In view of the Oncology Department’s dismal prediction of my future it is time to revise my cycling ambitions! According to them I don’t have enough time left to complete my Equator trip around the globe or Oblate Spheroid, 4th Rock from the Sun, Good Old Earth, or whatever else you want to call it. At 24,902 miles it is a pedal stroke too far!
So what is next ? Research tells me (yes I had forgotten) which Tropic was nearer the North Pole, and of course it just happens to be our strangely appropriate “The Tropic of Cancer” !! Even that at 22,847 miles sounds too far. However here in the USA I’m at around 37.65N Latitude which is equivalent to about 19,262 miles as near as I can calculate. Total pedaled from previous years is 16,319.10 and this year only starting in May, due to the miserable cold winds, another 2151.42 tops me out at 18,470.52 so hopefully, unless I have a sudden decline I should make the 19,262 hurdle.
The day has not gone to plan so far! But there is still the afternoon left and I’m working hard to resolve the early morn which did not start well.
A rest day in Spain but anything but here, a brake plate sells but needs cleaning and polishing , the annoying double take of my UK funds is still not resolved , I will wait until Wednesday but there had better be a resolution by then. A shorter ride in windy conditions and I now have many things outside building up and needing attention. Also want to do some fishing in the near future. Clean the car again and yet more deadheading of the roses but they are all budding again so its worthwhile.
A very cool start to Tuesday with temps down at 45F this morning but it will soon start back up again. Must get in the loft and find my log books. The log books are found so questions can be answered. The roses get another deadheading and the lawn gets mowed.
Wednesday and another pretty much sleepless night. Out in Spain Roglic seems to have tired of the leader’s jersey as the GC riders let the breakaway group get a 13 minute lead. He did break away from all his rivals and got about 30 seconds but then crashed on a corner and his chain came off. Lets see what happens today!
Today he wins the stage and gets another 10 seconds in so doing but is still 2 mins off the lead.
I’m having a very bad time after only 2 hours sleep last night and can only hope for full night’s worth. I’m so tired I’m almost dizzy and the brain will not go into sleep mode and is in just mindless nonsense.
For the Vuelta Competitors its Stage 9, for me its Stage 4 Colon Cancer over which it appears I have Zero control. So how do I handle it without going completely insane? Please don’t give me any more of the “Quality of life” crap because that doesn’t sit too well with me right now.
Right now humor might be the way so here are some things that made me laugh a little in the last few days.
Hope they made you chuckle.
0700 Sunday morning, chair in place, TV on, and off we go up several mountains. Solo breakaway looks very strong and amazes me as he holds onto his lead until the GC riders up the ante on the last climb coming back from 5 minutes down. Once again Roglic takes second place and holds onto his lead.
Rest day tomorrow so I’ll be bored witless until we get going again on Tuesday.
Outside the Pheasant finally gets put in it’s location and while I’m working on the photo I notice that it’s breast and back have a cleverly implanted image of the lab? I confess that was the first time I have seen it.
On the other side of the waterfall the “Rabbit can finally see the Dog” another fun play on words
A vicious day of climbing and despite everything Roglic maintained his leader’s jersey while Durango native Sepp Kuss finished 4th on the day and is now 8th overall.
On home shores after a very wet week here in the Colorado Mountains I put in a gamey 26.50 in the much cooler, but dry weather.
Tried to pay the property taxes but the Treasurer’s machine managed to take the money TWICE!!! and they better get that sorted pronto or I’ll show them my other side.
Consultation on the scans and they tell me that the tumors are all growing nicely and of course there is nothing they can do. As I have discovered from many books Chemo has a 90% failure rate against ALL cancers, but is FDA approved and a $200 billion industry. Natural cures using plants etc are not covered by insurances so there is nothing left but to accept fate and die when the disease says so. Of course I have never felt ill from cancer just the horrible side effects. They do say in the books that it “seems” that once you have tried chemo it almost promotes it as the cells gain immunity, bloody brilliant! Certainly feeling completely helpless and more than a bit pissed off and terrified.
