Pedalus Interruptus

Aboard the Stena ferry to Hook of Holland

Sadly, sadly, dear friends, followers and supporters,  the feared flare of neck and nerves happened in Holland, and I’m afraid to have to report that today Tuesday I am  back home in Cirencester, having been retrieved from the Harwich ferry this morning by my lovely Sue.

As you can see from the pictures, I did make it onto and off the boat and into Holland with, of course,  its  cliched windmills.

But by just a few miles beyond Hook of Holland on Easter Day, on just day five of the journey, it became clear that I’m not at the moment well enough to undertake a long ride so long-prepared and looked-forward-to.

Curiously, the actual cycling – a hugely enjoyable 240 miles by the time I called a halt – wasn’t a problem. But not cycling was, and one can only pedal for six or seven hours a day…

Quite what set things off I can’t be totally sure. But after a year of knee and prostate operations, shin injury and attendant carpet-bombing with anaesthetics and antibiotics – topped off, of course, with more travel inoculations in one go than I ever had as a BBC correspondent – I just have to note that my poor old nervous system, already compromised by that pinched nerve in Dublin in 2010, quietly tipped over the edge.

Still, all is not lost. As a dear friend in The Hague with whom I crashed for 36 hours (thank you so much) has just texted, let’s view this as a postponement and not a cancellation.

For the moment, therefore, and with the warmest of thanks to all you have followed and donated to this adventure, this blog will go apologetically quiet for a while as I withdraw to rest and lick my wounds.

And once the last horrendous dental antibiotic (course completed only two days ago) has worn off, let’s hope the nerves will settle again, and I can next month resume the journey at least to Moscow, before I meet Sue in Hanoi in August for our then shared two months backpacking onwards round the world sans bike.

I’ll keep you posted.

10 responses to “Pedalus Interruptus”

  1. Mark, we’re so sorry your body said ‘no’! We look forward to your health improving and your aims being fulfilled.


  2. Awwch yup that sounds a painful collision of medical interventions Mark, wishing you a very speedy recovery so you can keep up your increased fitness levels for the next trip. In the meantime, may the April showers bring plenty of nerve soothing and that the emotional soreness eases as your nervous system settles and your neck regains its calm demeanour once more!

    I know you’ve found physio really helpful, and if you need to add some nerve-soothing craniosacral to the mix (and if london is too far) i’ve discovered a little gang of craniosacral therapists near you and would be happy to recommend.

    Love to you, Vx


    • Thanks Viola – a lovely thought, and I’ll bear that in mind. For the moment, R&R and not too much keyboard bashing, methinks.. Canal boat with Sue for a week from Friday, cooling off after the drama of the past weeks. Keep in touch and love to you too. x


  3. Markushka, think that you are happy it happened now in Holland and not in the middle of nowhere in Russia. It would be more difficult to Sue to retrieve you from there :-).
    I wish you quick ad complete healing of your nerves and continuation of what you dreamed of.


    • Thanks Ilyusha – you’re so right about being in a good place from which to return. Now home in Cirencester, I’m feeling a lot safer and better, and hopeful of setting off again next month to do the journey at least to Moscow. I’ve got the visas and the inoculations after all, and if the nerves allow… I might just blog a little less if I do. Typing isn’t good for the neck nerves, and probably part of the reason, after a lifetime of bashing keyboards, for the injury in the first place. I’ll keep you all posted, whichever way. Serdechno…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: