>Lonely This Christmas

>Well the title of this thread could mean one of many things.

All though I am with my family this Christmas, I am not with other loved ones- human or two wheeled!

I suspect none of them will read this blog today – I know for definite the two wheeled ones won’t read it ever. They must feel abandoned given I have not ridden a bike in anger for so long now.

Hopefully all those who matter to me will be present in my life through out 2010. A year that has so much potential. I have to make some very important choices shortly and decide whether to move out of my comfort zone.

I know that a lot of this sounds very cryptic, but until I speak to various people, I cannot really say too much. Hopefully though, the next 12 months will bring lots of new adventures.

Happy Christmas one and all.

PS Santa, if its not too late, can you bring me a cure for my knee injury ASAP.

>Driving Home For Christmas

>Well, I went back to the doctor’s yesterday to get the results of my MRI scan and am told that I have a small medial meniscal tear in my left knee and that I will require surgery on the same. I have been referred to see a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. However, it is likely to be a month or so before I get to see the surgeon. I have no idea how long it is likely to be before I will have an operation, assuming surgeon thinks it is needed. I asked the relevant questions of the doctor, such as how long after an operation will it be before I can start cycling again- 6 weeks apparently. I failed to ask how long before I will be back at work again though. Clearly I have my priorities right.

I emailed my line manager last night at work to give him the news and spoke to him today. I must say that I appreciate the sympathetic response from him. Its nice to know that work are not pressurising me to get back to work. I even had a phone call from the big boss

I am now starting to worry as to whether I will be able to complete the bike ride in May in the US. Even if I had the operation by the end of February, I wouldn’t be able to start cycling until middle of April, which leaves me no time at all to get in the necessary mileage to do the 400 miles in 4 days in May. I’m going to have to reassess my position and decide what to do. See if I can get a year off and do it in 2011?

Well that’s the cycling report or lack of it done. Tomorrow, I’m heading back up North to my parents for Christmas. It will be the first Christmas I’ve spent at my parents without Tom being there since he was born. It will be strange! How life changes in 12 months.

This time last year, I was contemplating Christmas with my son, my partner and my parents and looking forward to starting training for a Lands End to John o’ Groats ride. The future was exciting. This time, its a Christmas without my son, no cycling to look forward to, lengthy time off work etc.

Its ironic that I have all this time off work, but can’t actually do anything. I’d love to go away for a few days abroad, but its not going to do me much good is it? I’m not sure that I could justify being off work and flying abroad somewhere.

Still, this time gives me the chance to take stock of where I am going and to re plan my priorities and plan another cycling trip for 2010 later in the year or 2011.

In the meantime, tomorrow I will be travelling up to my parent’s home for Christmas, so merry Christmas one and all.

>Don’t look Back In Anger

>Well since I last posted on here, the number of inches cycled is 0

I’m still off work and still unable to ride my bike.

Walking even to the corner shop is painful. I need to give my leg complete rest and that is difficult when you live alone.

I have now been off work a total of just over 3 weeks. My sick note expired today, so I went to the doctors to see about that and to see if the MRI scan results had been received yet. I had an MRI scan last Thursday at 0720 in the morning up in Waterloo. That was fun to get to- It did my leg no good walking/ travelling on the tube etc.

The doctor told me they had not got the MRI scan results but that she thought I probably had a tear in my ligament in my knee. She signed me off work for another four weeks and told me if I had a tear, then it would require an operation. Great news eh.

So I left the doctor’s surgery this morning feeling rather sorry for myself. After getting my latest prescription and going home to rest. I’m left thinking what can I do for four weeks. I’m limited as to the movement I can make, so its surf the net, read watch TV or play computer games. The latter option is out as I haven’t got any to play.

When the post arrived, containing loads of Christmas cards addressed to me and my ex, it did little to cheer me up. Then I saw a letter from the doctor’s surgery asking me to contact them to make an appointment to discuss my MRI scan! Yes they had the results this morning but had not passed them onto the doctor I saw. Grrrr. So I’m back at the doctor’s next Monday afternoon to get those results and find out what the prognosis is.

Not much else to report at present other than to say thanks to a number of friends this week who have been there to raise my spirits – sitting in this house all day unable to do much is not good for the mind. You’re all stars and I can’t thank you enough.

I am going to use the time I’ve got off work to take stock of my situation. I have a number of ideas of things I would like to do with my life, and need to discuss them with family and friends to see if they are viable options. I think its time me and my bike went travelling. Not just to do the Police Unity Tour, but much more than that. I think its time to see some of the world.

Now those of you who click on the title of the thread may wonder what the title song has to do with this post. Well it sums up what I am saying to myself at present. There are many things that I can easily look back in anger at. However, I need to remind myself that it does me no good to look back in anger.

Instead I’m starting to worry if I will be fit enough to do the Police Unity Tour ride in May.


>Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now

>Sums up the feeling.

I’m still off work with the knee injury making it impossible to get to/ from the office. Even walking to the newsagent up the road is painful. I can drive a little bit, but even that is not too good for my knee. So I’ve not done a lot of late.

I have been able to do some work at home, even though I’m signed off on the sick (dedication eh?) I managed to finish a report I’ve been working on today and tried to email it to the office, but the laptop won’t connect to the office system – grrr. No problem, I will ring work’s IT help desk. Well that was about 7 hours ago and I’m still waiting for them to sort the problem out. No problem, I will download it off the work laptop onto a memory stick and send it via my home PC. Oh dear, I can’t do that because of all the hysterics re data security meant they stopped us being able to use the USB port to download items.

