When the British leg of the Tour de France ended, the Borders ‘etapes’ had only just begun for some.
The Borders Dialysis Cyclists had their own ‘Grand Depart’ as they set about tackling the 21 stages of the Tour. While crowds lined the streets from York to Sheffield, the Borders Dialysis Cyclists remained in Borders General Hospital with loops of dialysis tubing attached to their forearms, filtering their blood as they begin the first stage on an exercise bike which clips to the end of their chairs.
There are currently nine dialysis patients who regularly cycle during their thrice-weekly dialysis sessions. They have already completed a joint Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, cycling for a total of 107 hours from January to May. Each patient’s contribution was recorded with coloured dots in a road atlas and on a wall map of Britain.
During the Tour de France challenge, each stage was ‘led’ by a patient nominated to wear the yellow jersey for a personal exercise achievement. They measured their cycle distances on the bike.
The picture shows Jane Chalmers, staff nurse at the Borders Dialysis Unit, and, on his bike, dialysis patient Doug Cochrane.