The Medical Misadventures of Missus Toast

So, this last year has been fairly rubbish for a variety of reasons. My mom’s death, the small matter of a global pandemic and, for me personally, the stark reminder that my body is a shonky wreck.

(Incidentally, autocorrect just tried to change ‘shonky’ to ‘chunky’, which is also accurate).

My knees have always been a hot mess since my teens – soft cartilage that gets chewed up easily, missing a couple of ligaments, and so on. But last year, shortly before my 40th birthday, I decided to add a broken ankle to my repertoire.

It was self-inflicted, and completely stupid. I was riding up what is usually a fairly tame bridleway – for context, I’ve towed Mini-Toast up it in a trailer. But this time I was riding solo, it was a beautiful evening, and I decided in my infinite wisdom that I’d try to beat my previous Strava time up the hill.

My line choice was poor – instead of riding within the rut of the track, I rode the raised bit in the middle. It’ll be faster, I told myself. And so it was… right until the point the edge of the line fell away and I went over.

There was pain. There was shock. There was the growing realisation that I’d properly hurt my ankle. I didn’t want to call Mr Toast, as he was getting Mini-Toast to bed. I didn’t want to call an ambulance, because that would be an overreaction, and I was probably fine, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic. So, after rolling around in agony for about 20 minutes, I gingerly got back on the bike and rode the most painful 3.5 miles of my life.

After getting home and crawling in, Mr Toast came downstairs and was slightly disconcerted by my general demeanour. We got my shoe off, rolled up my legging… and it was not pretty. Nothing poking out of the skin, but my ankle was exceedingly wonky. We called 111. They called an ambulance.

The paramedics were amazing. They assessed that I’d certainly done something to my ankle, as one pressed my foot and said, “There should be a bone there, but it’s not”. So off to hospital I went, with delicious, delicious morphine.

Long story short – unstable Weber B fracture, 3 months in a cast, 6 weeks in a moon boot. Not the best way to spend a summer. Especially not in a heatwave. In lockdown.

As the ankle recovered, naturally, something else had to go wrong. I developed an ear infection that lasted three months, and took multiple courses of increasingly aggressive antibiotics to clear. Apparently, I have ‘dainty ear canals’, which means they’re more at risk of infection. Hurray! The ear infection eventually cleared, but the antibiotics kicked off another issue, which I won’t go into as… ugh.

Then, towards the end of 2020, I lost full use of my shoulders. For weeks my shoulders could cause agonising, breathtaking pain if knocked the wrong way. Even when the pain subsided, I couldn’t lift my arms up past a certain point. I couldn’t brush my hair properly, or put it in a normal ponytail (I had to rock a side pony, 80s style). I could only wear baggy tops, or ones that button/zipped up. Fortunately, that only took five months or so to clear up, and I nearly have full mobility back.

So, I’ve been plodding on, with intermittent bouts of IBS which I put down to stress. Only, it might not have been stress, as two weeks ago I ended up in A&E again, and am now missing a gallbladder. Fortunately, this has been relatively minor compared to everything else, and recovery has been quick. Also, free weight loss! Yay! I’m currently assessing what other organs I can get shot of to cheat the scales.

I’m hoping that I can be free of hospitals for a while, and that things might start looking up. I’ve had my Covid jab, I’ve got a new bike arriving today, and we’re moving into summer. We’ve got holidays booked for Forest of Dean, Glentress and Dalby, so fingers crossed I can have a better year this year!

2020 and the road to recovery

You know, it really was a shame that I didn’t keep up with this blog. The month after my last post, I rode Pivot 24/12 and got a podium place! Third! With a trophy, and everything! Admittedly, there were only four women in my category (12 hour solo, under 40s) – something like eleven had dropped out due to the horrendous weather, which also ended up curtailing the 24 hour race. It would have been a great post. Really uplifting. Look, here I am with my trophy – sadly not on the physical podium, as the wind made it too dangerous.

Instead, I’m posting in 2020. Now, I’m sure everyone’s aware by this point that 2020 has been a bit shit, but I’ve found it particularly… trying. Let’s tick things off the list, shall we?

