Thursday, 3 March 2016

Just call me Jimmy...

I have debated about posting a blog on this incident but I think it highlights the fact that accidents do happen to the best of us, and they bloody hurt!

I have been very lucky in my lifetime to have only sustained minor injuries within the sports I have participated in.  I have ridden horses all my life including jumping, I have sailed on the International Dart 18 sailing circuit and I now run and bike to an average standard.  Don't get me wrong, I have fallen off, fallen in and fallen over but these things are often learning curves which make us or break us, or both but we generally repair!
At least I got some trophies! #stravawanker

Last year I fell off my MTB while out with Mr A - it was probably the worst I have ever injured myself, I was over confident in my ability to get down a rough track and my cleats got the better of me, I pulled my bike over on top of myself and endured a massive bruise to my thigh.  I also scraped my little finger and generally knocked the stuffing out of myself.  I remember seeing all white and wondering if I might faint.  After a gel and a sit down I got back on my bike and rode home.  I was, from then on, very wary of said cleats and actually changed them for downhill type pedal caged cleats which I can use if I'm being cautious down technical descents.  

During the Duathlon last month I came a cropper as I discussed in detail in my "Tri a Duathlon" post. Again, I badly bruised my leg but that time it was mainly my ego!

Straight after the fall
Yesterday, my new road bike disgraced itself by throwing me off down a hill.  I will explain because I'm sure lots of people who read this will have seen me out and about and wondered what the hell I have done to my face!  Its not a good look and it scares small children!

Basically, I had arranged to go out riding with Caz and Amanda.  The weather forecast was horrid and the reality was worse, pouring rain all morning.  The general consensus was - no roadies today!  However, by 1pm it was really drying up and even quite pleasant, the temperature had really warmed up to about 10 degrees. I decided I would have a quick loop over Eccles Pike - it was that or hill reps and my new bike won hands down!

I set off happily and beasted up Bings Road (a big hill) then onto Western Lane in Buxworth before I tackled the big incline up Back Eccles Lane over to Eccles Road. Having made the summit I was pleased with myself and decided I would use my drops to go down the other side. 
Nice selfie - not!

I don't really know what I did next, I think I pulled the brake lever hard by mistake instead of gripping the handles, whatever I did all I remember is catapulting over the handlebars and my back hurting a lot. I stood up and hopped a few paces, catching my breath.   I swore a few times then remembered my phone in my back pocket - phew it was in tact! 

 I knew I had landed on my face and decided to have a quick look - I used my camera's selfie mode to look at it and OMG it looked bad!  I glanced at the bike on the road and decided to leave it a minute (it was a very quiet lane , I don't like roads with traffic fortunately!) I tried to call Amanda but remembered she was running.  I realised I needed to collect my children from school and nursery soon so I came to the conclusion I would have to hurry up whatever I was doing!

I picked up my bike and prayed I hadn't wrecked it, it looked ok apart from a broken reflector, a scraped saddle (gutted) and then I noticed the handle bar grip was all turned in on the RH side.  I tried both brakes which seemed to be working and then tried the pedals - the chain had come off but once back on seemed ok.  I started to push the bike up the hill then realised I had been going downhill - I was a bit confused! 

Pushing was too slow so I got on and tried the brakes again - all ok.  I didn't clip into my pedals until I made it onto the flat of Eccles Road then I nursed it back to the Bike Factory where I was met by a surprised Rob who offered me tissue to hold on my face and suggested I go to A and E.  I didn't fancy 4 hours of waiting so I walked to the pharmacy where Raj the Pharmacist and an old colleague of mine, cleaned it for me.  He said it looked bad and to get it checked further - damn!

By this time my shoulder had started stinging and upon inspection I saw I had cut that too, and it was very swollen already.  I walked home and called Jac my friend.  I didn't know what else to do! I needed to tell someone, Mr A was working away and my parents were away too.  

Jac was a star and came round while I was in the shower, blasting the road rash off my poor face! Once undressed I found a number of lumps and bumps, one being a massive tennis ball swelling on my right calf and the other a cut to my elbow and scrape to my little finger.  Jesus I looked like I had been in a big fight, with a bus.  

Jac inspected the cuts and we dressed my shoulder.  I called my GP practice and arranged to go in and be seen by the triage nurse.  She gave me antibiotics for the cuts in case of dirt and said to take painkillers for 3 days.

My face was so swollen I looked like Jimmy Hill, my chin was going black and the cut was impossible to hide.  I even looked in the mirror and made myself jump!

On reflection I think I will be much more cautious downhill now, but it hasn't put me off.   It was my own rookie error and I will learn from it. I'm going to replace my helmet which was all scuffed.  I have even contemplated a big full face helmet so I can go around in a stig-like mystery.   Who is that girl? Lol.

Mainly I just feel like a bit of a knob. But I guess I was lucky really.  I have promised to only go out with others until I am more competent and confident.  And that's that.  I hope by sharing this I can show people that, you have to take the rough with the smooth and there's no point not doing things because you might get hurt.  Yes you might.  But its fun when you don't.  
Note - It is 2 days since my crash and I have been out on my trusty MTB today, I felt fine, I'm dosed up with painkillers and antibiotics so I decided to get back in the saddle!  

I have been reading about Road Biking for beginners and I am happy to get back out there (just not on my own for a while).  My bike is still in the shop so I will get it back and try again next week - weather permitting!  But first I have to tackle Langsett 10k trail race on Sunday with bits of face falling off...

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