An update and appeal

So on Friday 13 July I had been planning to attend the World Championships, sadly that is not going to happen…

I’ve been wanting to update you for some time on what is happening with VeloVision. As some of you know I, the editor, was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome in April. This is a rare debilitating neurological condition that onset quickly. Over the space of four days I went from having a tingling sensation in my fingers to being fully paralysed.

Initially my recovery was going very well. However in the past two months it has slowed and at times gone backward. It is not a simple curve of recovery, where you consistently improve day to day. The impact of this has been on some rare days I am my normal self, but these days are few and far between. More often I have been partially paralysed once or twice a day.

The impact is not confined to the physical coordination of hands and feet etc. My speech and ability to concentrate and think coherently is also severely impacted. This has made the administration side of the business impossible to stay on top of. As a one man band this clearly is not ideal!

It can happen in short order. In the past week I have been with my children and in the space of an hour I went from being seemingly fine to being unable to sit up, speak or feel anything. This has happened twice in a week. It’s the more extreme end of the scale but it is not an unusual occurrence.

Worst of all for VeloVision I am banned from cycling at the moment. I can run when I am able bodied, but cycling is too big a risk as my coordination and balance could go at the worst possible time and I’d be a liability to myself and other road users. Cycle safety has always been a priority for me, indeed I did a Bikeability (cycle proficiency) instructor qualification a few years ago. So I am not willing to take the risk of hurting others or worse just to indulge my passion.

Funnily enough I have been told by the neurologists to look at a trike as I get better. However the fatigue is a big issue still, and while I am personally a fan of electric assist I think it would be a step too far to just use it constantly!

As well as being banned from cycling due to the reduced lung performance I am not allowed to fly. This made attending EuroBike impossible and with my condition being very bad in the past month I have not been able to find someone to attend in my absence.

So I am at a difficult point with VeloVision.

I believe there is an appetite for the publication still. I think that was proved with the last issue. However I am unable to test anything or attend events. So I have spoken with Peter and Howard and taken their advice.

The options as I now see it are:

1. To assume a more traditional role of editor and take in content from around the world. This can be news, features, interviews and reviews.

2. To look at selling the publication as a going concern. It certainly is a viable business, it’s just hard to manage it when you can’t move!

3. Suspend publication until I am recovered.

My preference is the first option. I am expected to recover, though no time frame can be established. Typically it’s two years but there are other people I have spoken with who are still recovering five years after they were initially diagnosed.

For this to happen I need you, the readers, the passionate HPV riders to help. This has always, as far as I am concerned, been your publication. I took it on to give back to cycling which has helped me so much. For now I cannot do what I originally intended and I am devastated by this.

The second option is something I would consider as I do not want to let you down. This is a horrible illness and one of the hardest things about it has been that I was just getting going after the initial research and development and planning. My priority is you get your magazine!

The third option is my least preferred, I know you were disappointed in the past and I am sure you have been again. It is certainly an option but not one I’d like to consider if it can be avoided.

I am trying to write this in good humour. It has been a very difficult time and I have been grateful for the support and patience shown to me by the readers and those within the industry as well. I really do believe that VeloVision has proven it is relevant and has an audience.

For it to continue immediately I need you to reach out to me now, to engage and be part of this project and celebrate all that is good in HPV.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Webb

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3 thoughts on “An update and appeal”

  1. Hello,
    I’m very sorry to hear of your health worries. I’m in poor health myself.
    Regarding Velovision, my personal view is that it’s run it’s race and no further regular content is really available. It’s all repeat annual events.
    Give it up and get on with your life elsewhere doing something else. Kind words are nice but reality is more important. Peter made a good job of it and then ran into trouble. He had much more experience.
    Again sorry and I do hope life improves.

  2. Simon, that is awful for you. How bl**dy frustrating that must be! I am heartened to hear that recovery is known to be possible, even if slow.

    I can’t really say which option I prefer, but I would be happy with whichever suits you best. Having editing club newsletters in my time I have a small understanding of the effort and willpower needed to produce a magazine like Velovision: you have my respect!

  3. Hope you get better soon. More press that is Corporate-ese or useless politics is not needed. Superior product reviews and public policy forums ARE needed. So I hope the work you’ve done can continue.

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