  • Global pandemic: Got to say, didn’t see that one coming. Here in Blighty we’re currently riding our second wave. Yay.
  • My mom died: OK, we did see this one coming. She was diagnosed with cancer last year, which had already spread, and she actually had relatively good health until the start of this year. I still can’t believe that she’s gone though, and despite our occasionally fractious relationship, I miss her like crazy.
  • I broke my ankle: First time I’ve broken a limb, and I did it on my bike! I tried to peg it up a hill as fast as possible to beat my previous Strava time. It didn’t end well.

Fortunately things are coming around a bit now, and I’m riding more than ever. I’ll possibly detail my recovery a bit more in future posts, so I can look back cheerfully at this amazing year….

Electric Dreams

Yes, another good ol’ stretch between posts. In my defence, this time I have a slightly better excuse: like the US elections, my site was compromised by the Russians! It took a bit of work, but it’s now back to normal and safe again. Huzzah!

So, what have I been getting up to? Well, I’m still riding, although crushing mommy guilt (as well as a genuine desire to spend time with my son) prevents me from getting out as much as I used to. Ethan’s got a trailer now, so I’m looking forward to getting him out on more rides.

I’ve got a Lapierre Overvolt ebike (known as Voltron) that I use for getting in the miles, but Devastator the Stumpjumper still reigns supreme on the technical stuff – mainly because my ebike is slightly too big for me, and weighted oddly due to its small frame size.

I can still push it a lot on the ebike though – with the strain on my knees much lessened, I can pedal harder and faster. Today I pushed myself so hard over 30 miles that I felt dizzy and nauseous when I stopped. Once the ride was over, I treated myself to a ham sandwich, a slice of malt loaf and a shower.

Unfortunately, the nausea made a sudden and dramatic reappearance whilst I was in the shower, culminating in surprise projectile vomiting. If you’ve ever wondered what malt loaf looks like approximately 20 minutes after consumption, the answer is “exactly like dog shit”. My shower was followed by an intense bath cleaning session, and then another shower. Because picking chewed up ham out of the plug hole is kind of disgusting.

If you’re feeling iffy reading this, just be glad that you didn’t experience it first hand.

So yeah, still possible to push yourself on an ebike to the point of being sick. Yay, I guess?

Today’s adventures aside, we’ve got a couple of weeks before our anniversary trip to Scotland. We haven’t been for the last two years, as in 2016 I was two weeks off giving birth, and last year Ethan was a bit to little for such a long car journey. My fitness still isn’t quite up to how it’s been on previous visits, but I’m hoping that I’m up to the task – Voltron is staying at home, so the initial climb should be interesting…

 

October. Bleugh.

Well, it’s been an odd few months. Confession time: I haven’t actually been on my bike since October, a thoroughly miserable little factoid there.  When I was first made redundant, I did vaguely have this dream that on days in between looking for work, I could get some extra miles in over the Chase.  Unfortunately, as time went on, I realised that the £20+ in fuel it cost to get to and fro the Chase was financially a bit irresponsible – especially as the statutory redundancy claim was taking longer than expected to sort out.   

It was, all-in-all, a pretty grim cycle of misery for a few months – I felt guilty about doing anything ‘fun’, as ‘fun’ wasn’t looking for a job or improving my skills.  Jobs were scarce, and each week that passed made me feel more useless. The redundancy claim was a fairly fraught process, with an investigation dragging it out, and leading to the delightful conclusion that my role had been TUPEd to another unrelated company.  I was informed that I’d technically resigned by refusing a job at the company in Oxford, so wasn’t entitled to anything other than my owed wages, which I’d have to claim from a company I’d never worked for. There was misery, there was despair, a fair bit of anger… put it like this, if I was strong in the Force, I would have been full on Sith and shooting lightning out of my fingertips, with Yoda looking a bit disappointed.  There was also a fair bit of weight gain – winter eating combined with no exercise plays cruel, cruel tricks on my waistline.  The weather went terrible, and EVERYTHING WAS RUBBISH.

