January 2020 Update


Short update this month, as much of my time has been spent travelling backwards and forwards to the clinic for light therapy. I’ve also seen my surgeon, and I rescued an old lady from the beach!

Clinics and Health

It’s been another month of hospital visits! Mainly for light therapy, which, thankfully, is coming to an end! And I’m now down to only two sessions a week.

I’ve also seen my surgeon, who is confident of my second stage hip replacement taking place in March, fingers crossed! Although I’m not holding my breath! (Best try and stay healthy!)

Beach sea
A murky day

On the hip front, a very bizarre, but good thing seems to have happened! Overnight I seem to be able to walk relatively well without the aid of a crutch and somewhat limp free! I still need the crutch to walk any distance, but I can feel that I’m not putting as much weight on it as I have been!

Spurned on by my ability to walk a lot more freely, I try and walk a couple of miles each day, gradually increasing the distance walked without a crutch, which isn’t very far, but it is an improvement! Although if I take Indya out in her pram, I can walk for miles, relatively limp free!

Garry to the Rescue

Cycling along the seafront, which I don’t tend to do so much in the winter, usually because you can’t! The prom is covered in stones. But on this day I decided to go down and see how bad it was.

Stones on path
A narrow path through the stones

It was late afternoon, and as I was cycling along on one of the little parts that were stone free, I heard somebody calling out. As I looked in the direction of the shouting, I could see an old lady on her hands and knees!

“Are you okay?” I called out

“No, I can’t get up” she replied

“Oh dear, I’m not sure I’m the best person to help, but I’ll come down and see what I can do” was my reply. I parked my bike up against the railings and walked down the stones to where the lady was crouched. As I walked down, I was wondering how I could get her up, there was no way I would have been able to pick her up!

“Have you been drinking?” I asked, trying to make light of the lady’s predicament!

“No, I was walking the dogs and managed to trip over one of them! I’ve been here for half an hour, and just can’t get up, my wrist hurts too much!

The Rescue

As I was talking to the lady, another lady who was walking her dog came along, and between us, we managed to get her to her feet. We walked her to her car and she assured us that she was fine to drive and would be okay.

Knowing that she lived around the corner from me, I decided to follow her home. Which wasn’t a problem, she drove so slowly! In fact, she was so slow I had trouble staying upright on my bike!

Once home she once again reassured me that she would be okay, and said she would get her daughter to take her to the hospital to get checked out.

After a day or two, I went around to check on her and found out that she’d fractured her wrist, chipped a bone on her elbow and had cuts and bruises to her knees!

Other News

Having to be at home a lot this month I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and have gotten into Asian cuisine, particularly dishes that remind me of my travels.

Food on a plate
Nasi Goreng, Indonesian fried rice, served with a fried egg

I’ve also been busy sorting out videos from my European bicycle tour which have started to come out on YouTube and can be viewed from 18.30 (GMT) every Sunday.

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Hopefully with not having so many appointments and the weather improving (we hope!) I’ll be able to get out and about more next month.

December 2019 Update

Fishing boats on beach

It’s been a busy month, but, generally for all the wrong reasons! The weather hasn’t improved; it’s still wet and windy for much of the time! I had my birthday, which was an enjoyable day. I’ve been doing grandad duties and babysitting Indya, and of course, we’ve had Christmas! Oh, and I’m now going to therapy three times a week!

As mentioned above the weather is still pretty lousy, and we’ve now had some local flooding! Despite the wet weather I’ve still managed to get out on the bike for the odd ride, but only locally. Having to go for therapy three times a week, stops me from going too far, as I have it on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And most weekends I seem to have had something on.


After suffering for the past few years, I’m now getting treatment! It’s a bit of a bind having to go three times a week, and as I said earlier, it stops me from cycling too far. But, by rights I should have been at home recovering from my hip operation, that got cancelled in November! So I wouldn’t have travelled too far anyway! Hopefully though once I finish, I’ll be back to normal and able to tour once more. That is until I have my operation!

