It doesn’t matter how often you ride the same roads. Stay sharp. Especially when the sun is shining. There’s always something lurking in the shadows to catch you out!

I was on my way home from training and enjoying glorious sunshine on Tuesday.

With only a few miles to go I’d already completed my session for the day. High zone 2/low zone 3 for 2 hours with 4 x 10 minute Sweet Spot intervals. It was a great little workout. My riding was strong, I felt good, and was on a bit of a high heading back for some well earned food.

Then I found myself lying in a bloody mess in the middle of the road.

I must have ridden this particular road hundreds of times. It’s funny because I’ve been saying to people all year “nope, not doing any Road Racing at the minute. Too risky, don’t want to crash! Just staying out of trouble until October”.

And yet it was on my most regular loop where a pothole hidden in the shade got the better of me. Sods law an’ all that.


The Crash

I was riding at about 25mph on a slight downhill, my hands resting on the hoods. I hit a rather modest pothole hidden by shadow and without time to brace myself was thrown off balance with no chance of recovery. I hit the deck hard on my left side and skidded for a distance long enough for me to think

“Crikey, I’ve bloody crashed haven’t I. Well, this sucks! I hope I’m okay”

It was surreal. Everything happened so fast; yet the crash itself was in slow motion. An almost out of body experience where I could see exactly what was happening but at the same time was unable to react to it. I had a sudden feeling of complete weightlessness and a realisation that I was no longer actually on my bike. My glasses flew off, water bottles and blood scattered across the tarmac. I was okay. I knew I was okay. But I laid there in the middle of the road for a few seconds. Just to catch my breath. I daren’t look at my bike. I’d be devastated if anything serious had happened to it.

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Recovery

The first day was okay. I did some Yoga stretches and managed to stay quite loose. I thought I was recovering well and my injuries were more cosmetic than anything. I even went for a ride the next day – just an easy zone 2 endurance ride – where I felt great considering.

Unfortunately it hasn’t really lasted. It’s three days now since I came off and my left hip is really starting to hurt. The bruising is more pronounced than ever and I’m taking a good amount of painkillers for my neck and shoulder.

My Injuries

  • Road Rash on left leg
  • Road Rash on left arm
  • Deep cuts on left leg
  • Deep cuts on left elbow
  • Bruised and swollen hip
  • Sore neck
  • Sore left shoulder

My Bike’s Injuries

  • Destroyed my left pedal
  • Shoes are Ruined
  • Cosmetic damage to bar tape
  • Cosmetic damage to left shifter
  • Cosmetic damage to brand new S-Works Power saddle
  • Rear mech slightly bent (quickly fixed by the fantastic Colin)

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I am probably going to write to the local council or seek legal advice from a Personal Injuries specialist. I know the accident could’ve been a lot worse but it would still have been avoided if the roads were kept in better condition.

Sadly this is just part of riding a bicycle. It’s a brutal reminder that accidents do happen and insurance is a good idea. I use http://www.velosure.co.uk/ for my bikes. I was lucky I didn’t have to claim this time, but their pricing seems good and I feel like I’m supporting a local team in some small way too!

British Cycling Membership

It turns out that through my membership with British Cycling I am entitled to legal support and assistance. It doesn’t cost much to become a member of British Cycling and even if you have no intention to race the many other benefits are well worth the cost of £30 a year!

I will keep updating this post as the case progresses.