I have been absent from science20.com for some time due to illness. I apologize for not reponding to the many comments and emails I have received in my absence.
I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure last year - a worrying state of affairs linked to high cholesterol levels. I have attacked the problem with diet change and exercise to supplement the effect of the medicines. I used to indulge in the sport of cycle racing, so the need for exercise naturally led me to think of buying a bike. My first recent bike was a battery-assisted 'shopper', which got my 'legs' back but was disappointingly slow. Driven by the 'need for speed' I bought a second-user mountain bike, serviced it and put on a new rear derraileur for a total outlay of less than GBP 50. This compares very favorably with the cost of renting a bike - GBP 51 per day for a Boris Bike in London! Of course - as a climate activist I should perhaps have rented a bike from Barclays Bank to help them save the planet from greedy corporations and bureaucrats.
I am still nowhere near as fit as I would like to be, but each day on the bike I find some hills easier to climb than before. But the hardest hill to climb has been the mental barrier between me and my writing - in a word: depression. The recent warm sunny weather has helped - last year I could hardly walk a mile without getting extremely fatigued. Now, I find that a 5 mile bike ride is a joy. When I can manage a regular 20 miles a day again - as I once did - I shall be very pleased.
Of course - if I trusted the Daily Mail for accurate scientific reporting I would never ride a bike again. Apparently, cycling to work is one of the biggest causes of heart attacks. I wonder - does cycling for pleasure count?
Fortunately, the UK's National Health Service has torn the Daily Mail a new one, so I don't have to. I will merely add the thought that if anyone is mad enough to rage at truck drivers while snorting a line of coke in traffic fumes while having sex on a bicycle then perhaps they deserve to have a heart attack! Or an Academy award!