Walnut and Grapefruit


The health benefits of cycling are well known, with studies showing that regular cyclists enjoy the general health of people 10 years younger. But there can be some side issues. There is weak evidence that bike riding can irritate the prostate and thereby exacerbate prostatis, or inflammation of the prostate. Medical staff I consulted told me that cycling can lead to an increase in PSA (prostate specific allergen) levels in the blood, although there is no known link between cycling and prostate cancer.

Theprostate typically is around the size of a walnut. It is like a doughnut around the urethra and if it becomes enlarged, it doesn’t just go outwards, but also inwards, making urination difficult. I know: I ended up in A&E because I wasn’t able to urinate and my bladder was uncomfortably full. Instead of a walnut, I was told I had a grapefruit! After a few weeks of having a catheter – and no cycling! – I underwent laser surgery to remove most of the prostate.

But I was one of the lucky ones in that my enlarged prostate was non-cancerous. But not all of us men are that lucky, with some 1 in 8 of us getting prostate cancer. So I decided to do something that would help and take part in a ride for Prostate Cancer UK, to increase research as well as treatment and care of those not so fortunate.

Prostate Cancer UK is supported by the Football League and about 250 riders from loads of clubs across the Football League will be cycling in June the 145 miles from Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium in London via Harwich to the ground of Ajax Amsterdam. I am one of the 70 TeamITFC riders taking part and am the oldest (and probably the slowest!) rider in the Ipswich Town group. About 40 of us were able to gather for a photo at Portman Road, prior to a home game in April. (I’m just above the P – appropriate! – in the Prostate Cancer banner.)

I’m still looking for a bit more sponsorship via JustGiving. The smallest and largest donations I have received so far are £2 and £50 respectively so it really is a matter of donating what is affordable. If you would consider a donation, JustGiving is a well-known, safe and secure way of doing so, and I offer my thanks for your support.


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