This a story about a D – lock, some bike tools and a dual – head pump. It also features some psychotropic medication and a bloody – minded attitude.

As the title of my blog indicates, tools are involved. In an earlier edition I have written about the stress that getting and trying to fix punctures has caused me. Not so long ago I wrote about my surprising ability to – apparently out of nowhere –  fix punctures in a relaxed and proficient way. This inevitable part of the life of a wheelman no longer harbours the flames of frustration that it once did.

I have also mused on the fact that for a very long time I rode without a puncture repair kit, spare inner tube or bike pump. I can’t be sure, but I expect that I compared this anomaly to someone not taking their medication – or giving it abruptly -as I once did. Either I didn’t need it (how wrong I was!) Or the side effects are intolerable – recall the stress trying to fix a puncture. Regarding side effects of medication I have been remarkably fortunate in that respect, only suffering side effects akin to sea sickness when I flirted with 20 mgs of Prozac at the beginning of my chemical romance.

I have written about a common side effect of psychotropic drugs and severe mental illness – weight gain – in an earlier edition; you can read it here: https://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/fat/

In the previous edition I focused on the Cartesian aspect of mental illness and the physical.What I didn’t say there was that this relapse – that I described here: https://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/329/

I have been pedaling along this whole time. When I saw my psychiatrist last, as this was beginning of a dip in my mood, we agreed that I wouldn’t go straight to increase my medication to counter it on the basis that it levels me out and takes away the energy to look at underlying causes. So that is what I have done.

I can imagine how many of you will be urging me to’take the tablets!’ Or ‘get yourself on an even keel first, then we can talk about underlying causes’…and so on.

This is where the D – lock and bike tools come in. I weighed what I heave up a hill and along the flat: bike 16kgs, D lock 2.6kgs, tools, pump and puncture repair kit another 600g. I am reliably informed by a panel of experts that this equates to about 3 stone. Without the bike? it still makes my arm sore to lift the bike lock and tools for more than a minute. I need all those things in my panniers, don’t I? I’d get my bike nicked if I didn’t lock it up with a decent lock. As for getting a flat tyre in the middle of the countryside….the view from the top of the hill might not look so poetic.

So I carry the weight.

Increasing my dose of Quetiapine gradually by 25% to 400mgs helps tackle the depression….it just makes it that much harder to get out of bed and on to my bike.


O I am spent, I have no more strength to swim.

The blessed sun touches the bitter sea’s rim:

I cannot see the headland or the little town.

All my limbs are weary, and I must go down.


O is it sleep or love  or death I most need,

And what peace shall I find in the arms of the weed?

The gulf – weed shall take me and cradle me in brown.

Wide – waving tresses, for I must go down.


Go under the sweet,the bitter flow:

You are the blind, but the blessed spirits know

Whether in sleep, or love, or death you must drown;

Cease then your striving, sink and go down.

Ruth Pitter (1897 – 1992)

And on a lighter note…..


These sleeping tablets may cause drowsiness.

Peter Reading (1946 – 2011)

This entry was posted in anxiety, Bi Polar Disorder, Cycling, Depression, Mental Health, mental illness, Poetry, Relapse, Uncategorized, weight gain. Bookmark the permalink.

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