Posted by: Rowland | November 23, 2008

The value of cycling for me


Some while ago I changed my homepage from this blog to the BBC news page. Clearly the lack of blog entries since then implies ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and so I have changed things back in the hope that I will be a more diligent writer. Of course a blog requires quite a bit more thought than a private journal. The keeping of the latter has become quite a settled habit, but then all sorts of personal stuff and thoughts from life situations are included freely for they are not for publication, more for my own records.

On a personal note my last visit to the Cardiologist in June detected a rise in blood pressure and apparently since my heart operation 4 years ago my weight has crept up. His words were “You were snatched from the jaws of death then – don’t go back there! Lose 20 lbs before my next appointment (December).” The concerning weight in June was 185lbs. Today the reading was 159 lbs so the target has been more than reached with a month to spare. Basically we have reduced our carbohydrate intake (Vicki has joined in the process too), drunk more water and been more diligent still over exercise (the excuse for the biking interest being revived as shown in these pages). It is no longer an indulgence but a necessity. Interestingly a groin injury has curtailed my brisk walking/jogging in the last month and so I have attempted to replace it with cycling, but not yet settled into a rhythm with that yet. The weight loss during this period diminished too and although the 20lb reduction has been achieved I know there is no room for complacency and indeed scope for further improvement.

Without being too spiritual about it I’m combining the cycling with prayer – a version of  David Hansen’s ‘Long Wandering Prayer’. I find being outside far more conducive to imaginative prayer. I’m gradually extending the range of my rides from a local 5 or 10 mile ‘circuit’ to further afield. It was wonderful yesterday to be cycling to St George as the sun was coming up over the horizon creating an amazing blue and red sky pattern while being surrounded by myriads of tiny flies in their turn being attacked by hordes of dragonflies. My arrival at the early morning Brighton Farmers Market created some interest in the unusual bike and I achieved my objective coming away with 3 special loaves of bread made with reduced sugar and wonderful varieties of seeds, and having had several fascinating conversations. It was wonderful to meet a lady who had attended Vicki’s first Alpha course for parents at a local school and been so blessed that now she is just about to launch the course for the benefit of all the  clergy and nuns and other Roman Catholic ‘movers & shakers’ in the island. And all this on a bike ride before breakfast!

Vicki came out on her bike today but we left it a bit late and the sun was already well up and after a comparively short distance (she has done further before) she felt quite faint and we had to stop to recover and then return – some lessons being learnt about adequate ‘fuel supplies’ being necessary lest we incur the fate of “mad dogs of Englishmen going out in the mid-day sun”. Interestingly several drivers stopped to make sure we were OK, propped up against a wall in the country – but we made it home eventually ‘under our own steam’. Cycling in the tropics, especially if you are not so fit, is something else.

(Doctor pretty confident Vicki’s experience due to inadequate sugar/energy/carbohydrate supply revealed by exercise in hot sun – she has lost 22lbs through a low-carb diet and didn’t anticipate this effect. Began to feel immediately better after just one fruit juice drink and was treated to a meal out today to add a few more reserves!)

Where to tomorrow? The above image is a favourite prayerful destination. This is the property we should like to acquire for a place of prayer. I pray there when I can.


  1. I’m glad that you’ve changed the homepage back… how much better to see what cobwebs are spinning in ur brain? 😛

    Much easier to update ur blog that way. 🙂

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