Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

back on the bike + electricity.....!

Yesterday was an important milestone in my recovery from slipping on black ice on 2nd January 2018 as it was the first time I had seriously ventured out on a bike since the accident.  After getting rid of the brace on 11th April I had gingerly tried a few revolutions on the bike but while it was possible it was clear that this was towards the limit of movement and that I should be very careful.

I am delighted that nearly a month on from being able to discard the brace and my discharge I was able to ride my Scott mountain bike a couple of times around Crystal Palace Park and cope with its hilly terrain while cycle shoes with cleats. Previously I had been wary about relying on getting my foot out of the pedal.

Malcolm Nicol consultant @Raigmore Hospital, Inverness

I continue to be very grateful to the excellent care I received from NHS Scotland – this is a real good news story. I am particularly grateful to the surgeon – Malcolm Nicol – and his team who did such a brilliant job reattaching my quads to my knee. It is also a testimony to the healing powers of the human body. I don't think I really ever thought that I wouldn't be able to ride a bike again but it is a wonderful feeling when you are actually able to do so. There is still a way to go before my leg and knee are fully back to normal but I can see real progress.

I have long been a fan of the Good Captain Beefheart, which includes the track Electricity. This classic composition came to mind as I stormed up an assortment of hills around Forest Hill, Sydenham Crystal Palace and Anerley, while test riding the Giant Road-E+ 2 Pro Electric Road Bike.

Giant Road-E+ 2 Pro Electric Road Bike
I have to say that riding an e-bike is a revelation, especially going up hills. With very little effort you sail up them barely breaking sweat. Initially it had seemed so easy that I forgot to change down gears, so wondered by I was struggling on the less steep ascent of Canonbie Road. I realised later that I had gone up this brute of a slope on the big chainring and in one of the higher gears.

Ian Uddin, the general manager at Cadence Performance (Crystal Palace), had stressed that when going up hills it was more effective not to pedal hard instead let the motor do the work for you. Having remembered that I ought to change down for the steepest hills I flew up Anerley Hill at 23.5 kms an hour! Startlingly quick – watch out Quintana!

You are, of course, still exercising by turning the pedals but you are no longer gasping for breath and asking why you are still subjecting yourself to this sort of strain and torture......   

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