Whatever you do, don’t stop

I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me. I’ve had a good run at it. I’ve given it the best that I can. I’ve made the most of every opportunity that I could.

I know, for a short time at least, all that has to stop. It was kind of inevitable.

It rains even in Mallorca sometimes.

After five days of fantastic cycling weather, and some serious climbs and distances completed, today the heavy rain has halted play. My bike is propped up in the corner of my hotel room, and I’m propped up on the bed watching highlights of the Tour of Italy.

If I’m very lucky, I’ll get through this. Maybe even as early as this afternoon, the wheels will be back on the road. Hopefully we’ll get in at least an hour or two loop before tea time.

Please excuse my flippancy.

IMG_3782The Mallorca trip is a long-planned engagement with my cycling club, and given recent changes in my health, it was not one I wanted to miss if I could avoid it. Though my finger had hovered over the Cancel Booking button more than a few times over the last few weeks.

There’s an important point here, and one which long-time readers of these pages will, I hope, understand.

I’ve always pledged that – unless absolutely necessary – my brain tumour will not keep me off the bike. Cycling is part of who I am.

The cycling is a challenge for me. It’s a proof to me of my own health. But, clearly, it’s also a diversionary tactic.

Keep looking at the road, and the brain tumour stays out of view.

Over the last week of cycling on the Balearic island, every time the forthcoming oncology treatment has come into my mind (less than three weeks away at most), I’ve forced it back.

I’ve replaced it with the views I’m seeing. The stretch of road ahead. The next challenge the masochists in the club can dream up.

Eat. Cycle. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It’s what I need.

Only a few times have I been caught off-guard. Rising into a village close to the top of a mountain on Thursday, I had a seizure. When we stopped for coffee and a bite, the surroundings, company and views came together with the seizure to remind me that – for a time at least – opportunities like this for me are likely to be limited.

Sure, that was sweat in my eyes, guys.

So the rain hammering down this morning is not a good thing. Of course I know how lucky I am to even be out here, doing what I’m doing, when so many patients and others don’t even get close to the chance.

But rain means stopping. It means staring out of the window. It means my mind wandering to places where I don’t want it to go. I want just a few more days. Just one or two more, before I allow the reality to fully kick in.

Keep looking the other way. Keep moving. Don’t stop.

I think I’ll go for a swim.


  1. Say hi to the beautiful Puerto Pollensa for me. I too havent yet cancelled my hols there. hope to treat myself to a visit there this summer, post radiotherapy. Have a great time xx

    1. Enjoy it while you can,don’t feel guilty about it. I assume your having PCV chemo? it took about 6 months for mine to start limiting what I could do. So being so fit you should get a few more gentle rides in. Good luck. I’m out the other side now you will be too…

  2. If only we could keep that rain away for you. As always your words evoke so many emotions in me as I admire your courage and determination to live your life to the fullest. Keep on peddling against the headwind Gideon. I am watching on from the sidelines. X

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