Fortunately, things started to turn around.  The company that I was supposedly TUPEd to got their lawyers involved, and I ended up getting my statutory redundancy, loss of notice and unpaid wages/holiday after all.  Money may not buy happiness, but it pays the bills and buys motorbikes, so that was a plus.  I then managed to not only get my career back on track, but to give it a massive boost – I’m now working on two awesome projects for a company that helped shaped my childhood, and am professionally the happiest I’ve ever been.

And I’ve also taken up a new hobby – archery.  Longtime readers (if there are any) will know that I often talk of my love of Lord of the Rings, and my childhood desire to be an elf – ride a horse, live in a tree, have awesome hair, shoot a bow.  Well, I tried riding a horse, didn’t like it, but mountain biking is close.  Living in a tree is impractical, but we have a semi-detached and a mortgage. Hair… well, I try. 

But archery… I’ve been wanting to do it for years, and I finally managed to complete a beginners’ course which demonstrated that I wasn’t going to have anybody’s eye out, and joined the local archery club.  I was surprised at the bewildering array of stuff that you can get for recurve bows (my weapon of choice) – sights, long rods, clickers, etc. I’ve now got the basics, and have hopefully passed the ‘excruciatingly bad’ starting period, where my arrows were landing in strange and unpredictable places.  Unless you predicted ‘on the floor’ – then they weren’t that predictable.  Sometimes I would hit the target… just not the one I was aiming at.  Turns out you should keep your head still when shooting, instead of bobbing it around like an angry pigeon or like the possessed lass in The Exorcist.  WHO KNEW? But it’s great fun, will hopefully do something about my feeble upper body strength (18lb draw weight…), and will stand me in good stead for any forthcoming zombie apocalypse.

So now, I’ve just got to get back on the bike.  I’ve suffered from a lack of enthusiasm because of the weather, but now it’s starting to be less awful, I’m actually a little bit scared.  Scared to see how much fitness I’ve lost over six months, scared because people will be laughing at the fat girl on the expensive bike, scared because what if I’ve forgotten how to mountain bike and hurt myself on the Steg, or on the exit to section 8. What if people laugh?

But screw that – I can’t solve any of those problems unless I get back riding.  So this weekend I’m going to the Specialized Demo Day, so if anything terrible happens I can blame it on an unfamiliar bike (I’m also quite interested in the Rumour, as it looks like it might be a new-full susser that fits me). So if you see a tubby lass wobbling around – go easy on her, yeah?

Well, that escalated quickly…

Blimey, I’ve gone a bit slack on the blogging front – I last posted on my birthday.

Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve done a lot of riding this year – more than ever before!  Aaah, the benefits of a good summer – it was fantastic when it finally made an appearance!  I’ve been going out on rides in the evening on the local bridleways and quiet country roads, and also joining in with the Thursday night XC rides run by RLSCC.  This has made the weekends a lot more productive too – I can now do two laps of the Dog fairly comfortably, and have even done two laps of the Dog and the blue.  Admittedly I end up walking a bit like a cowboy after a hefty ride over the Chase, but it’s nothing that a bag of frozen peas and 400mg of ibuprofen can’t cure.

Sadly my racing has been limited this year – I didn’t fancy Mountain Mayhem, Sleepless was cancelled, Bonty 24/12 was the same weekend as my sister-in-law’s wedding (which was ace) and Torq in Your Sleep was the day before Mr Toast started his new job at Sega.  But things calmed down. Benny finally passed his bronze Good Citizenship test! All was well.  We started to ponder From Dusk Til Dawn.

Then I was made redundant.

To describe Thursday morning as ‘very surreal’ doesn’t really do it justice.  We were working away as usual. I went to the toilet, and, as I sat in the cubicle, I heard the door open and a male voice say, “Is anybody in here?”

I initially thought it was going to be a maintenance guy, but when I answered and had the response, “It’s Tom, you need to come to the second floor for a company meeting” – that was when I knew that something was seriously amiss. If the male company lawyer is coming into the ladies’ toilets and saying that everybody needs to go to an unscheduled company meeting, it’s not going to be for happy fun times. If you think differently, you’re either a deranged optimist or a pervert. Possibly both.