Flooded car park
Our Local Tesco’s car park flooded

Therapy is held over at Worthing, which is only 15-miles away, but can sometimes take me an hour and a half to get there by car! Usually, I would cycle, but it’s just not practical.

The treatment is spread over three months, and I’ve already done a month, only two more to go then! But I think it’s worth it as I’m feeling a lot better now. Oops, I forgot to mention that it’s phototherapy I’m going for, not therapy on a couch! Although I probably need that as well!! Hopefully, it’s going to cure my skin condition, so I won’t need to take steroids anymore!

Man in helmet
Garry wearing his radiation shield at therapy

As I said, normally I would cycle, but as I’m not allowed to wear any deodorant on therapy days, it wouldn’t be very pleasant for the nurses at the clinic! I also have to watch how much sun I’m exposed too, not that that matters, seeing as we’ve not had much of it!

Phototherapy is a very high dose of UVB light, and whenever I go, there’s always a strong smell of burning flesh! The phototherapy is administered in what I can only describe as a stand-up sunbed. My first session at the beginning of December was only for 23 seconds, but has now increased to 2 minutes!

A Downside

Although phototherapy is not guaranteed to work, it’s still worth trying. Unfortunately, it now means that my hip operation will have to be postponed until March, at the earliest! Although I’ve not discussed that with my consultant yet. And as much as I want to get my hip operation out of the way, light treatment is best done at this time of year, I think, for me anyway! I would find it extremely hard and frustrating to keep out of the sun, or cover-up, when the weathers nice, staying in at this time of year isn’t so bad, and what sun we do have is very weak!

One side effect of all this is that I’m getting a nice suntan!

Man woman baby
Garry and Julie with Indya on Christmas day
Other News

It was my birthday this month, which I spent out on the bike in the morning, although I didn’t cycle much, most of it was spent dodging the rain! The afternoon was spent down the pub and then out for a curry in the evening, an enjoyable day!

Things are on the up, and we’ve had the shortest day! I know there’s still a long way to go, and the worst of winter is yet to come, but at least the days are getting longer!

Ships water
Ships old and new in Portsmouth

I did try to go away in the gap between Christmas and New Year, as I didn’t have any clinic on that Friday. But after getting as far as Portsmouth, I gave up! I just couldn’t decide where to go! In the end, after bimbling around Portsmouth, I jumped on a train and went to Brighton. And rode home from there, a 65-mile ride.

Because I’d planned on being away, the following morning I got up and cycled the 70 or so miles to London then caught a train home!

Road sign
Nearly there

The following week it was back to normal, and my trips to the clinic resumed!

I’ve been babysitting Indya this past month, and I know I’m biased, but she is so easy to look after, such a contented baby full of smiles, just like her grandad!!

2019 Review

2019 has been a good year on the cycling front and definitely a lot better on the health front, plus I got a new granddaughter!

With my fitness and stamina building all the time I managed two big tours, Ireland and Europe plus plenty of shorter trips which can be found on the 2019 tour page. And I’ve covered over 5,500 touring miles. Much better than I could have ever expected, considering how ill I was last year!

On the health front, I’ve had a camera up my bum, had a suspected blood clot, spent most of the year taking steroids for a skin condition, which as mentioned above will hopefully be sorted out! Got gout in my foot, had high blood pressure, and thought I may have contracted sepsis again! And I’ve not even mentioned my hip or back! But I’m still smiling, and life is good!

Happy New Year
Cycle race statue near Box Hill, Surrey, which I passed on my way to London

A big thank you and happy New Year to everybody, who’s commented and followed me throughout the past year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020, with plenty of bicycle tours!

November 2019 Update

Pier and beach

As mentioned in last months update, I’ve been very good and have indeed wrapped myself in cotton wool, sort of! The idea being my wounds, would heel and I wouldn’t get any more, not that it’s done any good, I still ended up at the hospital!

