Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Monday, 24 February 2014

Saturday 22 February 2014 – A Therapeutic Bike Ride

2202crocus2

I was planning to take part in the 5 km Parkrun at Wythenshawe today, but a visit to a friendly physiotherapist left me concluding that running would be unwise. It transpires that the ‘muscle problem’ from which I’ve been suffering for the past few months may be a form of sciatica (as per my original self diagnosis), with referred muscular pain. Spondylosis ‘is quite prevalent among older runners’ I’m told, and the process starts when, as a result of wear and tear on the spine, the discs lose some of their fluid and compress, the side effects from which can result in the space for the nerves becoming smaller. The result of impact activities like running can then put pressure on the nerves resulting in leg pain.

So I need to be careful about running, and it wasn’t advised after treatment from the physio.

Before I could change my mind, I volunteered to marshal at the Parkrun, only to discover that it had been cancelled for the second week running due to tree debris on the course following last week’s blustery weather.

Cycling is lower impact, but off road it’s muddy at present, and I dislike cycling on roads. So it’s not a particularly convenient way of exercising compared with popping out for a short jog. But a cobbled together route from home involving surfaced towpaths, the Trans Pennine Way cycle route, and an assortment of quiet roads, did the trick, although the bike did need to be hosed down afterwards.

It was 27 km, with minimal ascent, as below. A perfectly acceptable route given the constraint that it started from home, and a most pleasant morning on which to enjoy the bike ride.

2200route

The short ‘there and back’ to the Swan with Two Nicks (at the bottom left of the route) did involve a very muddy section of towpath, but was included in order to visit a crocus field, pictured above, just near the pub. It’s a field that we failed to notice when we passed it on Thursday, densely packed with an assortment of crocuses that have all blossomed at the same time. Well worth the visit. Thanks go to Merian for alerting me to this picturesque corner of Little Bollington.

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