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April 4, 2017

A recently finished painting for my exhibition at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

It started as a nice quiet week, no rash moments,  all events planned out – even down to the good idea to get into training for the annual Leukaemia Research  Bike-a-thon through west London.

Now called Bloodwise, the name is not really that relevant compared to the sheer imagined terror of thousands of bright red clad tee shirted riders turning the pleasant quiet roads of Richmond into an artery by a different name.

The similarity to a maelstrom of gushing red wheeled simulated blood corpuscles haemorrhaging from the venal supply routes that descend on the Royal Park is one not to confused with a grazed knee. It is more exciting than that, something akin to the finish line charge of the Tour de France.

Training for a 60 mile run usually entails regular trips out in my part of north Essex where the hills do a fair impression of the Lumps of Rome, but steeper.

Muscle building starts at the bottom of one of these hills by pausing to look up, before getting off and pushing the bike to the top.

As the number of attempts on the summit increases and the dismounting marker gradually reaches beyond the Public Bar window of the Orange Tree Pub, base camp one (BCO) re-suss station is by the traffic calming bollards. A notable maker before the lactic acid in the muscles not quivering uncontrollably, gives a tacit shove over the top.

This guide is proportional to the growing girth of Rob-Roy Quadriceps from Hell 

Walking is a lot more comfortable for no other reason than the saddle is quite small, shiny and hard after the winter layoff.

I call it my Roy Rogers syndrome for those with a long memory of his manner of dismounting from Trigger and the strange walk. back to the Bunk House.

Of course it is not like that at all, but the above description is coloured version of my last trip out when taking full advantage of the steep decline back to base camp one.

It was either a stone or pot-hole, but the gathering speed lifted the back wheel off the ground in a serious wobble that was exacerbated by right foot jamming onto ground and literally throwing bike and rider in a graceful reverse arc with an intermediate exchange of positions resulting in the rider flat on back and wearing the bike, the resulting suspected crack rib really does smart.

The spectacle was sufficient to stop two motorists who witnessed the aerial ballet to see if they could claim salvage, No, I  was grateful for their concern but the dent in my pride resembles the non geometric shape of the rear mudguard or the multi-coloured bruising on sternum, thigh, arm and chip out of the right shin. Thank goodness my machine is a Claude Butler Roadster and obviously built for wear and tear.

Movement is confined for a while and accompanied by pitiful sympathy searching groans, but no direct response yet.

The reason for all this mush is not only to raise awareness of my need to add to the already raised figure or £300 for the Leukaemia Research charity in June, but the strange painting of Salford Sid above to pass a comment about a joint art exhibition I am holding with my brilliantly talented acrylic artist friend, Zoe Clements which is in the foyer of the Queens Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. now until Saturday April 22. The foyer is open Monday to Saturdays, 10am to 8pm and free to enter.  Thank you for listening.



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