My best friend has just come back from Africa and I was excited to catch up with her. But I also wanted to go riding on my new wheels. So what better than to meet up for a picnic. I left home at about 11:30am to ride the 35km to our picnic destination. It was definitely too late for me because my secondary polycythemia has been causing me problems: dizziness, occasional blurred vision in my left eye and fatigue. While I always feel great while riding, I struggle at night after a day in the sun. I never used to but my haemoglobin count has been high since November and I’ve already had three bags of blood removed in the past seven weeks, and am going to the doctor tomorrow to see whether I need another bag taken out. Trouble is that lying around the house feeling sorry for myself makes me feel worse than going out to ride does. At least I’m happy when I’m riding (especially when I combine riding with ice cream).
I rode up the South-East Freeway bikeway to Toohey Forest. Despite the forest being adjacent to the university I attend, I’ve never actually been there before. It’s fantastic. There’s a variety of bush that is typical of Brisbane but, what makes Toohey Forest special are the boulder fields. No wonder it’s so popular with climbers looking to hone their skills without the hassle of ropes. The ride through Toohey Forest was probably only about 3km of the 35km ride to the picnic but it was definitely the nicest.
Between us, my friend and I brought enough food to feed a small army. That’s one of the best things about this bike combined with my Bike Bag Dude kit: I can carry spare clothes and food to picnics. (Of course, it will be brilliant for camping but it’s also brilliant for picnics). We talked and talked. She told me about her recent ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro while I went on and on about my new bike. She’s not a cyclist but told me that my bike made her just want to get on and ride. That’s exactly how I feel.
I don’t quite know how to tie this picture into my story except to say that the bees must be thirsty and it was really cool watching them drinking out of the water fountain. There was a whole swarm of them. But they were kind and shared their water without stinging us. Bees are quite endangered here in Australia because mass pesticide spraying is killing them off, so I am glad they have access to water and hope the council never tries to poison them in the name of “safety”. Without bees, we don’t have flowers, fruit or vegetables and these bees weren’t aggressive.
I rode 71km (44 miles) today. I enjoyed every minute of it. Tomorrow I’ll make an appointment to see the doc again about the secondary polycythemia and the pain I’ve had in my calf for over 10 months that isn’t going away with physical therapy, stretching or ice. Time to investigate whether it’s vascular and related to my high haemoglobin count.