The Good, bad and Scunthorpe to Sheffield ugly trip

Well lots happened last week some good, some bad and some very challenging.

Let’s start at the beginning of the week, well Tuesday anyway.

I got out of bed as normal knowing I was due for a Tuesday night winter training session with Steve from Skyhook in Sheffield. I made the first mistake of the day was when I took my long acting morning insulin. Instead of a reduced amount in anticipation I took a night-time dose. The night-time dosage is 10 more units of insulin compared to the 20 units I would normally take in the morning.

It’s not a massive problem day-to-day as I would monitor my blood glucose and adjust as I go. The ony time a problem is going to occur is when later I am going to carry out some exercise. If I had too much fast acting insulin I would have simply counter acted it and within 2-3 hours, it would be out of my system. With the long acting stuff it is not quite the same, the insulin is being drip fed into my system so eating a little all day long is necessary and when it comes to the exercise it could be problematic.

Jo dropped Charlie off at work which is the normal practice on a Tuesday now, she stops with me until Friday afternoon. Come 16:45 I get my kit on, even applying the udder cream as I am suffering a little soreness now.

Steve’s place is 200 yards away, so I walk pushing Charlie along, I warned Steve I might experience a low and before I begun I topped up with some long acting carbs and off I went. This session was a typical grind. After the warm up I spent 5 minutes at each of 70,80 and 90% and then a 5 minute 50% recovery and did the same again. I have three blocks of this to complete and I was feeling good. It was done at a normal cadence with the section at 90% done slowly which really loaded my legs. I was ready to start the third block and that was the end. I tumbled quickly from 7 to 6 then to 4 and then to 2.9. It was over, I had to cut the session short, eat some fast-acting carbs and recover. Back home I went feeling a little silly I had made a mistake and just when I felt for the first time I would compete the full session I did not !

Thursday quickly came and off I pushed round to Steve’s again and this session was hard, extremely hard. It was made of lots of very quick intensive 30 second blocks with a 30 second recovery. It was extremely high intensity. The first couple of blocks were easy and I thought no problem. Once I got to the 5/6 high speed intensity set my legs felt it. This continued for well over an hour 30 seconds high, 30 seconds recover and after 1 of these 10 minutes warm down and off we went again. This was the first time I had done some HIT training.

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I got to the end of my session got off my bike and my legs had forgotten how to hold me upright. It was intense muscle ache. Steve had broken me on this one.

Before I knew it, Friday was here, and it was the night I decided which train ticket to buy for the Saturday ride. I felt fine, the weather looked ok although cold but not below freezing. I plumped for the 7:08 from Sheffield to Scunthorpe.  I prepped Charlie in anticipation, packed my minute saddle bag with the essentials like mini tool kit, spare inner tube and extra carbs. Fitted her lights (as it would be dark when setting of), mixed and filled my water bottle with glucose water, even got my clothing all laid out. Everything was set ready for an early rise and start.

Off went the alarm and I got ready, off I went. The weather prediction was not far wrong apart from the frost. My road is a dead end and we don’t get much traffic at all, you could tell as the road glistened and sparkled. Not only was it frosty but it was extremely cold.  I jumped on and within 5 seconds of hitting the road I was nearly off as Charlie lost grip. I thought at that time it was time to turn back and crawl back into bed as it was dangerous. It was not helped by the new cycling shoes I bought the week before.

At the end of last week, I went shopping for some road shoes, my current shoes were a mix between road and off-road shoes with pedals to match. The problem I noticed was that they flexed quite a bit whilst pushing hard also they did not feel that comfortable, a bit clog like with no contours internally, and I suffered a little bit of rubbing on some toes and this is a big  no-no for anyone never mind a diabetic. I noted previously that road shoes don’t flex and are extremely stiff which ensures all the power that is used goes to the pedal. The problem with changing the shoes meant changing the pedals too ! A new method of operation to learn.

Back to the ride, I got off the bike and walked down to the local through road. I had to cling on to people’s walls and with the no grip shoes I slid down the hill at several places. I managed to get to the main road and it was clear, also looked like it had been gritted. Off I went very gingerly down a very steep road, if I was to come off and slide now it would be all over for today for certain.

I arrive at the station pretty quickly and got myself the obligatory pain de chocolat and waited for the train to come.

I was awaiting a train on platform 5b, a train arrived on platform 5a and the guard said this was the one to Cleethorpes and I heard a conversation between the driver and the guard and he had pulled to far down the station. The train was really busy and people getting on with suitcases for more than just along weekend in Cleethorpes, something was just not right. The train moved position to 5b to let the Manchester airport service get in. Following an announcement 90% of the people got back off the train and transferred to Manchester. It was farcical with people coming to me and asking if this train was for Manchester. Imagine going on your jolly’s to some exotic place the other side of the world for you to arrive in Cleethorpes ??  ARGHH (before I get pulled by the Cleethorpes appreciation society I just need to make it clear, me and Jo go quite regularly for a walk and it’s certainly upped its game over the last 10 years).

