Saddle Skedaddle Round 2 – Swinley Forest

It was a set to be a really early start Sunday morning. My alarm was set for 5am so I hoping to get an early night, that wasn’t to be though. I had a call from Jennie asking me to collect her from work as she cut herself. The cut was pretty deep and she needed to go to A & E to get it looked at, we arrived at Frenchay hospital around 21:30 only to find that it was pretty busy and that the computers were down so everything was being done by hand. As it happened the wait wasn’t too bad and she was eventually seen about 11ish. A bit of glue, a few paper stitches and a bandage and she was done. We both still needed to eat so stopped off at Miss Millies then home to eat it. This got me into bed about midnight, so I wasn’t going to get much rest.

The alarm went off at 5am as planned, all things considered I didn’t feel too tired. I woke Harry up grabbed breakfast then loaded the car with all our kit for the day and headed over to Brads’ house to transfer it all into his van and drive over to Swinley Forest. Harry’s race was due to start at 9am, which gave us about 45mins after getting to the venue. Harry got to the start line rearing to go, he’s a little out classed though as the organisers have a odd policy on categorising riders ages. Your age category is based on your age as of the 31st Dec 2012, Harry was 12 mid Dec 2011, which puts him into the 13 – 14yr old, the difference in a just 12 to a boy 14 is massive. I also made a mistake by telling him that there was only 1 lap, but it should have been 2, oops. The winning time for the 2 laps in his cat was 56:50, Harry’s 1 lap was 1:07:32, told you the difference in ability is massive…

Brad and my race was due to start at 12:15 so we had quite a long wait until we were due to start, we took this opportunity to ride a little bit of the course to get the lay of the land. We didn’t ride the whole course, although I think we should have. We did start a little late, about 10 mins. The weather was great, sun was shining and no sign of any rain, despite of this it was still cold standing around on the start line in shorts and short sleeves. I soon warmed up when we go going though, I made a good start, trying not to get held up too much by the bottle neck, I made it through in about 30th place leaving Brad somewhere behind me. I didn’t look back to see where he was, I was intent on now overtaking as many people as I could during this lap and then push for the last lap. I was making good progress, only having to dismount from the bike once, after losing traction on a steep gravely ascent. This quickly went into a narrow single track, where i got held up a little by a slower rider. I soon passed as soon as we got to a wider section then quickly into another short steep dirt ascent, this was full of people pushing their bikes, determined but to have to get off and push myself, I shouted the obligatory ‘RIDER’ and as courteous as ever space was made for me to pass. I had my next target in sight and quickly started to gain on the rider in front as we rode along some fantastic single track through the trees. He was passed quickly and I was feeling great so decided to push a little harder and see what I could do. This is where things went a little wrong for me.
I was steaming down a tricky rocky, rooted section when all my effort was undone by a flight through the air closely followed by my bike tumbling down on top of me. I was ok, although a little annoyed by the first rider that passed me, he did ask if I was OK but I didn’t answer, as I didn’t really know what had happened only that I was on the floor with a bike on me. Normally fellow riders stop, but he didn’t and just carried on riding. About another 30 seconds passed before the next rider cam along, he did stop and asked if I was OK, by this time I had checked myself out, ankles, legs, hips, arms, shoulders, head, all was OK so I answered and suggested he carry on. I then set about checking the bike over, I had to straighted the handle bars, so they were in line again. The bar ends were a bit off line too but not crucial they were in line so I left them as they were, the same can be said for the front shifter. By this time Brad had caught me back up and I began to realise that I had probably done something to my wrist. I told him to carry on though and cycled behind one handed. Luckily there was a nice long flat straight so this was easy. I actually began to catch riders back up too, and even passed one rider, which was odd considering I was riding with 1 hand. This did go back into a short single track, but I had already decided that I was out the race and was looking for the way back to the start line and St John ambulance for someone to take a look at my wrist so was taking short cuts through the course. I found the ambulance and got myself sorted, check from head to toe and had my wrist strapped up and iced. They done a good tidy job of the strapping and said that it was torn ligaments but should get it checked out at A & E if problems persist. They took me back to the start line where I started to look for Harry and then wait for Brad to finish his second lap. Brad had a great race and thoroughly enjoyed himself, eventually finishing 50th with a time of 1:21:22. Luckily Brad was the designated driver so I didn’t need to worry about the drive home with my injury.

Today I went into work as per normal, but soon changed my mind as I couldn’t push my mouse around the desk, so took myself off to A & E to get it checked out properly. I still don’t know for sure, but it does sound like I have broken something, I’ve got to go back and see a specialist………

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