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If you thought my last post mentioning Miniature Railway magazine was esoteric, then maybe the copy of the Unicycle Magazine brought home by the Bear from the Cycle Show takes the biscuit.

It’s not something I would ever even consider trying. I need three wheels, not two, when cycling as my balance is a little bit off, and always has been. I passed the balance test OK when being assessed for the CI and under normal circumstances I’m perfectly OK, but I’m one for going down steps at railway stations and on the tube holding onto the rail and am just a little more likely than hearing people to skid on ice, which is slightly wearing on the nerves. I think, as much as anything, I’m used to feeling my world – my feet are as attuned to vibrations as my hands – and so I’m quite sensitive to small variations under my feet that other people probably wouldn’t notice. I find the same on my trike – I can feel the road surface from every individual wheel. Last winter I didn’t really appreciate skating on my way to work, but I put on my sturdiest walking boots or my wellies as appropriate, and took my trusty walking pole with me (normally used for country walks), and even if I looked like an intrepid muffled explorer, at least I remained vertical.

One little thing that HAS changed since I got the CI is the sudden inability to get on a down escalator. It started about a month after activation and I just can’t do it most of the time, especially the ones in shops that look slow but speed up as soon as they detect motion, which I think is rather daft: speeding up just before people set foot on them. Up is fine, and I’m OK with escalators that have long run-ins before dropping down, but those that fall away almost immediately now seem impossible. The weird thing is that I have no other perceptible balance problem and the even weirder thing is that my mother has the exact same fear, which I used to find difficult to understand. Now I have it too.

Is it the CI, or am I genetically programmed to develop escalatorphobia? Or is it that it’s a sound that I can both feel through my feet and hear, and it moves too? What can I do about it?

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