A great long ride and other updates

After Saturday’s inaugural event in Bournemouth, I had a relaxed day and mentally prepared myself for another ‘long’ cycle ride with Neil.

I had mapped out a 32 mile route that looked interesting on MapMyRun which took in Hedge End, Botley, Shedfield, Swanmore, Corhampton, Twyford, Fair Oak and then back home. The route was anti-clockwise and mostly involved left turns – a good idea when using clipless pedals.

I didn’t know about 20 miles of the route (the stretch from Botley to Twyford) having never travelled that section. Although I had considered driving the whole route, my time constraints meant it wasn’t possible. As it turns out, that was a good thing!! Had I known about all the inclines, I’d have probably not made it around the full 30+ miles!

Neil rode to my place from Chandlers Ford (about 10km) and we set off at 7am. The weather was good and the route from West End to Botley was relatively flat although quite busy with other traffic. We were riding at between 18 and 22mph and I was hoping that the route would remain flat. The reality was rather different.

Once we got to Botley, I entered virgin territory. As I didn’t know the course, I had set it up as a series of waypoints as a course in my iPhone sat nav app, Navigon. My iPhone was mounted in its Quadlock case with poncho just in case it rained. The sat nav helped a lot on getting us around the route although I’d made a couple of few mistakes which means we did take a couple of slight detours. Fortunately, I was able to rework the route on the move to get us back on track. The only negative was that the iPhone battery was almost flat at the end of the trip.

The last long ride we did was certainly challenging but it transpired that it was playful in comparison to this route. It was hilly. Very hilly!! I’m certainly not good on hills and my speed dropped to 5-6mph on several occasions.

As we reached Fair Oak, the drizzle started. It was quite refreshing and again, I didn’t complain too much.

Neil headed for home once we got back to West End and I headed back home. I got in the bath to defrost and also chill for a bit before having a shower.

Another enjoyable and challenging long ride. I need to get more long rides in but have a few Sunday mornings filled up with other commitments so will need to look at other options.

In other news, midweek I had my second doctors appointment from my urinary problem. I have to say that the doctor really wasn’t very good. It was clear that she hasn’t read the notes so I had to go over everything. She then suggested that I have an appointment with a specialist (a urologist) to help improve my bladder control. It seemed that the doctor thought I had forgotten how to control my bladder. Excuse me!!

She did a dip test and it came back clear so no diabetes or other obvious issues.

As I was leaving, I asked whether the urologist would give me a PSA test. The doc had previously said that prostate cancer was very unlikely as I was ‘well under 50’. However, she then started asking other questions and decided based on my answers that maybe a PSA test would be a good idea after all.

I have to wait a couple of weeks for the test. The main disappointment with the doctor though was the fact that she didn’t go into any details of the things that can lead to the test results being inaccurate. For example, if you google PSA test you’ll easy find the following recommendations:

– don’t undertake rigorous physical activity within 48 hours prior to the test
– don’t have sexual intercourse within 48 hours prior to the test

These activities can give a false positive result for the test indicating a possibility of prostate cancer and therefore the potential need for a biopsy.

In reality, the physical activity one is the main concern. I could easily have gone out for a ride, cycle ride or swim (or all of the above) within a day or two prior to the test. There is also plenty of suggestions that you should avoid cycling in the lead up to the test.

To ensure I don’t get a false positive result, I won’t be cycling for 4-5 days before the test but will have short runs.

My symptoms had reduced quite a lot during the week but returned again on Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t really pinpoint much of a pattern as I hadn’t cycled for a couple of days and had used my prostate-friendly saddle. However, on Saturday I had drunk 3 coffees (an Americano, a ‘cappuccino’ and a Latte). There’s a possibility that the symptoms are caused by caffeine irritating my bowel (not that the docs have mentioned this!) so I’ve gone cold turkey again. Again, the symptoms have reduced gradually over the last couple of days. Fingers crossed.

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