We shuffled to the second floor, a sea of concerned faces and nervous laughter.  I cracked a joke about The Hunger Games – truth be told, I was expected mass redundancies.  Blitz had tried so hard to buck the trend of hire and fire that’s prevalent in the industry that it was surely about time to slim down?  May the odds be ever in your favour.

What I wasn’t expecting was the entire company to have ceased trading, with the loss of over 170 jobs.

It was at the same time both kind of expected and a complete and an utter surprise.  Blitz had sailed close to the line over the past few years, trying to adapt from console development to a broader range of projects.  With the demise of THQ, the bottom falling out of anything other than AAA console development and the emergence of mobile and tablet gaming, it was a struggle.  But I think people always expected them to last – ten years is a long, long time in the games industry, and for an independent developer, over twenty years is almost unheard of.

It’s strange, because although Blitz never made a AAA hit, or anything that your stereotypical hardcore gamer would embrace, it’s a genuine loss to the industry.  Indie Celebrity(TM), former colleague and all-round good egg Mike Bithell wrote a lovely eulogy on Eurogamer.  So many of my former colleagues are at studios around the world – in Amsterdam, working on Killzone.  In Canada, working on Mass Effect.  Closer to home, in Twycross, working on super-secret Rare things.  I can’t help but imagine that when the news hit the gaming industry grapevine, that it was like Alderaan being blown up by the Death Star – millions of voices suddenly crying out. 

Because although Blitz wasn’t without its flaws (what company isn’t?), it contributed so much.  Blitz was willing to take on placement students, and graduates, or even with people without degrees, as long as they had the talent.  They allowed me to go out an champion accessibility in games development. They championed improved links between the industry and academia, helping students come out of university with relevant skills. And the Olivers are incredibly, incredibly nice, talking with relentless enthusiasm.  Hopefully something good will spring from the ashes.

So, what now? Well, fortunately Al started at Sega a few weeks ago, so at least one of us is in a job.  He at one point called me ‘a lady of leisure’. I threatened to punch him.  But I’ve got a few interviews coming up this week – all great companies, but I’m aware that I also have a lot of great competition now.

Interesting times!

I should be posting about my previous rides…

…over the Monkey.  Four so far this year, three of which went well, one which went… less well.  Took the Boneshaker a bit quick (not a euphemism) and came off in quite spectacular fashion, although fortunately I was remarkably unscathed apart from a few scuffs.

But no, let’s not talk about that.  Let’s consider this instead.

Best week of the year!!111

Last week was ace.  What did I get up to?  Well, let’s see… first there was…

DALBY!

It was my first ride of the year on the Professor, and a few tweaks were made – more air in the forks and rear shock, namely.  We started the red route, and it went rather well.  As previously mentioned, I’ve kept up a bit of fitness thanks to commuting by bike every day, but unfortunately I was still fighting a bit of a chest infection.

FUN FACT ABOUT MISSUS TOAST CHEST INFECTIONS!  Due to being overly ladylike, chest infections tend to linger for me.  Why?  Because instead of blowing my nose, or coughing up phlegm, I tend to… well, choke it down.  Snuffle it right back up, where it can be recycled.

As I rode around Dalby, I allowed myself to freely cough up phlegm and blow my nose like a trumpeter, as one of the joys of marriage is being disgusting without fear of reprisal.  Or at least, that’s what Mr Toast and his musical bottom tells me.

And cough I did, to the point of nearly being sick.  A definite benefit was that, since Dalby, my chest and sinuses have felt clearer than they had in months.  However, at the time, the lack of breathing ability made it somewhat difficult to ride, and we decided to do half the trail instead of the full 20-odd miles.

Unfortunately, Mr Toast’s memory (or sense of direction) wasn’t quite as good he thought, and we ended up doing only 6 miles of red route, and 10 miles of road.  It was a very pretty road, though.  We saw a stag.  That was nice…

After Yorkshire we travelled up to Scotland.  As July is a bit hectic this year, we decided to get some early Glentress in this year in case we couldn’t make it for our anniversary.  We stayed at our usual haunt, Glede Knowe, which was fantastic as always.

Somewhat stereotypically, it was beautiful weather on the drive up, and in the evening Mr Toast and I went for a lovely walk with t’boy down by the river, followed by a meal at the Traquair Arms.

The next day – the day we were riding –  started off beautiful, but quickly became gloomy and overcast.  The predictions of ‘light rain’ and ‘light showers’ were somewhat innaccurate, and we were instead faced with ‘fairly annoyingly persistent and not actually that light’ rain. For four hours.

The weather report was correct in surmising that the weather would improve in the afternoon – as we sat muddy and sodden in the cafe, the sun came out.  Then the next day, when we were driving home… sunniest and warmest day of the year. Ho hum.

We weren’t actually too disgruntled – the trails are still awesome fun in the rain. The only issue is, after that incident on Pennel’s Vennel that one rainy year, I now have no appetite to hit the red in the rain.  We did make one concession – we did the climb up to Spooky Wood, and then Spooky Wood itself.

The climb wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I remembered, and I also took to it with a bit more speed and aplomb than in previous years.  I confess, I didn’t do the very first drop, but I did everything else after that.  I didn’t get a burning sensation in my left thigh until right near the end, but my calves were screaming – I think I’m just a bit out of shape when it comes to off-road stuff!  Jolly good fun though.

And… oh look! A picture of me with the meteorite Stane.  How terribly original!

2013-05-01 13.00.51

The blue at Glentress is definitely one of my favourite trails, if not the favourite. The climb up to the Buzzard’s Nest carpark is good fun, and the descent is also amazing – so swoopy, bermy and fast!

After Scotland it was back home, but on Friday we got to ride over Cannock Chase.  As we knew we were coming over again on Sunday, Mr Toast decided to nobly escort me around the Monkey… given that I’ve not really ridden in much over the past two years, and that I’ve come a cropper a couple of times on it, it seemed a wise decision.

We took it very easy (translation: I took it easy, Mr Toast waited), and there were a few bits I gave a wide berth – I merrily bypassed the rock gardens on the original Monkey, and also avoided the Klondike rocks and the Woodbank timber feature.  In hindsight I think I’d be fine with the latter, and probably be OK with Klondike as long as I take the left line instead of the right (as my wheel goes into the dip on the one rock and I get flung over the handlebars 50% of the time).  Can’t be arsed with the original Monkey though – discretion is the finer point of not dying, as they say.

I’ll really have to get into the habit of riding the Monkey more – I’m sure it’ll up my speed and confidence (assuming I don’t fall off and die).

On Sunday I pootled around the greens… on a Duet Wheelchair Bike! Yes, Swinnerton’s have one now, so my mother can experience the joys of the Chase.  She was somewhat disconcerted by the sight of an ambulance at the Rollers (broken collar bone, apparently), and she made me promise that I wouldn’t take her on the Rollers…

The Chase greens are generally lovely for wheelchairs – they’re not quite as potholey as the Tissington Trail – but there’s the odd bit that’s awkward.  Some of the off-camber bits can be quite tricky, and returning on the green made me realise I had the choice of following the green through the stream (which my mother wasn’t keen on), or going over the bridge around the pool (which she was even less keen on due to the path crumbling away).  Still, we got around in one piece, although we ended up doing a few more laps just around the ‘Walk for Health’ green route, which was very easy.  TOP TIP! Carrying an extra 10 1/2 stone of mother on the front of the bike is great for fitness.

So overall, a great week for riding – I just wish we could do it more!

Get shorty

Ah, shorts.  Next to shoes, getting trousers and shorts that even remotely fit is the bane of my clothing existence.