Great, my last weeks work at home to finish this report on time seems to have been in vain as I can’t get it to work. To think I spent hours everyday working instead of watching Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women and CBBC.

I was supposed to be out for a drink tonight with some old workmates I’ve not seen in years, but I’ve had to cancel that as well. It would only make my knee worse to dance on tables stagger home off the last train. [I only inserted this in case my bosses ever happen to read this and thinks I’m skiving. If that’s what you think, then just remember I’m not cycling, and I’d happily be in at work if it meant I could get back on my bike].

I’m off to have an MRI scan on my knee on Thursday. Hopefully that will shed some light, so to speak, on the problem. I have to confess that I do not know what an MRI scan is actually. I have no idea when I get the results or indeed what the scan results are capable of showing. Time to check out NHS direct I think and see what it involves. The scan is at 07:20 in the morning, so that’s going to be an early start for me.

There must be a way I can get on my bike again soon. I’m more concerned at not cycling than anything else at present.

>FFF Frustration

>The title sums up the time since I last posted.

I went to the Doctor’s on Thursday to see about my knee and was signed off work for 2 weeks. Yes, another 2 weeks.

Fortunately for my sanity, I have work at home I can be doing. I need it to take my mind away from daytime TV. I mean there is only so much Jeremy Kyle anyone can watch- about 0.5 nanoseconds is I think the legal limit. I think being water boarded by the CIA would be preferable to watching daytime TV.

My knee has apparently suffered damage to the medial ligaments as a result of the accident a month ago today. This is the longest I have been unable to cycle or work since starting to cycle again some 9 years ago. Ironically, cycling hurts my knee less than walking does, but still causes a considerable amount of pain. Even walking to the newsagents at the end of the road is painful.I can however drive my car ok.

Why have I been signed off work? Mainly because of the problems getting to / from work. I can’t walk to/ from train station or use the stairs without hurting my knee. I can’t cycle to work for similar reasons and it is not reasonably practicable to drive to/ from work as I work in Westminster. Therefore I am stuck at home at present.

It is even more frustrating as I am due to be meeting a number of old friends this coming week for drinks or next week. They will have to be given a miss. Even if I could get to the pubs,a night in town standing drinking etc will do it no good.

What have I done then I hear you ask? Well, I’ve watched loads of rubbish on the TV. I’ve planned my cycling around the world trip in minute detail, well everything except how to fund it. Anyone fancy donating say a years salary plus to cover my lost wages and the expenses of such a trip. Who said that you’ll have a whip round if I promise not to return?

So, I’ve no cycling to write about at present. What can I write about? Well I could go on about Newcastle United being top of the Championship (the oldest league in the world) and being 4 points ahead of the 2nd placed side and 10 points ahead of 3rd and 13 points ahead of the side outside the play off places. I could boast and say its nice to see one North East side doing well, but that would be unfair on all the Sunderland and Middlesbrough fans I know- as I know very few, its ok, i will boast about it. Assuming my leg is ok, Tom and I are off to Barnsley next Saturday to see Newcastle. It’ll be the suited and booted look though as we are in the executive boxes. (Thanks Sue & John!). We are also staying there for the night (Thanks again Sue & John),so I’m hoping we can avoid a defeat as I don’t fancy a night of having the mickey taken out of me.

What else is there to say, other than I want to ride my bicycle.

Oh, and thanks to everyone who has donated so far. It is much appreciated.



>Busy Doing Nothing

>Well that seems to sum up the week so far. I’m no longer able to ride my bike. My knee injury has got worse, so after struggling home from work on the bike on Monday, I had to go by public transport on Tuesday. (Reminder to self- don’t do it again! Public transport at rush hour is surely contrary to the Human Rights Act. It is cruel inhumane and degrading treatment is it not?). It was quite surprising how much activity you do whilst getting public transport to work. I thought it would rest my knee, but with the walking to/ from stations, all the steps, the changing trains etc, it made my knee worse. I made arrangements to work from home today (Wednesday) so took my laptop etc home with me on Tuesday night. It did serve as a reminder to me why I like cycling to work, even taking into account the risk of accidents, the rain and the cold etc.

The other reason for the headline describes the traffic last night in East London. I was going to watch Orient v Gilingham, but owing to some bloke on a building threatening to jump off, the police shut the A12 heading out of town from 14:30 until midnight. This is a 3 lane each way road and is the main road out of London to the North East/ East of London. It was closed from the turning near Orient’s ground, so the traffic was gridlocked. It took me 2 hours and around 21 miles to do a journey that should be 7 miles and about 20 minutes. I only got to the ground because I have learned a lot of the back streets of London by cycling around them over the last few years. The traffic was still grid locked after the game and it took me 2 hours to get home after the game.

Its amazing that one person sitting on a roof can be allowed to cause so much chaos for so long.Am I being cruel in saying the “trained” police negotiators can’t be very good if it took them around 9 hours to get the bloke to come down. Surely it would have been quicker to persuade him to jump.

The Gillingham team had to play in Orient’s away kit as their team bus was stuck in the traffic. Also, when Gillingham named their team the obligatory 1 hour before the game, 3 of the players named had not arrived at the ground. If they had failed to arrive, Gillingham would have been forced to make 3 substitutions before kick off. The crowd was 1-2000 down on expectation because of the traffic situation.

So busy doing nothing seems apt.

As for my knee, I am going to the doctor’s first thing on Thursday morning to see what they’ve got to say about it. I can hazard a guess that part of it is to rest the knee and not cycle for at least the next week. 😦

I need to spend some time trying to drum up sponsorship monies to www.firstgiving.com/peterbennett over the next few days.