Everything needs an introduction. Otherwise there is no sense of place. So what is this blog all about? Well, like all blogs are, or should be, it’s personal. The dominant subjects are the two big things in my life. Multiple Sclerosis and bikes. And some other things.
I was provisionally diagnosed on August 23rd, 2013. After a year of testing and uncertainty, the diagnosis was finalised. Primary Progressive MS.
Since then the focus has been on keeping the progression as slow as possible. A simple target that seems to dominate a lot of my life. It has dictated the rhythm of how I lead my life and has impacted what I do and don’t do. I still say I am lucky.
Sorry, what’s that?
Yes…. lucky…. I have had a progressive disease for nearly 10 years. There has been impact. But I am still mobile, active and doing the best with what I have which is more than what I thought I would have when I was diagnosed. There will be plenty in the blog about MS and it’s impact and I will not pretend to be a positive machine every day of the week. The luck comes in through the people around me, from medical support to friends and family to a very supportive employer to something as random as my bike shop! The impact can be worse and I revel in the luck that I have had to make the most of the life that I have.
That’s at least partly where the bikes come in.
Let’s get something straight, right from the off. This is not the blog for you if you want to learn how how to set up your Shimano gear optimally to ensure the perfect climb on a range of gradients. In fact, a cycling nerd is probably reading that and thinking ‘What did he write?’ There are much better pages out there written by people who know what they are talking about.
What you are going to find here is more about that feeling cycling gives me. Freedom, a sense of achievement, a very important channel to stay as fit as I can. The feeling of utter achievement when a mountain is climbed, when you look down and think ‘I did that!’ That first beer after completing a long, challenging course like Liege-Bastogne-Liege or the Amstel Gold Race. That moment when you look up and see something that you will never see again.
Come here for feelings. I try to put them in to words.
This blog started out quite a few years ago. Food was the main subject. Ten years and a lot of kilos ago. I still love food and cooking. I love wine and even have a qualification though I have forgotten most of it! It’s great to talk about wine but….. I avoid wine bores! Music is massive for me and, despite the challenges, I still go to concerts. I just stay close to the exit as I often need a break! Travel is great! All of these things will crop up sometimes. Not in an organised or knowledgable way. Just when I think it is nice to write about.
The Target of this Blog
There isn’t one! In a world of targeted blogs with a mission, this is just a personal ramble. A blog is meant to be personal, right? There is nothing being sold, no book or amazing treatment and no attempt to get a free bike through sponsorship….. although if there is one handy I won’t say no! Trek Madone? Pinarello Dogma?
It’s simple. I like writing. If you like what I write, that’s fine! If you don’t? No hard feelings.
A lot is already written above. Besides that? Well, my name is Steve. English born but living in the Netherlands since 1998 and Dutch since earlier this year. My wife is Dutch. We have been together since meeting at university in France, way back in 1995. Actually been living longer in Holland than Britain now, bit of a landmark! I work for an American Multinational providing network equipment and solutions. Juniper Networks. As per above, a very supportive employer. Blew all of my stereotypes of American employers. I have worked a few roles, most recently running a Graduate Programme. Rewarding! A lot of bright young people from so many backgrounds. I won’t blog about work but I will say that it has made my world bigger and I am grateful for that.
So there it is. A little bit of background, something to frame the ramble that is this blog.
As for the question that starts this page. What is this blog actually all about? Well…… If you can tell me, that will be nice! Otherwise, just take a look. May be you will find something you like.