All these wonderful terms “enjoy the quality of life” , “do what you can to enjoy life” etc, etc, are just PURE BUNKUM!! There is NO QUALITY of life when you are told you are going to die! Yes, you can argue that I can ride my bike or do gardening but there are millions of other things that just seem so pointless at this moment in time.
Another flat stage for the sprinters today but of course if they were not included you not not expect them to even attempt the mountains.
Tomorrow a real beast of a day but then the 1st rest day which will be a huge relief for some.
Wednesday 8/18 and another flat stage, and another one tomorrow. Mighty big crash about 7 miles from the finish so a bit of a shake up in the results. But of course for the GC riders it’s not until the Mountain Stages that it gets interesting.
Went to bed at 2100 last night and could not get to sleep again despite pills. I’m wearing myself out doing nothing! and no sleep is taking it’s toll. A very easy day for me with very light gardening which I hope will include positioning Sally’s Pheasant which was last year’s Christmas present. I have it placed mentally but need to cut some of the sage back so that it can be seen.
Made a gentle start dead heading more roses, which have been quite exceptional this summer, but then it all changed!
Gloom and doom arrived and the first of the thunderstorms arrived with some torrential rain! The lower lawn was flooded, well it needed it and of course that put an end to any outside pursuits for the day.
Tomorrow looks very similar with a slight improvement Friday and that seems to be the case as at 0600 this morning the storms are still booming and its still raining with 80-90% rain all day and night.
An enforced rest day! However, despite all my ailments I did sleep a bit better. Don’t see much happening outside today, but there might be a break or two for me to work with the pheasant and maybe “pot up” some Russian Sage cuttings. My Met Officer dog, Mercury, hates this weather and is currently in the bath which is her sanctuary when its this nasty.
Lunchtime and the weather “seems” to be improving, but it could be a sucker’s gap, so, if I do go out I think a rain jacket might be the order of the day. I make an unexpected 12.68 but forced to up the pace and get back to the house before it starts again.
Meanwhile back in Spain, the last of this group of “flat stages” has a sting in the tail with a vicious little climb in the finishing town. Roglic very nearly catches the last man in the breakaway but finishes a close second getting some extra bonus seconds and the Leader’s jersey again while putting time into everybody else. Mountains tomorrow!
Escalante Days started off as usual with the parade and by previous year’s standards was, in my opinion, a bit lack luster with many regular participants absent. The gaggle of noisy pick up trucks with flags everywhere did nothing for me along with stupid exhaust openings and mega revving of engines. Well, onto the chain sawing competition and Bill Raglan, coming up 90 this year, won again in 8 seconds flat from his grandson, Jake, about 1.5 secs behind!
We came back shortly after that as the Brewery which has always been open from midday is not opening until 1600 for some reason.
Now to see what is happening with the Jag. The battery, which lives in the boot/trunk is less than 2 years old and clean and shiny. Voltage shows 1.64 volts so the charger goes on and I’ll check it again in the morning.
Weeding begins and about 6 feet of the Center Bed top section gets done before the rain and thunder starts. Very wet, all projects abandoned for the day.
Another crap nights sleep, despite the pills, waking up every two hours and the leakage problem is getting worse. More thunderstorms to add to my restlessness. I think I’m beginning to lose control. My Suzanne Somers book depressed me even more with big pharma’s greed and the 200 billion chemo scam which has a 90% failure rate on all cancers!!! and on a personal note of annoyance are the facts that the miserable side effects of these poisons are not given any antidotes or medication to ease the suffering which in my case were loss of hearing, teeth falling out, heels splitting, fingers peeling (I no longer have fingerprints) cracking nails, watering eyes and running nose. Six months after the last dose of poison and the side effects are still there!!! and of course the tumors are growing again!
Time for some more Vuelta, and the car tells everybody the battery is fully charged as the alarm goes off! Voltmeter shows 12.6V so fingers crossed and it starts normally and all is well. Hope everyone enjoyed their early call.
Rest Day over, time to get back on the tasks, so I’ll try for a 20 miler to kick the day off if that chip seal section is rideable for the 75 year old? We start the next phase on 2007.69 for the year and 18,398.79 for the world cruise. Of the 10 mile section of the road up to Telluride that I use there is about 4.5 miles of this new chip seal surface and flying pieces of gravel. It is very rough and you can hear and feel the tires “pinging” off the loose chips. I made it all the way out so at least I can get some mileage if I’m determined. 32.77 for yesterday and another 6′ of weeding in the center bed.
Overnight and two more thunderstorms close by with a lot of rain. Another fractious night with a 2 hour stretch of sleep at best! The leakage continues and is getting unpleasant but I’m sure there is worse to come which they haven’t told me about. A mountain stage in the Vuelta today so that should shake things up. Weather forecast storms all week again. Very tired by this lack of sleep and not much energy so any riding will be limited distance and capacity. Vuelta a bit disappointing as they let the breakaway have it, who were leading by 9 minutes at one stage.
Finally forced myself out to do some even if the body was unwilling and would rather have had a nap! 13.33 done but still very tired. I thought of doing some more but it’s just started raining and looks like the storm is close.
Tuesday and a busy day with bloodwork and scans and a PO run with the last of the Yamaha Tank decals. A mere 7.28 but I had to be on my way for the 1115 bloodwork which worked after all this time of not using the port. As they say 7.28 is more than those people still on the couch!
Time to kill before the scan so get the estimate for the roof respray on the Jag and book it in for 9/13. Scan completed fairly quickly and home for lunch. Damn I could use a snooze but I’d better do a couple of things outside first and then a few more miles to the Brewpub.
Too tired to work outside but I force myself to climb the mountain, so to speak, and finish on 20.54 for the day and a satisfying beer.
8/9/21 Monday morning and a lot more to come in the month. Gardening continues and progress can be seen and now I need to step up the pace with a few extra projects.
Olympics done and dusted and the start of the last of this year’s Grand Tours with the Spanish Vuelta beginning on Saturday. On home shores Saturday is also the start of the town’s Escalante Days with the parade, chain sawing, market, and hopefully much drinking. I would like to be just poking my nose through the 2000 marker by then but at the moment I need another 142 miles in 5 days to make it.
The now constant morning, and night watering, of the center bed is complete and I need a quick run to the Post Office and Bank for a couple of things, so let battle commence!
The Bank run, clocks up a quick 12.35 and home for breakfast and out again at midday for another 24.81 amid our road workers chip sealing job which I managed to get through without too much trouble. Could be problematic for the next few days with all the loose gravel. Finish the evening run to hit the planned target and get through the 1900, which I do with 31.52 giving me 43.87 for the day and 1902.13 for the year.
Between runs the Workshop gets it’s much needed makeover with a lot of throwaways, Christmas animals and lights back in the loft and Yam parts all back on the shelves. With that lot out of the way and with all tools returned to their place the work bench gets cleaned. Finally I’m ready to vacuum to complete this much needed task.
A few more shots of completed tasks. The Rose bed, weeded, deadheaded, and reshaped bushes. The old cottonwood stump finally gets removed.
The Scuffy Bed side edge, recut and weeded. Next project is yet another weeding and edge cutting of the Waterfall Bed and two extra additions of Sally’s Christmas present Pheasant and a kindly gift of a Gnome with “No Name” who I shall call “Clint” after all his Spaghetti Westerns.
But before anything else takes place I have a meeting with my Hospice Chaplin. Two very interesting hours talking which I believe benefitted me.
Later than planned departure at 1230 and all mileage has to be in town as this chip seal operation on the road means it will be awhile before all the debris and excess gravel that cars and trucks are scattering has hopefully been swept off leaving me somewhere safe to ride. Stiff winds did nothing to help the task but another 30.44 joins the total and some weeding was done.
Good day with only 68 miles to the next target so I’m pretty confident that I can make it by Friday and declare Escalante Day a rest day
A smoke haze morning and a couple of ebay sales followed by sale no 3 to someone in the UK who has yet to pay. First buyer was also interested in some lower fork legs which I threw in the trash yesterday so a bit of dumpster diving to retrieve them.
