I’ve been disappointing, I’ve not been mountain biking, I’ve not even been to the gym. Due to some health issues I’ve been working rather hard at trying to get better rather than trying to improve my fitness.
Unfortunately I can’t take the risk of mountain biking at the minute, my legacy with my riding partner is that I’ve crashed out at every location we’ve been riding. We rode in Pangbourne and I hit a fence post. This fence post stopped me from crashing into barbed wire though, so although it damaged my shoulder, I was quite thankful for it.
I recall once in south Wales I was shocked to find myself scared of a corner, the path narrowed to inches wide with a sheer drop at the side. I had to get off my bike to get around it. This upset me as I suddenly feared something which I don’t normally do, was this the onset of age and starting to take care of myself? I pondered over this for the next few weeks till I could go back again and ride that same corner, this time without stopping or slowing, but to use my fear and ride that damn corner. I did! I was so happy that I did I took my eye off the path for a second which was all it took for me to lose my rear on a tree root and career into a tree. There goes my shoulder again.
Later that day was quite a surprise to my friend who came round a corner to find my bike strewn across the path, all he could see of me was my legs poking up out of a bush. My legs still peddling as it all happened so fast I hadn’t quite grasped the realisation that I was currently upside down in a bush instead of riding my bike.
The next day my aforementioned friend came round a corner to find me on my back in a stream. I’d never high-sided a mountain bike before and didn’t ever contemplate it might be possible to, but a combination of loose gravel and over-confidence and I was leaving my bike behind again.
I might wonder why I shouldn’t let my friend ride out front to slow me down so I don’t have so many accidents. But I don’t. This doesn’t work, I tried it in Aston Hill with quite disastrous consequences. He rode to slow into a corner and I had to break too sharply. I ended up crashing out on a steep hill with my leg trapped between frame and handlebar, sliding down the slope and quite unable to get up. My friend had to stop, climb back up and rescue me. I ride in front.
I had a bad day at Aston Hill that day. I took the wrong turn and ended up on the Black route. I bounced my way down it quite successfully but wasn’t prepared for it and neither was my bike. If I’m going to ride a tough, bumpy and bouncy downhill section then I’ll lower my seat quite a lot so it doesn’t continuously whack me in the backside on the way down. As I mentioned I wasn’t prepared for this route, and neither was my poor bottom which had been tenderised on my trip down the hill. A quick drop off a bridge an hour later into some nettles pretty much finished me off. But it can’t finish you off as you still have to finish the course and get back to the car where I was hoping my friend would be patiently waiting for me. Which he was, although slightly aghast at the cuts, bruises, nettle stings and slightly odd walk I appeared to have adopted in his absence.
These are just a few of the incidents I’ve had, my shoulder has taken the brunt of my crashes over the last few years and now requires some attention but I tend to loathe going to the doctors since they ‘missed’ ruptured ligaments in my knee a few years back, instead putting it down to a twist with some nasty swelling. Twice.
So I’ll go to a doctors, soon, I have a short list of things I need to see a doctor for. I’ve been adding them onto my list as they occur which I’m sure they’ll appreciate. But tomorrow things are looking up as I’m going to tackle the gym again. Bring it on!