• Wildlife and Waterfalls April 4th, 2012

    “Scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” (David Livingstone)

    A tailwind aided me north from Bulawayo. It was only really noticeable as I was averaging over 20km per hour when my average speed would normally be closer to 15. Unless one has a jaw-dropping landscape to pedal through, a tailwind is perhaps the second best thing a cyclist can hope for on tour. Headwinds in monotonous landscapes are cruel mind-numbing experiences.

  • Harare and beyond March 20th, 2012

    “Having sniffed the air south of the Zambezi I felt Zimbabwe to be not a continuation of black Africa, but – both historically and emotionally – the beginning of South Africa”. (Devla Murphy)

    I’m blaming the cold shower for causing the testicular torsion. Those who have commented on my last post, and others who have written to me by e-mail, provided a convincing consensus that it was the cold water on my hot body, rather than the friction between body and saddle that led to me experiencing probably the most painful night of my life. It’s easy to blame the cycling, and an obvious conclusion to make, but why would it happen on that particular day when it could have been hundreds of others which were far harder?

  • A twist in the road March 14th, 2012

    Before the operation I wasn’t planning to write this blog post. Better to keep what had happened secret I thought – save myself the embarrassment and ridicule. As I lay on my back watching clouds passing by outside the hospital window I tried to digest what the Doctor had told me that morning. I’d never heard of this condition before. How had it had happened to me? ‘Very rare for a man your age,’ he’d said. Well that day of cycling was no different from hundreds of others on the road. No twists, turns, falls or knocks. Were all those thousands of hours I’ve spent on a saddle building up to this? I’m still puzzled as to how it happened.