Wednesday morning after a better night’s sleep thanks to doubling the dose. Some overnight ebay sales so a run to the PO first, then back on the Waterfall Bed before the lunchtime run. Looking for 67.5 miles to the 2K Banner and I’m 7.5 miles up on the planned target! Post Office run nets 14.26 so not too many more to stay on target.
Very warm afternoon and I finally get round the Waterfall Bed and can safely say I’m pleased to be rid of all those weeds. Just enough time left to get the day’s total up to 22.77 in ever increasing winds. Now looking for the last 44.66 for the 2000, with 2 days left.
Thursday and hazy again with all the smoke. Manage to get the ebay Yam brake plate all cleaned up and that means another PO run to open today’s cycling account so I’ll venture a bit further up “chip seal alley” and man is that a rough surface now and hard work on the legs as there is a lot of rolling resistance, but notwithstanding that another 18.16 is completed.
Start weeding the Center Bed and that’s going to be a LOT OF WORK as the dreaded weeds have loved all the rain and watering and have a strong hold!
Got Jack, my old school bus mechanic, to pop round with an impact drill to undo the lower fork bolts that can often be difficult. Between us the job is done!
Just enough time left in the day for the “top up” ride so I finish on 25.73 and only need the last 18.83 for Friday. This chip seal surface is hard work on the legs with an uphill gradient and head wind from the East!!
Friday, and yet more road work! Now they are filling in the edge along the new blacktop with sand? Can’t get out of town but now need to pack up the fork legs and get them shipped. First a few in town miles and 16.57 makes a start in that area. Can’t bear to ship those corroded legs in that shape so start sanding off all the corrosion but the new owner says he will do it so bundle it all up and plan to take it to the PO and make todays mail out. The car will not unlock ? or start, think it has to be the battery but no time to check so that can wait until Sunday.
Me and a heavy box make it to the PO on the Roubaix and the afternoon run begins in a brewing thunderstorm. A few splatters but the storm moves off to the South and I finish the day well through the 2000 banner with 26.62 giving me a few bonus miles at 2007.69 and 149 for the week.
4 Days in and I have some sleeping pills at last! A little honey bee flew in my shirt and I’m not sure if it stung me or not. Seems it did as my stomach has gone very tight! Also yet another goathead so I’ll be fitting a new tube this morning, very, very, tiresome! (excuse the pun!)
Need to do some gardening, wipe over the Jag and attend to the infernal weeding, edging and mowing. Might manage a couple of 10 mile rides to stay on track. Tube fitted, let’s see how long this one lasts.
Got up feeling grumpy despite a better night’s sleep! Not sure why I was grumpy but can only assume it was due to a lack of progress with Oncology, the ever building task of gardening and other jobs that seem to keep growing. Decision was to forget the riding and get my arse in gear on the gardening jobs at hand.
All day was spent working in the driveway and rose bed with a ton of weeding, reshaping rose bushes and dead heading and finally relaying the irrigation hose between the rose bed and the maple tree.
While I was gardening a cycling friend who resides here at the “Cozy” stopped and we chatted about “goatheads” and flats and he recommended the “Specialized Armadillo” tire which has a Kevlar construction which I have now ordered!
Hopefully this is the answer to the Maiden’s prayer. A lot more gardening and dead heading of roses around the Scuffy bed and then all the beds get the “edging shears” treatment before yet more weeding takes place. The Strimmer dealt with all the rough areas so the mower will be out for the final stripes for the Wimbledon look. Back on track with a 32.53 and a couple of beers as it was Friday.
Here we are then, August 7th, my birthday, and according to those nice oncology people most likely the last one! Well we will see how that goes, I shall continue with my plans and work schedule, try and stay as fit as I can be and just keep “doing it”.
Spoke to a Hospice Chaplain on Friday morning and he is in Cortez and coming round to see me on Tuesday. Sounds an interesting man who was in Afghanistan as a drone pilot before entering this profession.
A full day at home on tasks various but a lot was achieved on my to do list so I’m well pleased with the day even if I didn’t pedal a single stroke, there is always tomorrow.
