Well a lot has happened since the last update in April 2019, the main things being a crash with life-changing injuries and a global pandemic.

So in chronological order, there was a road traffic collision in July 2019 between a car (knobhead) and a motorcycle (me) which ended up costing me two fingers on my left hand and a lifetime of pain. The main injuries are outlined in this blog post, but it meant that after I left hospital and started walking again, I couldn’t grip a handlebar, so motorbikes and pushbikes weren’t on the agenda for a year or two.

Whilst I was recuperating and working full time, COVID-19 came along and we ended up working from home.  Given the Brompton was intended mainly for my commute, cycling up and down the stairs between my bed and my desk wasn’t really an option, and so it languished in the garage.

We were intending to buy a villa in Corralejo, Fuerteventura and live there for part of the year but that gift that keeps giving – Brexit – got in the way, so we can only spend 90 out of every 180 days (on a rolling basis) in the Schengen Area and we didn’t get residency due to COVID-19 lockdowns – Spanish and British – stopping us from being able to prove residency to the satisfaction of the Spanish Government (what a wonderful Catch 22 situation).

So we are renting the villa on a ‘rent to buy’ basis and I thought the Brompton would be great to nip to the shops on, so bought a padded travel bag to fly it across. We then decided two things: we would actually hire a car for the full duration of our stays; and that we would both need a bike, so a couple of mountain bikes were bought and that’s what I’m using out here at the moment, racking up 208km so far at the time of writing.

The Brompton remains in the garage…

We are buying a house in Surrey now, near to a railway station, so you never know: I might possibly use it when/if I have to go into London for work. If not, then it may be up for sale…

Back in June 2022, I was walking for fitness but was having a lot of pain in my bad knee, the one that I’d seen a consultant about back in 2012 who said I should stop running … before I ran the Berlin Marathon and a couple of half-marathons.

I had been recommended cycling, so was trying to introduce more of this into my training and then went to the USA in early June to do the Pacific Coast Highway. While we were there, I tried a Peloton fitness bike in a really expensive hotel we stayed at in Big Sur and started looking into buying one, just before seeing my consultant again.

He again recommended some weight loss and half an hour every day on a bicycle, with a recommendation for a cheap static bike.  That got me into finally using Apple Fitness+ and 30 minute rides.

So, here are my stats for June 2022.

June 2022 Stats

This morning I went for my first attempt at running since last October.

My Garmin fēnix 7S records or interpolates from the stride data/cadence when you’re running and when you’re walking which is useful.

In other blog news, I’ve long been sharing my Garmin Connect activities with Strava, so in the absence of ‘proper’ integration with Garmin Connect, I’ve added Strava’s activities list over there in the margin and a separate page up there at the top.

I’ve been using a Garmin fēnix 3 Sapphire for quite a while now; it’s a big, chunky lump of a fitness watch but then it is feature-packed and suitable for many forms of exercise.  I also have an Apple Watch Series 4 which works really well, but doesn’t measure blood oxygen levels like my wife’s latest one does.

I pair it with a heart rate monitor that clips to a strap you wear around your chest and then shower and dry it after exercising. We bought my wife a Garmin Forerunner 735XT a few years back and that has heart rate measuring built in (like the Apple Watch).

Now that we’re splitting our time between the UK and Fuerteventura I’m having to cart the Garmin back and forth, so I decided to leave it there where I work out more and use the Apple Watch in the UK. That’s not perfect because I then have to manually add each one to Garmin Connect.

So for my 60th birthday, Alison has bought me the new Garmin fēnix 7S, choosing the smaller S model so it’s not as chunky and large, especially as it encourages you to wear it 24/7 to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep tracking, etc.  It’s early days yet but the results are fascinating. I expect over the next few weeks it should get to know me properly and calibrate all its reports around me.

Garmin fēnix 7S

I’ve had a quick read of my running blog and I mention – but only in passing – the crash I had back in July 2019 that left me with “life-changing injuries”.

Since that other blog post with most of the details, I’ve had the rest of my little finger amputated (in December 2020) and I’m left with constant pain and a sufficient degree of disability to have qualified for a “blue badge” here in the UK.  Part of the pain management has been for us to move for part of the year out to Corralejo on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco with its low rainfall and warm temperatures all year round, which definitely helps reduce the pain in my hand and pelvis.

It also means that I am more able to go for walks and cycle rides to try to loosen up my joints, lose weight (to lessen the duty on my pelvis/hips) and to work on my ‘wellness’ generally.

The aim is still to try to run but I try to avoid painkillers and running piles that pain on! So it’s a slow and steady race to reduce weight for less strain on my joints – my consultant years ago told me to avoid running because of my knee gradually wearing out – by exercising and eating healthily, especially as I hit 60 years old this year.

So the Nine Streets turned over the 100km mark since buying it on my way home from work last night.

Very impressed with it so far and loving all the extra quality touches like the decent light set, the mudguards and of course the fabulous paint job.

There’s also something very satisfying about being first away from the lights compared to all the other bikes: something to do with the lack of inertia on the small wheels.

I carry my suit in the Henty Wingman and wear one of my running jackets – currently a Virgin London Marathon training jacket – and on my legs, it’s a pair of “Gore Wear C5 Windstopper 2 in 1 Trail Pants“. These are water resistant as they’re from Gore and very comfortable.

Intriguingly, they say they are:

“A lightweight and windproof 2in1 pant that can be converted between trail-ready baggy shorts or a full length pant when the weather takes a turn for the worse.”

Except I can’t find a way of actually converting them to shorts, other than by – presumably – cutting the bottom bits off or rolling the legs up inside or outside.

I’ve asked on their Facebook page: let’s see if we get a response.

Lots of travel – business and pleasure, but mainly business – has curtailed my being in the office on days when cycling in and home could be an option.

Since the last update, Evans Cycles have indeed replaced the Wingman’s dry bag under warranty – which was nice – and I’ve been ‘forced’ by others using the various hotel gym’s treadmills to do some cycling (both recumbent and upright) whilst waiting for the treadmills to be freed up to do some running.

I’ve also picked up a slow puncture in the front tyre which means that I have to pump it up every few days; maybe this weekend I might find time to repair/replace the inner tube?

In the meantime, here’s today’s commutes: