps 30-40F lower than the seasonal average YUK! I guess there will not be a lot of pedal pushing next week but I could get into the loft and get a load of clothing on e-bay?

Don’t see too many pedal strokes next week, but should make 4500 by the weekend

News on the Beemer, the guy says he wants it, is happy with the price and will arrange his own transportation. Well we will see, it all sounds a little too easy?

Ever hopeful!

Today, all bagged up and another 38.25 miles achieved with no ill effects , must be the Trump Steroids !

Yearly Total at 4440.63 only 204 to beat the 2018 numbers

Another night of fitful sleep where the brain WILL NOT shut off, must be those Trump pills! Today the bag comes off but before then I’d like another 20 or so in the mileage bag and then another 10-15 to finish the day.

Part 1 of the day started well with 25.57 before lunch then into town and get a daytime running light and finally the bag off! Coffee time now and then Part 2 to top off the day. Still not sure about the potential Beemer purchaser but early days so stay hopeful. Part 2 goes well topping out a pleasant day for 41.64 and now up to 4482.27 for the year. Better try their sleep/anxiety pills tonight.

Only that much to go

Saturday morning, not too cold, the pills worked so time to crack the 4500 banner before tomorrow’s hard freeze warning 20F !!! and then the forecast snow …… even worse and not for slick tires!! Another 40 miler! it has to be those steroids, maybe I should be on them full time? Over 120 miles in the last 3 days and now at 4522.83 but that might not be going anywhere if the weather is as bad as forecast.

Getting VERY close

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

THE RIDE GOES ON

Coming soon!

The Quest continues post Chemo, and even a surprise ride on Thursday which I hadn’t planned on, as the Thursday has always been a recovery day during the last 12 sessions especially with the infuriating bag.

With 3 days of hospital visits I effectively lost 2 days riding, but none the less added another 148 miles to the total with 39.42 today, in what turned out to be near perfect conditions, despite what the forecasters had in mind.

Supposedly cool, about mid 60’s and windy. Started at 36F when I got up but steadily climbing. Shorts or thermals? Only 10/11 and 220 already done.

Well it just got more and more windy with leaves and dust blowing everywhere and not very warm! Project abandoned for the day !

Into the new week, FREEZE Warning! down at 29F but now climbing and still windy ….. won’t be long, but the forecast says 70’s for the rest of the week.

Eventually on the road around 1115 and it really is lovely, the wind isn’t too bad, not too cool either and the light thermals are the right kit. 24.89 for the morning run then home to feed and walk dogs. Now need those “extras” I missed yesterday in the high winds and I’ll be back on track.

Finished on 37.55 for the day  by 1530, now off to the hospital

It seems the other growth was not a tumor but an ugly polyp thing that my Doctor says should be removed, but surgery is not the way to go while under chemo. Well we will wait and see if it shrinks during the treatment and then reassess after the next set of scans.

This “one” isn’t mine but the pictures he showed me are very similar   ugly little brute!

Little windy this morning but temps on the way up. Need to do some car research and work out what I need to sell. Looks like my shotguns will be going along with the Giant MTB which I don’t seem to use

Great bike for someone, be on Craig’s List soon.

Another delightful day and the “Trees” have taken over having sat and watched all the flowers growing and blooming and now they are saying “Now it’s our turn!”

Back to shorts and shirt today and another 27.70 takes me to 4206.89 as we continue the upward climb.

Busy day doing all manner of things and never got to have a ride, well no matter, I was feeling a bit tired. Cleaned the MTB and got that on Craig’s list and Facebook and also did the same with the Beemer for Facebook and tomorrow that can go on Craig’s List as well. Quick check on the Safari and the engine batteries haven’t charged again so I suspect a blown fuse somewhere as the house batteries are up there at 13.40 volts and are in constant charge from our power source. Might be something for Jack ?

Looks like the weather is changing with freeze warnings and strong winds again and I think I’m suffering from feeling depressed and unwanted. Weight is still down at an all time low of 165.4 as I just waste away! Life is NOT enjoyable!!

If I set my sights just a little lower I could be up to 4600 by the end of the month which would be good so we will see what can be achieved.

The 2018 run made landfall 100 miles from the coast at 4644

Managed to get out there and fight the wind for another 26.42 which puts me at 4233.31 so by tonight I should be within 400 miles of that target.

Last night not good for me with a few side effects, liquid filling of the bag (twice) some very strange dizziness, and one bout of nausea which I put down to dehydration. Well never mind, as I’m told I can do nothing right, and even my future car choices are unacceptable for Colorado, I will just blunder on and see if those Pearly Gates are over the horizon.

Seems they like it too

Almost there and time to try R.I.P.

Cooler and a fair bit of wind but I got back on track with a good couple of rides and banged in another 39.42 which puts me in sight of 4300 which I will hopefully pass through tomorrow, all being well and hopefully no more nausea.

No Gates today!