A review of the birthday work, and as I said to Brenda “I didn’t feel a day OVER 75!” Work began fairly early sweeping off all the debris from Cotton woods (the gift that keeps on giving) on the area under the balcony and then time to attack all the cobwebs and insect nests that stick to the windows and outside walls.
Yes a real mess but the shopvac and elbow grease soon get it presentable again.
The shopvac goes through the car and I re-glue an annoying panel that has been falling off and then commence car cleaning and tire blacking.
With that all done attention switches back to the lawn and now I can actually put the stripes back on with the mower
Scuffy bed next with all it’s edging to be redone. All complete and looking good. The plants in the center bed are asking for yet more water so I have to comply before they dry up on me.
Another ride today in reasonable conditions for 20.39 before that edge cutting and now an early supper of the birthday variety to see how many teeth I have left up the road in Rico.
A lot happens in August, MY B’day, the Town’s Escalante days, the ongoing Olympics, and the start of the Spanish Grand Tour, La Vuelta on 8/14. Of course it could be my LAST birthday if the Oncologists have got it right or maybe my self treatment of Omega 3 supplements will indeed work as the “Trojan Horse” for a non big pharma $6.00 if I’m here next year we will know!
Out there on the Highway I’ll be aiming for another 700 miles for August with the hope that this Monsoonish weather clears off.
It rained around 6pm but has now stopped and no signs of local thunderstorms according to my advisor Mercury.
August 1st then, not feeling desperately energetic, and the forecast is pretty standard with the usual mix of showers and thunderstorms. A better nights sleep helped and I would like to bag about 20-25 miles today at a slower pace without getting wet. Yet another puncture to fix before I depart!
20.60 was achieved but then it became as black as hell and was definitely time to say enough is enough! At least I made a start so only 677 to go!
Dismal start this morning as it looks like it has just finished raining and there are puddles everywhere. Could be an inside day of Olympics. It was supposed to be Heavy Rain all day, but it is currently bright and sunny with little wind so I’ll chance my arm but stay fairly close just in case I’m wrong. Nothing nasty weather wise and quite warm. 22.66 for the morning run and if it stays this pleasant might get a few more this afternoon. Failed to get out there for a second helping but the legs were tired so I’ve dropped 5 miles behind my schedule but I hope to pull those back when the weather picks up. However I did read the book “Soul Survivor” about the reincarnation of a WWII fighter pilot.
The roadworks people have been busy and completed the ramps on 16th St and our driveway where I suspect those goatheads have been lying fallow.
Tuesday once more and not sure what is in the “Big Plan” as yet as we are about to see some changes in the weather with less rain and storm activity but more wind! My objective today would be around 25 miles pre lunch then another 5 or so en-route to the Brewpub for a beer or two. Good news of the morning is I DON’T have a flat tire to repair but I have a hell of a lot of weeding to do!
A total of 34.52 miles for the day and 1 beer, but I’m now back on schedule and I didn’t get rained on. Some light weeding also done.
Wednesday after yet another crap night’s sleep if I can call it that! All becoming very tiresome. No rain in the forecast for the next few days but the winds are back!! Trying to get some prescribed sleeping pills from Oncology and no news on scan or bloodwork. They really have given up on me. I thought the medical profession was about caring? Well I suppose if I have been tossed out then they don’t get paid ?
Better go and water the plants as they will think they have been cut off too. Weeding, lawn mowing and edge cutting all needs doing in the next couple of days. Again just do what I can and keep moving on.
Meanwhile on the highway I should be through the next banner by close of play as I’m back on schedule and might get a head start on the next one if the winds are not too bad. Run1 went reasonably well with 16.67 in very windy unpredictable conditions. Seemed to be swirling round me from every known direction! A few more to hit today’s target then some more of that weeding fun. Target achieved, through the 1800 banner and an extra 5 for good measure with a total of 1805.35 and yet another flat tire!!! Only 595 miles to go this month.
Seems there is just a chance I might get some miles today? It will take a lot of effort on my part, and of course there is the constant threat of MORE rain and afternoon thunderstorms.