At the very end of October, I took Passepartout to St John Street cycles in Bridgwater for a well-deserved service. I had planned to cycle there as I have in the past. But with the weather the way it is at the moment, I decided it was better to drive, bad mistake! The traffic was a nightmare, what should have been a two and a half, maybe three-hour journey, turned out to be more like eight! But at least my bike is now all serviced ready to go away on another tour.

Flooded fields
It’s been rather wet, this is a cycle path not a stream!
More Ailments

Over the next few days, I developed a pain in my right calf, which became so bad I couldn’t bear any weight on it and could only stand with the aid of a crutch! Time to go to the doctors, once again!

After an examination by the doctor, who thought it could be a blood clot! Caused by my sitting in the car for so long the other day, decided to take a blood test! And said that if I didn’t anything by the end of the day, then everything was okay and there was no need to worry. The end of the day came, and I never heard back. So I assumed it wasn’t a blood clot, although I was still in a lot of pain, and unable to walk very well!

Sea, ship, castle
One of the few sunny days we’ve had in the past month

The following morning, I was still in pain, so I decided it was probably best to stay in and rest. After all, I was meant to be wrapping myself in cotton wool! Around mid-morning the phone went, it was the doctor, telling me that my blood didn’t get to the laboratory in time, and was no good, so could I go for another blood test today! But this time over the hospital, just to make sure they did get it on time! That was fine by me. It wasn’t as if I was exactly busy! She said that the same would apply as last time, no news is good news!

More Waiting

After the hospital, I returned home. It got to around 5 o’clock, and I hadn’t heard anything, so I assumed I was in the clear. Literally, just as I thought that the phone rang, it was the doctor! She said my D-Dimer level was high, (whatever that is!) and could be a clot! So I needed to go to the surgery and pick up a prescription for some syringes, (I think they thin the blood), and I’ve also made an appointment for you at the hospital for a scan in a few days, she said!

At The Hospital

After a few days of injecting myself with the syringes, I was still in pain. But at least I was off to the hospital, and would hopefully receive an answer! The hospital took all day, firstly waiting for the scan, then secondly waiting to see a doctor! After eventually getting to see the doctor the news was good, they couldn’t find a clot! But, that could be because of the injections! So could I stop taken them and come back the following week for another scan!

The week went by, and I was still in pain although it had eased off slightly. Back at the hospital, they once again scanned me. And again I went to see the doctor, and what’s the first thing he says to me? Which I tend to hear a lot whenever I see a new doctor! “Well, you’ve had an interesting time!” Referring to my time in hospital last year!

To which I gave my usual reply of, “so they tell me!” as I don’t remember too much of it.

“Well the good news is it isn’t a DVT,” the doctor said

“That’s good, but what do you think it is” I replied

“I’m not too sure, it could be sciatica, especially as you have a history of back problems, or possibly something to do with your hip! I’m sorry I don’t know, but it’s definitely not a clot!” said the doctor, and his best advice was to take painkillers!

That was all at the beginning of the month, and my leg is feeling a lot better now, albeit still a bit painful! So what it was, who knows, just another one of my mysterious problems! I am an enigma!

Away From The Health Issues

As I said, my leg is a lot better now, and I can once again bear weight on it and walk. Which is good news especially as I was asked to babysit Indya one afternoon, and the easiest option was to take her out for a walk in her pram, which I found made a good zimmer frame!

Sleeping baby
Indya in her pram, all ready to go out with grandpa

I’ve only been out a couple of times on the bike this month, it’s either been too windy, too wet or generally both! One day last weekend when it was nice I set off on the pub bike, only managing to get a few miles before my back wheel started to rub against the brake. I stopped to look, but couldn’t find anything wrong, so continued riding, but the rubbing got worse! Pulling over once more, I still couldn’t find any reason, but thought it best to return home and swap bikes.

After returning home I was going to go back out on Passepartout, but I’d now lost interest and decided not to bother! Instead, I took another look at the back wheel on my pub bike and this time found the problem! The wheel had split, through wear over the years! Luckily I didn’t continue. The chances are that the wheel could have collapsed on me!