Saturday and down at freezing but zero wind and what looks like another demi pleasant fall day. After yesterday’s efforts only 27.27 to crack the banner. Warming up, better get out there! Not too bad out there on the open road and another 38.35 for the day and 105 for the last three days. Total now 4311.08      and on we go!

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

MORE OCTOBER FUN

No that doesn’t look like fun!

and I agree, it most certainly wasn’t!

Here we go again for the next round of fun and games starting with the “up yer nose” Covid test before yet another colonoscopy and all the fun of liquid diets, Ducolax tablets and the awful tasting Miralax powder.

Yumee! I can hardly wait

Beginning to warm up, but I’m still cold so I’ll do part one in thermals then take those ducolax pills and try for part two of the cycling bonanza. The next real BIG target will be the 2018 top total of 4644.30 and see if I can crack that amid all the new chemo days and whatever else these medics have in mind.

Managed to take out another 27.92 and lift the total past the loose ends of the 44.30 at 4054.23 so only less than 600 to the goal.

Ever closer

Tuesday morning in for colonoscopy No 3 and this I’m told is not so good as the original tumor has grown back again and now has a friend on the other side of my body. Not exactly what we were looking for so now a full explanation of what awaits when we get over to Durango tomorrow.

No riding tomorrow or Thursday as I’ll be on that infernal drip but maybe if I get a few today I might be able to ride Friday and Saturday depending on the effects of the chemo. Eventually out and its quite pleasant and the new gearing gets me another step closer and now the total stands at 4075.89 and there it will stay until this session of chemo is over.

Wednesday and Durango for session 1 of round 2 in the chemo world. 5 hours in the chair with an assortment of drips and bits and bobs. More blood work and the tumor index is currently 28.3 as we start this new sequence. So far no nasty side effects, and two more days on the drip so I’ll wait and see.

Next ride maybe Friday when I’m “bag” free

Thursday and feeling quite good and no nausea. Breakfast coming soon and I get to take 2 steroid tablets for the next 3 days which are dexamethasone, yes, the same ones they gave Trumpty Dumpty. He claims he is feeling better but of course how can you tell with him?

So far no side effects but usually they do take time to build up, but currently if I can secure the bag and pump I might try a couple of small 5 milers when it warms up. I seem to be itching to do some thing, anything, which is so much better compared to last year when all I wanted to do was sleep!

Now “Trumped” with my two steroid pills!

Well. took a ride, pump and chemo all working, another unexpected 13.78 goes in the books and no ill effects! First time I’ve attempted a ride while undergoing chemo …. maybe this new cocktail of poisons is the one for me.

First ride while on chemo with it being pumped in as I ride !

Following the success of ride 1 and no ill effects ride 2 is attempted and the daily total tops out at 26.33 and takes me over 4102.22 which was never in my expectations!

Feels good to be at 4102.22 on a day I wasn’t planning on riding!

Meanwhile,  as the pandemic rages on, and cases all around us continue to rise,  gardening slips onto the back burner as foliage changes and annuals say goodbye. The Giro d’Italia is in full swing but not on TV, not sure if Trump has upset the Italians? The Vuelta  is scheduled to start on 10/20 so before all that its time to review the car market and see if there is anything for me?

You may remember I was looking at a gorgeous Range Rover down in Phoenix which was my No1 choice at the beginning of the year.

Sadly it caught the “TC” for which there really is no known cure and to take all the timing chains out and replace them is a ton of work which can cost around $6000 or if that doesn’t work then how about $22,000 for a new engine?        I don’t think so! what a shame.

The mind thinks back and I still rather like that S-Type Jaguar from the 2005 era, maybe its the appointment and woodwork or the nostalgic looks from my childhood. Here are a few that I’m currently looking at.

Another in Phoenix, actually Cave Creek, where we used to live. This is currently my No1 choice, a 2005 model with 59K on the clock

Gorgeous in BRG in CA, a 2003 with 67K

Photographers can’t shut the hood ?

Love the color!

Choice 2

A 2008, also in CA and also in BRG

Not bad, choice 3

Top of the range the 2008 R model with the supercharged motor

Not sure about the cockpit, a bit bland!

Still a good looking car

Back to reality, the chemo bag came of yesterday and the tiredness caught up with me so no riding. Never mind, still on target after Thursday’s surprise rides. Weather turning, cooler and yet more wind for the next few days. Will do what I can, now off the steroids and the weight is down to 165.8  ….. what is going on?????

Wedding Anniversary today! Cake and card at the ready!

TONY DOWN

 

 

NEW POISON

That time again

October 1st, and off we go again with more Chemo and other delights! First off a meeting with Doctor Matteson to discuss yet another colonoscopy after last week’s PET scan. That will be on Tuesday after an up the nose Covid test on Monday. Wednesday and back to Durango for the first dose of the “NEW” poison.

Meanwhile the pedals keep ticking over to maintain the round the World Tour. Currently on track to crack the 4000 by Saturday with a 31.76 miler to open the monthly account.

