It is nearly eight weeks since I did my impersonation of a pinball by bouncing between two cars and busting up a bunch of bones and puncturing a lung.
I first rode again after four weeks but it was more of a token gesture ride and perhaps a need to get back on the bike sooner rather than later in case I decided not to get back on the bike at all.
My riding efforts have largely been restricted to the 1.2 kilometre cycling circuit in northern Brisbane suburb of Nundah coupled with a few ventures out to Nudgee beach and the path to Boondall entertainment centre. The Doctor has forbidden me to ride on the road, not that I have been particularly keen to ride on roads anyway.
Given my bike was damaged and any repairs were waiting on an insurance assessment and claim payment, I spent most of the following 4 weeks riding the old Steel frame, super heavy, 7 speed down tube shifter bike circa 1985. It was perfect for what I was doing. It also perhaps kept my ambitions under control.
As my lung recovered, so did my aerobic fitness and I discovered that I have really lost little if any fitness, at least on the flat anyway. It may be different when the road turns upward.
Last Thursday I decided to meet the participants in Brisbane’s famous Thursday morning friendship ride for post ride coffee at the Garage. I should add, that occasionally, but only very occasionally, the friendship ride becomes the 'F You' ride.
I parked over near Garage and rode across the Goodwill Bridge and out the Coronation Drive bike path before continuing to the University of Queensland via the domiciled bike route. After a few loops of the University, I headed back the way I had come.
On reaching Southbank I had one of those “lets get it out of the way now” moments. I rode along the path to the big wheel, turned left and left again on to Grey street and along the bike lane where I was hit by the car.
I was nervous and uncomfortable and my heart rate jumped 20 beats for no physical reason. There was a car parked precisely where the car that ‘doored’ me was parked and as I was approaching it, another car came along the road to my right.
I successfully negotiated the piece of road where the crash occurred and while I doubt I will ever ride that road without thinking about the accident, I have now got it at least a little bit out of my system. It had to be done.
As for my future cycling plans, I just don’t know. I expect I will return to the routine I used to have but I do need the Doctors clearance first. I also think it will be a gradual thing.
It is a pity the club is in a racing halt at the moment as we pass from the winter to the summer season because although the accident was not race related, I feel I need to get used to riding in a race situation as soon as possible. I could race at another venue I guess but feel waiting for a Hamilton event at either Nundah or Lakeside would be the better option.
I expect to be given the all clear tomorrow by my Doctor including a return to full time work and I also expect I will only have a few more weeks of Physiotherapy to endure.
Next will then have a professional bike fit and measure up before I set about choosing my new bike. This will be fun.
I have experienced unbelievable support from cyclists – some who I know well, many who I know in passing and many more I have never met before via whose support has come via Road Grime.
All the support and best wishes have been much appreciated.
See you soon - on the bike.