The plan is 3 rides! First one pre breakfast around town for 10+ miles to kick the day off then another circa midday for my standard 23-27 miles up to the lakes and back and then a final run about 4 pm down town and the brewpub for my Friday beer.
At the start of today I needed a smidge under 75 miles in these last 2 days of July to crack the 1700 Banner. Now 75 is quite a long way for the 74 year old but not outside the realms of possibility with a degree of effort! Run 1 knocks out 14.54 before coffee and toast and then the big one for 27.22 before lunch. Well that’s pretty good with another over 40 miles in the bag! Light lunch and ready for part 3, BUT another one of those bloody “Goathead thorns” which are like a cyclist’s land mine!! has jumped on my back tire
Seems I’m out of tubes so nothing for it but to patch the puncture. Haven’t come this far to give up now! Tube patched and out again stopping at our “NEW” in town cycle shop for some more tubes and a replacement for this one. Off again and net 2 lovely beers, replace the patched one, which is beginning to lose pressure, and press on for a daily high of 50.78 miles.
This is the longest distance I have ever ridden in one day!! All I need now is 24.10 tomorrow and I will have made it!
More storms arrive around 8 pm with monstrous flashes and huge bangs shutting down TV and computer with a mini power outage. Mercury, the dog, can sense the storms better than any Met Man and it carries on flashing and pouring for a good hour.
Not a great start to the morning with a flat tire AGAIN!! in the one that was replaced yesterday afternoon!!!!!! I can only assume that the road work team, who are now doing driveways are responsible with their tractors and backhoes rotovating the dirt by the edge of the road causing me 3 flats in 2 days, and it’s my driveway. Anyhow forced to refit the liner and see if that keeps the little buggers out! Better carry the bike out to the road surface. Completed the mission with 26.54 taking me to 1702.45 for the 3 months and I’ll target August for another 700 miles. Meanwhile the 1700 Banner was passed even though it had fallen down
Yesterday’s forecast storm turned up a bit late but then it poured and this morning it’s overcast and a bit cooler. Might have to have a “rest day” and sort out the washing machine and dryer chaos and cut the side grass which is getting up there.
The people who delivered the machines didn’t have much in the way of “technical acumen” as with them both upright there was a 3/4″ difference in their height?
Reason pure and simple was they had not screwed the adjustable legs in, or maybe they didn’t have a wrench the correct size, or were unaware that people like matching machines to actually MATCH!
Legs measured and marked, screwed in with wrench and repositioned for the “PERFECT FIT”, actually a lot easier than I was led to believe.
Strimming the entire side area of the property took quite a long time as the grass and weeds had been soaking up all this rainfall but it is all back under control now.
Last task of the day was a video conference with my Nurse Practitioner, Julie, who agreed with me that I should have another scan and some more bloodwork and then after review maybe some more chemo.
With the rest day done I now need 88 miles in the last 3 days of the month. The weather forecast shows an ever higher chance of showers and storms with most days in the 80-90% range. Oh, well just do what I can. I also see the weeds are back!!!
Meanwhile in Japan, Primo Roglic had an outstanding day at the Time Trial winning by over a minute which to me seems a just reward for losing last year’s Tour de France on the Time Trial.
Our Dutch lady Superstar made no mistakes today and also won by a commanding time so she has come away with a Silver and now the Gold
I set off in reasonable conditions but the road work continues as they have raised the road by two inches and are now doing peoples driveways so that they can get onto it smoothly. Stopped at the Flagman and his boss says follow me but I’ve picked up a mini thorn and another flat tire!!! No matter he gives me a lift home and another tube goes in and the thorn is removed and I’ve only achieved 0.96 so I’m off again staying in town due to the 90% forecast of rain. Drag the total up to 5.58 as the lightning starts and I stop. Rain follows with some huge droplets but it doesn’t last long!
Might try for a few more as the thunderstorm threat seems to have gone. Made 12.37 before the rain shut me down and the next bout of thunder started.
Another severe storm around midnight woke me up and it was raining even harder. There after a restless and uncomfortable night. So here we are 7/30 and 2 days left to try and get 74.87 which could be done but will require a lot of effort, or the storms might beat me ?