That, up there, is my 9th donation, which means in 16 weeks time (or thereabouts) I will have earned my first badge. That’s not why I came here, I should add, it’s only the gamer in me that craves these trinkets: a physical reminder of what has been given in return for that elusive, ephemeral piece of beauty. Potentially, that’s 30 lives saved.

That’s why we have to keep going forward.

I am tired. It is a peculiar combination of mental exhaustion from the last week, plus the fatigue hit I always get post-donation. Today, therefore, is rest, unless energy returns today for a late walk. As I sit here, attempting to find the braincells required to make it through to teatime, I realise just how little I truly know about the world.

However prepared you think you are for trauma, it’s never enough. Last night, at donation, I asked my phlebotomist when she really grasped that the World had changed: she told me about the meeting where all the staff were told that if they or any of their family had underlying health issues, it was time they went home and stayed there.

However much you think you’re ready, a part of you never is.

A lot of people this morning are waking up to the reality that their life isn’t nearly as simple as it was yesterday, last week, last month, 2019… it doesn’t matter. Knowledge is the key to all of this, like it or not. Even if you spend an entire lifetime pretending you’ve got life sussed, death will change all of that. This is the inevitability of mortality. You don’t get to win at everything.

When the people you idolised and adored let you down, and some always will, it is not your fault. You are a product of your heroes, they will all mould and shape you in different ways, and if you choose not to learn from their mistakes, that is also your choice. However, watching famous people look like idiots is the game we all play on Twitter, every day. Judgment’s almost encouraged now, because otherwise you can’t be seen to have publicly learnt the lesson they haven’t.

Kindness is easily forgotten in the clamour to stay relevant.

This is what we are now: bouncing from one moment to another, largely uncaring of the bigger consequences as long as our own outrage/sympathy/empathy is assuaged. On National Empathy Day, using Twitter as a way to elicit sympathy is not a good look. We see you, white people. Don’t do that. It was never a smart idea before.

Look to yourselves before you start criticising anybody else.

Tour de France

If you zoom in on that snap above, you’ll see the date on my acknowledgement is 2017. The organisers were giving out last year’s certificates at the finish. I think that’s a pretty decent metaphor for my entire experience, on reflection: slightly behind the times, and not really relevant as a result. I’d like to petition to take the word ‘fun’ out of that picture, as that was officially the only time a smile happened all day.

Let’s examine what we learnt.

I have a LONG Way to Go


My stamina is not nearly what it ought to be. I completely failed at hydrating properly. I can’t feel the last two fingers and side of my left hand and if that’s still the case tomorrow, I will pop in and grab a Physio. There wasn’t enough work beforehand at mentally preparing myself and, as a result, I suffered. REALLY suffered. Miles 35-45 were what Hell would look and feel like for me, where I was forced to go up a series of small, innocuous hills over and again, with no chance to rest. There was also, crucially, absolutely no point at which I was enjoying myself.

A LOT has got Better


No, REALLY, before you start telling me this is all negativity, the positives were there. The only time I stopped was to drink and eat, which with practice will happen on the bike. No hills had to be walked through, which is a quantum leap forward. My lungs are undoubtedly better, the ability to change gear and push through pain is there, and overall, considering how I feel this morning, this is undoubtedly the fittest I have ever been. Lessons have been learnt too over fuelling and sugar intake, which will go forward to Ride London on Sunday.

Essex is a Fucking Grumpy County Guv’nor AND NO MISTAKE


BOY I’d not want to ride a bike on an Essex road at ANY time in the future. If there is one thing that has totally and utterly put me off ever doing this ride again it will be the motorists, who at no point seemed to care or be considerate of cyclists. If we aim to get the planet greener, I doubt Essex is going to take part in that, especially if yesterday’s ‘one twat per convertible’ headcount was any indicator. Special snacks have to be given to those who shouted at the organised bike riders to fuck off home, you da real MVP’s ^^

Cycling Elitism is Alive and Well


There was a distinct gulf yesterday between the ‘turned up in casual clothes and a BMX’ crew and the hardcore, carbon fibre teams. The latter were either groups riding under an organisation’s banner (British Heart Foundation were strongly represented) or doing it for a family member. Needless to say, I didn’t see a single other Mind shirt. It was also abundantly obvious who was doing it for a decent overall time and who was there to do some good. I appreciate the fact there were people prepared to chat, but they were few and far between.

Sitting here this morning, it all feels like it was a bad dream. However, when I look at the stats, it definitely happened:

I was going to train today, but the sensible thing for everybody is to take a day, do 36 press-ups at some point and go back to the treadmill tomorrow. I won’t massively improve my situation for Sunday in a week, but I can better plan hydration and food to cope with the distance. Having conclusively proved that carb-packing has no appreciable benefit to my system? Time to eat well and remove the sugar again until I’m actually on a bike.

Also, once the Holidays are over, it is time to see a doctor.


I’d like to moan this morning about the Menopause, if I may.


I’d like a DECENT NIGHT’S sleep, please.

I am either far too hot or enormously cold at present, and if those hot spells correspond with me being in bed? I just can’t get comfortable. Most nights this is work-aroundable, but as currently, I have a back issue I’d like to heal, some quality kip would be quite beneficial. Except NOPE you can’t have that. Also, the means by which I make myself sleep in situations like this has begun making me hotter and has therefore ceased to be beneficial, which just makes things worse. Mostly, I’d just like this to stop.


All the Sugar or NONE AT ALL.

Being healthy is becoming REALLY tough when all my body is doing currently is holding water and encouraging me to eat all the sugary shit, ALL THE DAMN TIME. It’s like that point in my menstruation cycle (back in the glorious days WHEN I HAD ONE) when body would point out that if I didn’t eat that bar of chocolate in the fridge, people would get hurt. Nobody ever did of course, because that was why the chocolate was there in the first place. Now, I’d like this to stop too because I don’t want to eat any of this at all.



I know this is a hugely self-indulgent, self-centred rant. BUT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE I have had enough of this, and it could be going on for YEARS yet.

Please, just make it stop.