So I'm sat at my desk thinking about how to write this article. I guess the best place to start would be the ride.....
Yesterday a group of us set out for our weekly Sunday ride. A lovely little jaunt through the forest enjoying some nice singletrack, with the first sunny day we've had in a little while. It was going a charm. We had parked the cars next to the skills area in the forest so we could have a play after the ride before heading home.
That was when it happened. I headed for a wooden table but was carrying more speed than I realised, I also got a bit front heavy on the bike and before I know it I've almost pulled a front flip! Straight over the front I go and land on the end of the table before falling the small gap to the wooden transition off the table. I felt fine, my shoulder hurt a little, but nothing serious, or so I thought. What endorphins and adrenalin do for your system is amazing. My bike wasn't so lucky, bent cranks and rear mech hanger.
I drove home and gradually the pain increased in my shoulder and I decided to head to A+E just to be on the safe side. A three and a half hour stint in A+E revealed a fractured collarbone, great. That's at least a week off of work, not to mention time off the bike! It's kind of ironic, since I have literally just gotten over the flu. So now my struggling bank balance is without for at least another week (I have a follow up X-ray the start of next week) just when I need more money, not only for the rent, the food and other bills, but I also have my precious bike sat needing a new set of cranks and a rear mech hanger.
And this is what my article is getting at I suppose. How hard do you ride? Do you just ride whatever you fancy and try not to think about the consequences? Or do you play it a bit safe and ensure you have the income you need? Your riding enjoyment may suffer, but at least you're not going to have a headache wondering how you're going to pay rent and such. It's something I never used to worry about, when you're younger if you injure yourself it doesn't matter so much, you don't have rent or bills to pay, and you don't have to factor that into your riding, a broken bone is six weeks off your bike and that's the thing you're going to be most disappointed about. As you get older (and I'm certainly not old), a broken bone is six weeks without income, and that brings a whole new dimension to riding.
A self portrait at the bike park where the 'incident' happened.