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Case study - John Hulin

John Hulin

DOB: 13.3.62

Live in Bingley with wife Cathy and 3 cats!

Have 2 stepchildren aged 20 and 23 who share a flat locally.

My story

As soon as I could, I remember owning a bicycle, I was probably aged aboud 6.

When I was about 14, I was persuaded by my father's workmate to join a cycling club, the East Bradford CC of which I am still a member. My first club run ended in disaster when I crashed and actually went over a five bar gate. Bike was written off, I was sore all over but was bitten by the bug and couldn't wait to get back out.

My weekends and holidays then revolved around cycling and touring, staying in youth hostels. At 15 year old and again at 16, I rode 90 miles one day and 145 miles the next. I then progressed to racing both time trials and road races.

By my late teens, early twenties I was cycling ten to twelve thousand miles a year, racing thirty to forty races per season with circuit training in the winter. My racing career ended in the late 1990's but I never stopped riding my bike, it even came with me Alabama, USA where I worked for a year in 2000/2001.

By the late 2000's I began to experience chest pains and tiredness. Even stead one hour rides were proving more and more difficult. I was taking Gaviscon daily for my heartburn. Eventually even climbing stairs was leaving me breathless. A visit to my GP in February 2009 revealed a "heart murmer" and further tests were required. Three weeks later, the tests revealed I had a condition called Aortic Stenosis and would need open heart surgery to replace my Aortic Value. I was signed off sick from work in May 2009 and it would be ten months before I was declared fit to work again. I had my five hour operation at Leeds General Infirmary on 8th September 2009 and now have a metal heartvalve and will be on Warfarin medication for the rest of my life. Despite this, three months after my operation, I completed an annual seven mile hike with friends. Four months later I cycled in a ten mile time trial. My time was very slow, but at least I could still ride.

Since then I have continued to cycle, go to the gym and swim. At one point I was cycling 150 miles per week (2.5 hours per day) to work and back. Following a change in job, this is now reduced to 1 hour per day.

We walk regularly and over new year, staying in Sherwood Forest with friends we completed nine miles one day and fourteen miles another.

None of my exercise is high intensity, lung bursting and breathless, when the going gets tough I just ease off or stop for a rest.

After my experience I am just glad to be able to ride my bike, go swimming or go to the gym. I was extremely fit, went to being very poorly and have worked my way back to a reasonable level of fitness. I can motivate myself to get to where I am now. I am sure and hope others who face health setbacks can do the same.

John Hulin, Bingley


Case Study - Michael Hughes and The Marie Curie Power Peloton

Mike and Fire crewThe Marie Curie Power Peloton is a unique event. It will be the first and last time that a group of amateur riders will be able to ride Stage 1 of the Tour de France Grand Depart, here in Yorkshire, only hours ahead of the professional riders. 190km from Leeds to Harrogate on closed roads and with the crowds building for the main event on the kerbs along the route. Marie Curie Cancer Care are the official charity of the Grand Depart and have been given this unique access to the route. The Power Peloton will consist of 15 riders. Each rider has pledged to raise a minimum of £19,000 to fund the work of a Marie Curie nurse for a year. I'm 50 and a keen cyclist and I've raised money for charity over the years but this is the toughest ride I will ever have undertaken. My mum died from cancer on 2nd July 2013 so riding Stage 1 around the anniversary of her death helping raise money for such a worthy cause was an opportunity I couldn't miss.

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