A Day Out

Julie and I decided to go to London for the day yesterday. (30th November) It was the only day we both had free before Christmas, it was so busy! London is busy at the best of times, but this was unbelievable, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that busy! It may have been down to that “Black Friday” thing, who knows?

One of the entrances to Borough Market

First off we went to Borough Market, which was a delight, an old market full of independent stalls mostly selling groceries. There was also an area that sold street food (very trendy at the moment!) from around the world. We sat down and had Japanese!

Tall buildings by water
The London skyline

We then went for a walk along the side of the Thames before heading to Covent Garden and Seven Dials. Where Julie went shopping, and I sat in a pub, or rather I didn’t, it was so busy I had to stand at the bar! A pleasant day, despite it being so busy!


I’ve been wracking my brain over the past few weeks wondering where I could go on my bike. And even considered heading over to Asia! But decided that probably wasn’t the wisest of moves at the moment! Anyway, I can’t go too far now as I start a new course of treatment! Which might involve me having to go to the hospital two or three times a week! I find out tomorrow (2nd December) when I go for my first appointment!

Christmas lights
Christmas lights in London

The open wound on my heel. The one that stopped me from having my operation last month is slowly but surely getting better. Unfortunately not enough for me to be considered for an operation!

I’m thinking of renaming my website to “travels on a bike 2 the doctors!” all I seem to talk about these days is visits to the doctors and my ailments!

October 2019 Update

Sky line

Not too much to say this month, as most of October has been spent cycling around France, Germany and Holland, in a bid to get fit for my upcoming surgery. And I’ve only been home for a week and a half, but it’s been a busy time, catching up with family and friends, especially my new grandchild Indya, who, as you would expect has grown quite a bit, and is already smiling!

Smiling baby
Indya smiling, happy, just like her granddad!!

I was only home for a day before I had an appointment at the hospital for my pre-op assessment. No problem, as I’ve just said, one of the reasons for going away was to get fit and give me the best chance of a speedy recovery after surgery, and I certainly was feeling fit! In fact, I’d not felt this good in a long time!

Cruise ship and tall building
I saw this cruise ship in Rotterdam, in fact I’ve seen it loads of times on different tours around the Med
At The Pre-Op

Well, the pre-op was a very short-lived affair! I got the usual questions, do you smoke, how much alcohol do you drink? I always get confused with that question and confuse units of alcohol with pints!?!

Next question, what medication are you on? As I reeled off what is a very short list these days, I arrived at steroids.

“Steroids?” She asked

“Yes, I’m on a reducing dose, which finishes in three weeks, one week after surgery” I replied

“I’ll have to run that one past your surgeon, I’m not too sure if they’ll operate while you’re on steroids!” (Steroids weaken the immune system, meaning you’re more prone to infection)

Great I thought, but at least I’ll only be on 5mg by the time they operate, so it might be okay!

Deer I saw in Dagenham park last week on my ride into London

Next question, do you have any open wounds? Unfortunately, I did and showed her my cuts and grazes which are all part of normal life for me, I’m always cutting or knocking myself! She didn’t seem too bothered by them until I came to the blister on the back of my heel. Which if you remember came up when I was in Angers, on the 5th October at the beginning of my tour! Well, because of the steroids and living in a pair of shoes that rubbed every time I walked, it’s no longer a blister it’s a rather large open wound! Despite my best efforts to dress it every day and put antiseptic cream on it!

That was it, she had to cancel the operation! They won’t operate on anybody with an open wound, especially not one that has had sepsis in the past!

Now What

I’ve now got to wait until my heel is better and I haven’t got any open wounds, which could be a problem! I think I’ll have to wrap myself in cotton wool and stay in bed! I’ve got a week and a half left on the steroids, so hopefully, things will start to heal if you’ll pardon the pun!

I must admit that I thought it was all a bit ironic! I cycle 1500-miles to get fit and indeed do feel fit, only to be told I’m not fit!

Not too sure what I’m going to do for the next few weeks/months, I would like to go away again on my bike, but it’s just not the right time of year, both weather-wise and there are very few campsites open!