My head isn't quite right now (that's no news to some people!) thanks to codeine they gave me at the hospital.
Last night I went for casual ride along a section of towpath that I've been down several times before. The tricky bit where the bank had been undercut leaving holes in the path had been filled, and I'd almost reached the lock when I dropped the front wheel down a pot hole and converted all my forward momentum into downward momentum, straight into the trail. Hard.
It was a bit of a surprise, and also mildly ironic.
Just the day before, Chris and I had just finished breakfast when I heard the sounds of screaming from outside. This is not as unfamiliar as you might think, because cyclists often misjudge the corner by our house, riding up onto the grass, losing control and finishing in a heap. Once a local guy rode into the back of Ben's car, putting his head right through the rear window (cue blood and glass everywhere). Last autumn one of the guys in a large group lost it badly and broke his collarbone clean through (ouch!) all very clear from having one dropped shoulder. When I got to the scene instead of the ripped flesh and broken bones I'd expected, there was a teenager in lycra laying face down in the dirt and writhing about. He calmed down quickly when he realised more people than just his mate were with him, and it turned out he had a few scuffs and grazes.
Sympathy faded fairly quickly.
So after gasping and groaning a bit, laying there in the trail I reminded myself of yesterdays teen, told myself to man-up and pushed myself onto the slope beside the path, waiting to recover, trying to slow breathing and take stock of the damage (some minor grazes). Eventually things settled down, I pulled my legs under me and managed to rise to my feet, berating myself for being a wuss and careless too. We all know that if you've broken anything crucial then you can't lift your arms, so next step was to get my arms above my head - yes, it was possible even though it hurt, and as my left arm came back down I could feel things catching in my shoulder, rather than everything sliding smoothly as it should - so everything was 'OK' there then.
My left arm, back and side were quite sore though. Last time this happened in 2001 I hopped on the bike and carried on, later discovering that the increasing pain was due to 2 broken ribs. This time it hurt rather more, so assuming I'd torn some muscles etc I just turned round and went GINGERLY home, trying to support my left arm, and avoiding all the bumps in the trail.
After some debate last night I did try to get into bed - NO WAY. Laying flat was impossible, and I managed to sleep a bit sitting up on the settee. Now I'd expected to be stiff and sore in the morning, but things were a bit sharper-edged than that, so Chris took me to the Horton hospital A&E. It seems I have a fractured collarbone and probably broken a couple of ribs after all.
It's good to know that I'm not *just* a wuss, and there is just cause for walking like a 90 year old.
So that's the end of us camping next weekend at the Big Church Day Out, end of the ride I'd planned for Wednesday, and will probably write off much of my work this week. Looks like I'll be off bikes and guitars for a bit. I'd love to sleep right now, but not sure that's going to happen.
C'est la vie. That was the news.