Saddest news of the day was having to lose our beloved King Charles spaniel, Hercules, as he was experiencing heart failure and kidney shut down. A superb pet with virtually no vices and love for everybody. He will be greatly missed as much as his big sister Millie, who was very much my dog, who I had to let go to cancer on July 15th 2018.    and it still hurts!

Friday and time to get a few things done on the Roubaix. Into town and a new rear cassette and chain and home again and out for the first run, but now the bloody odometer has stopped working so off to get the batteries for it’s computer and sender unit.

NEW cassette and chain

Finally after another consultation with the hospital about the new chemo poison and potential side effects I get on the road. Now mid afternoon and blowing the non stop gale I get 13.50 done when the back tire starts going down!! Home again and change over to my new Michelins with the blue sidewall. Too late for any more this afternoon so I’ll pick up those extra miles on Saturday and failing that the Champers will have to wait until Sunday! All that being said the new cassette is 11/27 compared to the 11/23 we took off which was a bit of a “close ratio” set up and I like the new set much better and I’m pleased the worn out “clacking” has stopped.

Let’s try these flashy ones from Michelin

I like the colors

Outside no sign of Momma cat and the current litter of five are growing pretty quickly. Rather like “Hercules” if there can ever be any bright spots when you lose a loving faithful animal, one of the kittens, who I have named Twizzle has become very, very, friendly and follows me everywhere outside to the point of me having to be exceedingly careful as he is weaving his way between my legs like an agility dog on a slalom course. He never shows his claws, unlike some of his siblings, purrs, and is happy to be picked up. Brenda says NO! but she also picks him up so I feel we may soon have a new furry friend whether we like it or not.

Hello, my name is TWIZZ, I’m here about the job, full of love, very friendly, furry, and I purr if that’s Ok ?

Here’s my best side

I know I’m right for the job, the other 4 aren’t interested

 Saturday, and windy again and much cooler, so a late start that doesn’t bode well for a full distance ride so elect for a shorter effort around town  and back for coffee after13.67 which is about where I wanted to finish yesterday. Out again in the afternoon and despite the non stop wind I take the daily total up to 27.70 which is only 6.38 short of that big 4000!

3993.62 you say! guess I could have made it after all

Sunday and things are looking good, warmish, not too much wind, so no excuses and get out there to cement the deal with a quick (must be the new gear ratios) 10.07 before lunch bringing the yearly total to 4003.69 and a happy smile with those remaining teeth! Not finished for the year so I’ll be looking for a few more towards the next target!

4000 miles and a few more to come!

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

2020 CHEMO

After yesterday’s PET scan at Durango it seems the Maintenance Chemo Pills were unable to keep things in check and it must be said that the associated side effects were also less than acceptable. Numb fingertips, splitting skin all over the hands, and a near total loss of fingerprints for a start. Cracking heels, teeth falling out, watering eyes and a constant running nose do little to make you say “I’m feeling so much better”

Peeling numb fingers with no prints!

Great!

Deep cracks and splits on my heels

The PET, quiet and non painful

The procedure kicks off with a pinprick to the finger for a blood sugar check and then they mix up glucose and some radio active material which you are given through the port and then you rest for 30 minutes to let it run round the system.

During all the ins and outs of sliding through the machine it images all the areas known as “bright spots” where it detects cancer cells actively feeding on the glucose so we know exactly where the problems are.

Well Mr Data ?

and now some pretty images other than misery or Trump!

That’s better

Julie told me NOT to start the next session of pills so I’m expecting to be back on the drip maybe by Wednesday which will most likely screw up my monthly target. With a determined effort yesterday I pushed through the 3800 banner and I should have had 4 more days for the last 100 ….. we will see.

Cheers to 3800

Sunday and a nasty strong wind but I will persevere and see what I can manage in town between the houses. A hard fought 18.27 miles before lunch but that wind will just not let up and its currently gusting 30 mph !

I think I’ve BEE’n all I can BEE today

Monday, what will this week bring? Chemo ? maybe, cooler? yes! More bloody wind? Oh yes! So despite everything which seems to be determined to screw up my personal plans I’m forced to take it one hour at a time. Currently pretty cool and very windy.

Eventually get out around 1315 and set off up the hill to Telluride amid the swirling gusty wind which is cool to say the least and push on to get back on target and finish at 30.33 which catches up the 5 miles I missed yesterday. Now at 3850.95 with two days left in the month, but I rather suspect I’ll be on that chemo drip thing most likely tomorrow which will leave me 25 miles short!

Can only do what you can do!

Tuesday 9/29 and a reasonable 2 part ride to knock out another 36.71 which creeps the total up to 3887.66 and when I got in the Hospital rings to say the “NEW poison” will not be here this week so I’ll be chemo free and should complete the mission by the end of the month.

Closer and closer to the 3900!

9/30 and a demi pleasant ride apart from some severe gusts and finally the day is done on 33.00 taking me up to 3920.66 and maybe I’ll see 4000 by the weekend?

The month overall had 22 riding days with 8 days either as rest or gardening days and hospital appointments but all things considered 666.09 in those 22 days was a fair achievement in my book!

 

TONY DOWN