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Tue, 27 Nov 2007

Reasons not to road ride, or do not anger the crash gods. - 12:44
So more proof road riding is unsafe and it really is better to stick to mountain biking.

This morning I was riding out to do a Cotter/Uriarra loop on the road. With me were Bruce, Simon and Libby. Sue and Tony among possible others were likely to meet us out there.

We had just chased down Rob Burrell (he must have been going slow, dawdling along or something for me to be able to catch him) as we crossed Scrivner Dam. Simon had not done this ride with us for a year or so and was unsure whether we were turning right onto the bike path or heading up the road behind Rob to Cotter Rd. We always turn onto the bike path, however I had not said so verbally and Simon had not turned in early enough, I stayed out wide edging in until he turned and thought I would still make the corner.

I was turning and noticed I was heading right for the gutter, so instead of doing the sensible thing and stabilising then bunny hopping the gutter up onto the grass I thought, I can still make the turn, so leant into the corner more. This is when the large amount of gravel on the bitumen became a problem, my wheels went out from under me and I went sliding along the bitumen on my right elbow, thigh and fingers for a while until I ran into the gutter.

Overall I felt a bit winded but nothing seemed too bad, my bike has some new scratches and a few other small issues (this is the newish cyclocross bike too). Noticing the lacerations in my fingers (road gloves do not have the protection of full finger mtb gloves) I thought it best to head home when I sat up. I did however notice my right elbow was sore, so rolled a bit in order to get it off the bitumen upon which I was lying. This is when Simon, Libby and Bruce saw how deep the gouges were in my elbow and it was obvious I would need to go to the hospital emergency for them to look at it.

Bruce, living closest rode home to get his car, Libby and Simon waited with me. A security guard (for the Governor General) drove past, pulled up and was good enough to provide sterile dressings an a bandage for Libby to use on my arm (though as a vet, she operates on Animals day in day out Human gore makes her a bit queasy, thanks for the help Lib). After this a few more drivers passing and a cyclist or two were all nice enough to pull up and see if we needed anything, even offering lifts and such. Bruce was on his way so we said thanks and that we were sorted. Also while waiting Julie happened to roll past on her way to a paddle session. Last night at stretching I obviously angered the Crash Gods when I mentioned to Julie I tend not to Crash often, especially not serious crashes. Julie did point out this morning it was obviously a silly thing to say, the Crash gods got their own back today. Though I am most fortunate not to be banged up to the extent Dave is.

Bruce rocked up and drove me to the Canberra Hospital, I sent my mother an text saying I may need a pick up from the hospital later depending how long it took. Then sent Danielle a text as I was a her place of employ, fortunately in no need of visiting her ward though (Intensive Care). When I got to Emergency I provided details and then the nurse (a friendly woman named Kate) took me in immediately to have a look at my injuries in Triage and see what needed to be done. The nurse knows Ben (who was a full time nurse in ICU until recently and is still doing shifts a bit (or coming into Socialise for 12 hours at a time as he explained to Kate recently ). So we talked about adventure racing and riding and stuff a bit while she cleaned me up and did what the doctor said had to be done.

After a while the Doctor ended up scrubbing out the wound and cleaning it well, sent me for Xrays to ensure nothing was stuck in there. At this point while waiting for Xrays Danielle rocked up to work and came to visit to see how I was, she had to run for a meeting and said she would be back later. I had Xrays and then sat to wait being sewn up. The shift changed around now and the new doctor coming along to sew me up happened to be Gwenda (fellow mountain biker and to some extent enjoyer of paddling activities, Dan Smith's partner for those who do not know her), so we were able to chat about mountain biking, paddling, Dan's crazy plans for things he wants to do and such, the Gravity 12 hour which Gwenda had done previously, but missed out on this year (travelling with young kids is a hassle for starters).

Anyway Gwenda did a great job sewing me up, Danielle returned, with a coffee for me (thanks Danielle) and got to watch the last few stitches, commenting my elbow looked like a raw steak. I need to go see my GP on Friday for her to review the injury and then again in 7 to 10 days for the sutures/stitches to be removed.

The good news is I can still race in the AROC night race this Friday (so long as I do not submerse my arm in water and can keep the elbow dry for the race) and can still compete with Danielle in the Urban Polaris on Sunday (Danielle's first question to me was You are still right for Sunday aren't you? )

I have not gone into work today yet (may or may not) and have a fantastic excuse not to do the ARNuts night run (had effort that it can be) tonight. I will see how I feel for the road ride tomorrow morning (Mugga Way loop this week). Next challenge is to work out how to shower without getting my elbow or the bandage wet. Mothing hurts too much currently, though Gwenda assures me the sutures will hurt and I should have my friend paracetamol handy (and maybe Neurofen around too according to my personal pharmacist (Gwenda's choice of words) Danielle)

Thanks to Kate, Gwenda and the rest of the TCH staff for processing me so fast and smoothly. Thanks to Libby and Bruce (and I guess I should thank Simon...) for hanging around and getting me to the hospital. Thanks to Danielle for the coffee and moral support (even though as Gwenda noted it seems she only wants me for my body (and its ability to ride on Sunday )). Thanks to others so far today for the text messages of support.

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