Isle of Harris.
I think it's hard for most of you to appreciate the joy I had riding my bicycle round the Isle of Harris yesterday with Eve on our old mountain bikes.
When I was a kid I used to race bikes - a lot. It was my life really. Raced the track beginning at Cardiff Maindy Stadium and had a great time and a little success. Skipping forward a bit, and later in life I ended up as head coach at the Manchester Velodrome and worked with some of the best track cyclists in the world as well as some of the worst! I'm proud to have some fine friends who are top cyclists and coaches. My lovely and wonderful Eve won her World Title on the track during that time. Aileen McGlynn OBE and Ellen Hunter OBE who ride tandem together got gold medals at Athens and Bejing. Graeme Obree, the wonderful hour-record breaker whose uncle was a policeman in Tarbert, Harris at some time [and I worked with Johnny Lee Miller in preparation to the making of the excellent film about Graeme - The Flying Scotsman]. Michael Hutchinson who attempted the hour record and who wrote a fine and funny book based on the experience where I feature somewhat ! And not forgetting Sir Chis Hoy of Hoy and Princess Victoria Pendleton MBE the latter who did a fine job hoovering my stairs one day. Goodness knows why but she did! For 10 years during that period I ate, slept and drank cycling coaching, running race meets and a very successful sponsored track cycling club, the latter with the great Graham Wilman. All the time getting unwell as CFS or ME got to me. For the last 5 years or so of that period I could not ride a bike at all. I ended up having to work part-time then resigning and coming to the wonderful Isle of Lewis to get well.
And now, after some ups and downs, a lot of meditation I learnt at the Manchester Buddhist Centre, and using NLP learnt [again] from a fine chap in Newport I find myself back on the bike.
And what a day we had cycling down the Golden Road in the cool sunshine. It was without doubt the best days cycling I have had in years. And years.
And now I remember what a sore backside feels like :-)
Just must also mention again my dear Eve who has supported me so much during this difficult time. I can't thank her enough.