Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The egregious case notes of London cyclists

Er, title means what?

Well, there's three main threads to this week's post, and I decided to combine them in the title so that I don't forget them....

Egregious won't take long....it seems to be le mot de choix at the moment, that's all. I think someone at the Leveson Inquiry used it a few weeks ago, and there seems to have been a rash of public figures using it since then. I haven't heard it at work yet though, but that's possibly not surprising - one of the benefits of the new job is that I seem to have moved into a largely jargon-free zone. That's what happens when the people you work with both have brains and are allowed to use them.

Case notes - I'm begging your indulgence again with this one, but I got my X-ray results last week. Mixed news. Pleasingly, there doesn't seem to be anything too dramatic wrong with the back, at least in the sense there's no immediate need to consider surgery; the sciatica seems to be calming down nicely. A slightly revised diet, exercises to open up the sciatic nerve, and a better posture at work seem to be combining to produce gradual improvement. The hip, however, is different. There's evidence apparently of cartilage damage caused by the ball and socket not rubbing together properly. It's a condition known as femoroacetabular impingement. The physio puts it down to the volume of sport I've done over the years. It's quite common, it's associated with low back pain too, but it's treatable. I'm seeing the physio again on 22nd June to decide where we go from here. In the meantime the advice remains the same; moderate running, minimal cycling.

London cyclists - I spent quite a lot of time in central London last week, and the weather was so glorious I decided to walk between Euston and Aldwych, both ways on two separate days. It gave me a good opportunity to look at lots of things you certainly don't see if you're Underground, and not that likely to see from a bus, but the thing that occupied me the most was the cycling. It's insane! I think of myself as a pretty confident cyclist, but I think I'd hesitate before cycling regularly in London. It's not the motorised vehicles, though they can be a bit unpredictable; I'm used to that. It's the other cyclists - I could go on, but I won't. I'll just say that what did amuse was the fact that cycling seems like a drag race from one set of traffic lights to the next, but with the added complications of a) you don't have to go in a straight line - in fact weaving about is de rigeur, and b) you're never too sure whether your competitors are actually going to stop at the next red light. Did you know that in London 16 cyclists died on the roads in 2011, whilst in Paris the figure was zero? I think that's what's know as statistically significant, and if I were Boris I think I'd be having a look at what I could do about it, as I don't believe that Londoners are either significantly worse bike riders or car drivers than Parisians.

Off to France for 4 days over the long weekend with wife and t'youngest, so next post will probably be mid-week next week. A bientot.

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