Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturday 13th March - Holesworthy by Noon

Travelling agian, this time towards the RSPB reserve at Isley Marsh near Bideford, Devon. I must start by saying a huge thank you to Malcolm and Sylvia from Launceston. They rescued me when on Thursday I cycled from Bodmin along the A30 despite tremendous pain in the lower back. Heat pads and voltorol tablets helped but more so did the roll of a towel under the back as I lay on a bed. Thursday, well as well as the back the back brake lock had gone, disappeared as the pin had come out. To Halfords and a meeting with the wonderful specialist, Robin who fixed that and then was good enough to come 6 miles from Bodmin to help when the chain had broken as I cycled towards Colliford Lake. Another attempt to see the black duck, in vain unfortunately. Did see the lesser scaup again but this time on a nearby smaller lake whose name I can't remember but it begins with D!

Wednesday had been spent trying to get my back back in shape in Bodmin. Boots the Chemmists for advice and a library visit to take my mind off the panic of the pain.

Friday, a visit into Launceston for cycle repairs at the superb Launceston Cyles with Nigel giving much needed advice over cycle repair and usage. Too much oil so gear replacement and chain. Tried to see the castle but closed until April. In the church of St Mary Magdeline looked at each memorial stone and particularly the one about the Lawrences. Mum and Dad died around the age of 40 but their 4 children didn't reach that age; 2 died as infants with no age specified and the other two around the age of 20 each. Sad.

Bought a book in the Oxfam bookshop; Bill Oddie's Gripping Yarns.

Malcolm and Sylvia were great company and together we watched the Birds of paradise Natural World programme, followed by the same about Scottish wildlife. Midges, look forward to those this summer!

No I've cycled to holeworthy. The back is not good but must keep on schedule. Any advice for lower back pain? Dr Crutch has texted details of doing the 'cobra' and any other things that people do to get rid of the problem would be appreciated.

As usual please consider donating to any of the charities that I am doing all this for - the RSPB, Asthma UK and the WWT. Details on my website

All the best everyone.



  1. Hi Mate,

    Pool beginnming with D is Dozmary Pool. Do you have a Facebook page? A Gary Brian Prescott has appeared on Lou's facebook page - wondered if it was you?

    Cheers Mike

  2. Next time your in accom Gary - ice pack. Cant be beaten. A bag of frozen peas will suffice. Lay there for 30 mins or so before going to sleep with the bag. Never fails with me.

  3. Hi Gary,

    I had a bout of lower back trouble from cycling too - what you really need is to see a Chiropractor. It might cost £30 but you'll reap the rewards if you get rid of pain!

    Then also get the Chiro to give you exercises to loosen / strengthen the affected area. In my case these were core exercises - following which I now rarely have issues.

    Good luck with the quest & happy birding - it makes gripping reading!



  4. Hi Gary - try altering the position on the bike slightly - ie raise or lower the saddle - you may be stretched out too much for example. If you're near a cycle shop next see if they can check your position on the bike. Good luck!

  5. You're all wonderful - thanks for the advice.