Yesterday saw me have my biggest crash ever on my bike. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky to have never had a decent one until yesterday and I feel very lucky today that I wasn’t badly hurt.
We’ve had some pretty poor weather recently but yesterday saw blue skies, sunshine and a chilly 4 degrees when I left home. I’d arranged to meet Malcolm at Withyam and after some debate about which way we’d ride we set off.
After only a couple of kilometres in, I had a problem with one of my contacts that forced me to stop. I wear hard contact lenses and when a bit of dirt gets between your eyeball and the lens it can really hurt as it rubs between the two. So anyway I fixed this and we carried on for another couple of kilometres when the same thing happened again on what was now already a sore eye.
I was descending a gentle bit of country road at about 30-35kmh and the problem with my lens caused me to involuntarily shut my eyes so I started braking progressively more heavily and as I opened my eyes again I was drifting onto the grass verge but was slowing to about 20kmh.
I would have been fine apart from the fact that there was a ditch about a foot deep across the grass verge. My front wheel dropped into it and I went straight over my handlebars doing a sort of roly poly with my bike. I came down on my head and right shoulder with most of the impact going on my shoulder. The bike bounced on top of me then onto the grass. It was all over in the blink of an eye. I was a bit shaken and my shoulder hurt but otherwise I seemed fine. My bike was fine too (thanks to my breaking it’s fall unintentionally).
I was fine principally because it’s been raining a lot lately so the grass verge was pretty soft. If I’d hit the road I would have done myself all sorts of damage so I’m very lucky to have not been badly hurt. After a couple of minutes collecting myself and making sure I could still move my shoulder I decided I was fine to carry on.
We carried on then Malcolm had a couple of minor technical issues with gears and brakes that saw us needing to stop and I had a couple of more contact lens moments (making it a really bad day for my contacts). We rode though to Penshurst and to Hever to gradually loop back to Withyam but with the crash and the varous other stops, I was getting tight on time as I’d promised to get home for 12.30. So I waved goodbye to Malcolm earlier than planned and headed back. In the last 45 minutes of the ride my shoulder felt more and more painful.
When I arrived home and told my wife about what had happened, we decided that it would be smart to go down to A&E and get my shoulder checked out. After 2 hours at A&E and an X-Ray I was delighted to be told I hadn’t broken my collarbone this time – but they suggested that I had before now as the bone was crooked when it should be straight. I can’t remember it happening but I did crash a lot when I did Motocross as a kid in New Zealand. I was a dreadful Motocross rider but I loved it so maybe it happened then.
In the last 2 and a half years I’ve done about 10,000km on my bike and this has been my first “proper” accident, so I think I’m doing ok. I feel a bit sore today but I’m really lucky I didn’t break anything. I’m going to take a few days off the bike and may try my turbo before I get out on the road again. Hopefully I’ll be out on the road again next week.
Final stats for the ride yesterday were distance: 55.5 km, total climbing: 660m, average speed 26.24kmh, number of crashes: 1, broken bones: 0.
Thanks for reading.