Off we went, when we got to Meadowhall Charlie was joined by two others bikes, she was scared and outnumbered. These bikes had big fat nobbily tyres, chunky frames, suspension and wide handle bars. These bikes were just bullies. When we got to Doncaster she was at peace, all on her own and happy again. Within an hour of leaving Sheffield I arrived all ready in Scunthorpe.

It was freezing I shivered as I stood getting the Strava app ready to track my progress on the ride. I took it steady and warmed up and followed the road until I got to the A18, the route was generally flat so it meant trying to keep my cadence the same and using the gears on small inclines etc, there was no little periods of rest as there were no declines which could help. A bit like being on Steve’s turbo training system.

I could tell I had been doing some HIT training as within an hour my legs were already tired which was unusual. This was probably because I had only had a single days rest from the training and at the moment I don’t think it’s enough.

I followed the A18 and then stumbled across a village called Hatfield as I approached Doncaster, I could not ride through without stopping and calling in on one of Jo’s friend who also has a flower shop, it’s called Charlottes of Hatfield. I had 15 minutes rest talking to Tracey and off I went again.

I started to recognise Doncaster as I approached, I quickly realised I was about to pass the race course. On my approach I kept hearing a little dinking noise on the front wheel, I thought urmm ? maybe I got a leaf or something between the wheel and my brakes.  I approached the island just passed the races and as I went across a very busy island I could feel I had a flat on the front… So, I guided Charlie across three lanes and straight to the pavement and took refuge in a bus stop. I was warm but as I had stopped the temperature felt like it plummeted. I started feeling extremely cold. Not too worry about the flat it would be the first time I could try out my road side skills on the tube change and I could also use the miniature pump and CO2 canister to get my tyre to 100psi.

The tyre came off no problem followed by the tube, I tried to pump it up to find the puncture and it was a pin hole, probably caused by a thorn which was probably the noise I heard a few minutes earlier. Out came the new tube, I fitted it and before I seated the rubber I inflated the tube a little to make sure it was sat correctly on the rim. Odd thing is that It would not inflate, did not matter how quick I pumped nothing would happen. I must have sat in the bus shelter for 20 mins, suffering from brain freeze because of the weather trying to get me head round what was happening. I ended up taking the tube off and trying again and then found a split in the tube.

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There I was at the side of the road in a bus shelter, traffic whizzing past, getting colder with my spare tube faulty.

I did do a quick post before I started the tube change so then I called Jo to tell her I had a problem and to ask how far it was to walk into Doncaster. Jo said 15 mins but I had reminded her I was in my new ballet shoes !  I just put my phone down and it went off ?? I tried to start it again and it just started and stopped. It had a flat battery. Things just got a whole lot worse, in Doncaster, broken bike (had to be carried so not to damage front rim, freezing cold and starting to shiver and at least 2 miles to the train station in clippie clop ballet shoes and no communication and Jo could not track me. Doomed !

I stated looking for a black cab as I had my emergency tenner and card on me. I thought a black cab as I could get Charlie in but nothing to be seen. Off I went after 20 mins of a kind of walking or more like staggering and in the foreground I saw a sign which said “Volt” and I made out a symbol representing a bike. I was facing it directly and could not see the shop it was outside. I got there, and you would not believe it, but it was only a proper cycle shop called Cycle Supreme Ltd. I was saved, in I went, and the guys went straight to work and changed my tube for me whilst I warmed up a little and then I bought a spare tube and of course I had to buy more cycling kit. I bought a pair of what is best described as divers boots. They are covers which keep your feet warm and made from a neoprene type of material. I slipped them on and felt the warmth instantly. The last thing I had to ask was if I could borrow the telephone to let Jo know I was ok. She had no idea my phone had died and also Jo had been googling bike shops etc for me. Jo was relieved I had called and I told her my exact route in case I had more problems and no communications methods.

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So a massive thank you to the staff a Cycle Supreme Ltd for rescuing me, really nice people and a good independent shop.

I was 25 miles from home and it was a slow painful ride home, I had lost momentum but I was determined to get home without help, I did it and all was well.

I charged my phone and  you can see from the picture the battery just died and I can put this down to the extreme temp so in future I need to keep if on my body to keep warm and not in my mini saddle bag !

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I think next on the shopping list will be a new saddle, I have been struggling for a few weeks being sore, a change may be required. As my giant shop friends say, come and empty your wallet here please. Sorry guys you will have to wait till pay-day !

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