A World Class Cyclist- and Haemophiliac! – BionicOldGuy

by shopidea.net
0 comment

I recently read a fascinating biography of Alex Dowsett bloody mind.It begins with Alex’s attempt 1 hour cycling record At Manchester Velodrome in 2015. He gives you a feel of what it’s like to spin around in circles for an hour in an uncomfortable position while constantly putting out incredible amounts of power. He also describes how the pain continued to increase until he finally reached a state of pain relief. This was a fun but risky read for me, and it stimulated the part of me that likes to push hard.

Only after completing the story of this attempt did he let us know that he was born with hemophilia, and that he is the only elite professional athlete in any sport with this disease. Hemophilia is also spelled haemophilia, but we use the British spelling in honor of Alex, who is from the UK. The rest of the book covers his childhood battling illness, how he got into cycling, and his journey around the world, including completing the Tour de France and winning two stages of the Giro de France. Which brings us back to my career in bicycle touring. Italy. He also won the British national time trial six times and won a gold medal in the time trial at the Commonwealth Games. In addition to being a time trial specialist, Alex is also an exceptional leadout rider for sprinters and gives a moving account of what that is like in the book. His professional career has not been a happy one, as he has had problems with management at several teams.

But his career culminated with another bold attempt at a time record. This time around, he was unable to receive much financial support from the professional team he belonged to at the time, so he and his wife, Chanel, did their best to arrange sponsors and logistics. This endeavor, along with his entire career, was a moving story of overcoming adversity.

I also learned a lot about hemophilia from this book. A person’s body in this condition is unable to produce factor VIII, the last important step in the blood clotting process. When Alex was a child, doses of Factor VIII were available, but they were manufactured from blood in blood banks. Unfortunately, at this point there was contamination in the bank, including HIV and hepatitis C, which infected blood transfusion recipients and factor VIII in general. Fortunately for Alex, his doctor was conservative in administering factor VIII, so he never experienced this problem. By the time he started cycling seriously, safe, synthetically produced factor VIII was available, allowing him to take preventive doses before competitions. The story of how his parents encouraged his activities while keeping him safe and healthy is another inspirational part of the book.Alex continues this tradition of encouraging children with his own illness through his philanthropy little breeders.

You may also like

Leave a Comment