I had the afternoon off on Friday to get one last big ride in before tapering for the Strathpuffer. I had one of my usual routes planned – ride from here through Oldham, Stalybridge, Hayfield, etc…climb as many hills as possible and keep the whole thing interesting by including sections of bridleway.
Heading down through Oldham on a main road towards Ashton I approach a junction where a car on either side waits to pull out. I make eye contact with both drivers, as usual. Or at least I thought I had. The driver on the right hasn’t seen me so just when I’m almost level with his car, he pulls out.
He’s intending to go straight across from the right into the minor road on the left so he accelerates. He drives into me, hitting the front of my bike and my right leg. I’m thrown onto the bonnet of the car on the left and from there I land on the road on my head.
Next thing I know I’m sat on the road next to this car, the driver gets out tell me to ‘stay down’ and starts to shout at the other guy (the idiot who has just caused the accident). Two women who have also witnessed what just happened run over to help and start to call an ambulance. I remove my helmet and it’s obvious that its done it’s job – it’s cracked in about 6 places, the outer shell is ripped to shreds by the impact on the tarmac. If I’d not been wearing it I’d have probably been dead.
The bike looked pretty bad- I can see the front wheel is the same shape as a Pringle and I know that the carbon fork will probably be damaged. Looks like the rear mech has been torn off too (the bike arrived home yesterday after Phil collected it and apart from the front wheel, fork and bars, it looks like its survived reasonably well).
All witnesses and the guy who hit me are still on the scene.
I’m sat in the road, worried about my legs. The pain is getting really bad now – I can feel a lump the size of a snooker ball on my left ankle and my right lower leg….well, it feels like it’s been hit by a moving car. Ambulance arrives, the paramedic tells me that he reckons I’ve broken my leg. I almost start crying. Actually, I think I started crying. I can’t stand up. I’m carried into the ambulance.
I call Deb and she meets me at the hospital.
Once at the hospital (which took a while as the ambulance driver got lost) I was put in a wheelchair and waited at A&E. I was given ‘priority status’ as I’d landed on my head and I was really impressed with how fast I got ‘seen to’. After some poking and prodding, some lights shone into my eyes and a few painkillers I was taken for X Rays. I’m still completely gutted that my leg could be broken. A broken leg would wipe out everything for a year…
A policeman arrives and asks me some questions about the incident, tells me that he will ‘be in touch’ with the driver and mentions that he’s a keen mountain biker and that he owns a Ragley hardtail. Small world.
A couple of hours pass until a consultant pops in and tells me that my ankle bone is chipped but apart from the fact that I’m badly bashed up, my leg isn’t broken. I almost cry again.
Eventually we arrive home and the reality of what happened earlier starts to sink in, so I pour a large brandy.
I’ve been told that recovery could take several weeks, so I’m going to rest and make sure that I’m back to normal and back on the bike as quickly as possible. Sadly this won’t be in time for the Strathpuffer this weekend….which I’m absolutely gutted about.