I got knocked down but I got up again (great line for a song)
My first crash at speed
Until last Thursday nights racing at DISC I'd had four "crashes" in my cycling career. All were at low speed and didn't involve another bike or car. In fact "falling off" would be more accurate description than "crash". Nevertheless they had still resulted in a broken thumb, fractured elbow and, most recently, hairline fracture to the rib in the infamous slide involving Carl. But unlike many of you I'd never crashed in a race or with the bike moving forward with any sort of speed.
That all changed at the pointy end of the C grade motor pace on Thursday night. The aboc team of myself, Mick Thomas and Matt Ditchfield had again conspired to help each other out and let a team mate back into the paceline if needed. It was going OK and both me and Matt had been able to let Mick back in to prevent him having to drift to the back. But it meant I was on the motor bike with 4 laps to go and had to peel off.
Not wanting to accept defeat because for once I was feeling OK, I didn't go all the way to the end of the line but stayed out in the wind for a lap hoping a gap would open up. It didn't and I had to work hard to hold my position. Then I started to fade and stronger riders were all around me. People were trying to squeeze into gaps that weren't there. I got chopped from underneath which apparently forced me up the track a bit....
THUMP....Someone wacks me behind my right shoulder. I go down and am aware of sickenning loud thud as my head smashes into the boards. I remember thinking "this is not good" and instantly developing a head ache. Then as I'm sliding down another rider crashes over the top of me. I end up lying face down on the concrete with my head throbbing and my arm, chest and back aching already. I don't know how long I was there but it seemed like an eternity. With help I roll over and reveal burns and cuts on my leg, bum and arm. My treasured aboc bib knicks are ruined as is my Descente base layer!
A trip to the doctor and physio the next day reveals no breaks. I've got whiplash from my head slinging into the ground and the usual aches and pains, burns and bruises. My spirit and confidence took a battering too but a quick pep talk from the coach on Friday put everything in perspective and re-ignited my determination. Today a sympathetic Bev took me for a gentle 2 hour ride for which I'm grateful.
I don't know how I'll be on Thursday night. I think my body will be OK but will I be brave enough to race?
(PS I've got new race wheels but I'll talk about them another time...)