Well it’s been a pleasant couple of weeks in Cyprus and I’ve had a wonderful time with my wife’s family celebrating the wedding of Dan and Candace. Despite being over 2000 miles from my bike, I have been able to keep the legs spinning at the local gym; luckily I stumbled across the excellent Tower Fitness Center (http://www.towerfitnesscenter.com) in Pegeia which for 40 euros gave me unlimited access to the gym for my fortnights stay. So most mornings, I spent the best part of 2 hours getting a sweat on and having a good chat about all things sport (and restaurants) with gym members Matt and Barry – top blokes!
Throughout July is when the training (and fundraising) really ramps up and as soon as my flight lands I’ll be getting ready to hit the roads and hills of Dorset. It’s also that time of year when no-one can get onto a tennis court and every other 40 something in the land says I’ll go to Glastonbury next year (but don’t get around to it) so I suspect that now the Tour de France is on, the roads will be packed with cyclists, but at least there’s plenty of room for us all!
It’s also just about a year to the day since I came off my bike, I don’t tend to fall off often (touch wood) but when I do it’s normally a good (bad) one…
So picture the scene, it’s a pleasant Saturday morning, I’ve just ridden through the village of Milton Abbas as they prepare for the bi-annual street fair (if you’re ever in the area check out this place it’s stunning) and head off to Okeford Hill which to be honest is an easy climb from the south but a bugger of a decent as it get’s up to 20% and is completely exposed to cross winds.
Milton Abbas (courtesy of Malcolm Balmer)
I’d navigated the hard part and slowed down but got my line wrong into a sweeping right hand bend. This ordinarily wouldn’t be an issue for a pro, as they could take the racing line, but with on coming traffic you need to take the long way around. Unfortunately, in this instance, I hit some loose gravel and couldn’t correct so it was time for a quick decision bale out right into the road (and get cut to shreds) or left into the nice comfy grass verge…
Well I quickly unclipped and chose the left route and as my bike hit the verge I did a superman dive and landed relatively softly, it’s then I realised something wasn’t right as my left shoulder was a bit sore, I checked for a collarbone break and then checked my shoulder and realised I’d dislocated it and that I needed to call home for a lift. Time for a lesson learned… always check your phone battery!
Fortunately I was able to flag down an elderly couple (sadly I never caught their names) who let me borrow their phone, no answer from the wife, so I left an answer phone message – ‘I’m ok but have come off the bike and will need a lift etc’. I reckon I had a 45 minute wait so I took the wheels off the bike and finished off my sandwiches. The time passed so I flagged down another car and asked if I could borrow their phone, unfortunately my wife had got lost in the Dorset lanes.
Very kindly the driver who stopped, Ursula, who was with her mum and child, offered to drive me and the bike to an easy to find location – so we agreed to meet my wife at Blandford Tesco’s. I’m extremely grateful to Ursula as she went out of her way to help, so a big plug to her business http://zorbsouth.co.uk/.
Well my wife, daughter and I drove home, I got changed and inspected the injury – apart from the dislocation I didn’t have once scratch on me – I guess it was just an unlucky and having cycled the route subsequently I think my shoulder took the impact as the verge gradient rises.
So in hospital, after the x-rays, it’s determined that I had a posterior dislocation which is quite rare (normally associated with electric shocks or fits), I’m then informed that I’m going to be knocked out when they pop the shoulder back in and the drug of choice will be ketamine (horse tranquiliser), given at that point the state of supermarket products I did have some fears that I would disappear, only later for traces of me to be found in a Findus Lasagne.
Daddy Recovering and Jessica Sleeping
Well, my drug of choice is alcohol, so this was certainly going to be a new experience… next thing I woke up to what I can only describe as a kaleidoscope of colours in a late nineties trance club with music pumping out left right and centre – god knows what I looked like to those in tune with reality but apparently I was enjoying the tunes!
Having finally returned to normality I did what many teenagers have done after pushing it too far and ended up with a whitey into a lovely cardboard bed pan. So I guess after all that, this day was my lowest point of the Challenge to date but also, depending on your take on life, also the high point!