A word on my physique – I am short of leg, and wide of arse and thigh, but relatively narrow of waist.  This, dear readers, is a problem.  What normally happens with trousers or shorts is that I go for one size, and I can’t get them over my hips.  Nope, nope, nope.  But if I go for the next size up… huzzah!  They pass the thighs and hips and… oh.  Oh, right.  I have an extra two inches or so of waist band.  Awesome.  I end up with loads of excess fabric, and end up having to wear belts, which I dislike for two reasons:

1) It bunches up the waistband and looks awful

2) I’m allergic to nickel, which is what’s generally used in costume jewellery and belt buckles.  So I quite often end up with an unslightly (AND ITCHY) rash on my belly.

Given that I’m not blessed with the most attractive pins in the world (especially given the events of the previous post), I like 3/4 length shorts, which seem to be quite hard to get hold of if you’re a lady – quite a few will claim to be 3/4 length but only be knee-length… and believe me, it’s not because I have long legs.

So, here, for your delight and delectation – the world of Missus Toast’s biking shorts.

Altura Synchro Women’s 3/4

Well, let’s start with some of my favourites.  I have two pairs of Synchros – a grey pair with black piping, I think from 2009 or 2010, and a black pair with white piping on, from 2010/11.  OBSERVE THE MAJESTY OF MY SYNCHROS!grey_synchrosSo these shorts have been bloody fantastic:

  • The cut is nice, reasonably loose on the legs but not massively baggy around the waist.
  •  They actually make a pretty decent effort to get past the knee.
  • There aren’t any fastenings to get caught or rub.
  • They’re very light, so they’re ideal in the summer.
  • The pockets aren’t great, although the later pair have slightly deeper ones that are more useful, but really… who puts anything in their pockets? It’s uncomfortable, and makes you look bobbly. Pockets are overrated!*

Despite being used for commuting to work, weekend mountain biking and 24 hour races in horrendous weather, they’re still in perfect condition.  And yes, I wash them after every ride as well, thanks for asking. In the case of my older grey pair, they also survived the 2010 crash that took out my helmet and a good chunk of the skin on my right arm.  The blood washed out nicely!

Loeka Tech Short Capri Length 2010

Loeka-Freeride-Shorts-Pinstripe-Side

I bought these last year.  The dimensions are a bit unusual – I’d personally say they’re a bit short to be classed as ‘capri length’, but they are just about knee length on my hobbity legs.  They’re very baggy in the leg, which makes a nice change, but they are also quite baggy around the waist and gut – not too bad though.  More room for cake, eh?

So, an overview:

  • Relatively short for ‘capri’ length
  • Nice and baggy
  • There aren’t any fastenings to get caught or rub.
  • Quality feels really nice and sturdy
  • Very cool looking

Endura Hummvee 3/4 Women’s

The Hummvees are very popular, both the male and female versions.  Unfortunately, despite being the most expensive shorts I’ve bought**, they’re the only ones I didn’t really get on with.  Again, this is probably due to my rather… ahem, ‘stout’ legs.  The Hummvees are definitely designed for those more slender of pins.  They’re a nice length, but very slim fitting, and I found the velcro fastenings around the back of the knee quite annoying.  The belt that comes with it is also a bit rubbish.  It’s frustrating, because the quality and look (when worn by others…) is great.

  • Good length
  • VERY slim fitting on the legs
  • Velcro fastenings tend to rub when pedalling
  • Good quality
  • Looks good… on non-hobbits

So overall, the Synchros are winning in the battle of the shorts, with the Loeka shorts being a close second – if they were just a bit longer, they’d probably be my favourites.  The Hummvees make me sad, because they make me realise how ridiculously out of proportion my thighs are compared to the rest of my body. 🙁

*Seriously, I really don’t like putting things in my pockets.  Ever.

**It’s probably worth mentioning that I have a tendency to only buy cycling clothes if they’re heavily discounted, usually because they’re last year’s stock, etc.  I am married to a Yorkshireman, after all.

Well, that escalated quickly…

Excellent. The sun is shining, it’s pleasantly warm and the trails are dry.  It’s almost like spring!

After the recent weather and a bout of the standard office lurgy, was eager to get out.  Benny was dropped off at Old Farm Dog Boarding, where he enjoys long walks and running about in a huge garden with lots of other friendly dogs ranging from pugs and shih tzus to rottweilers and labradors (it’s quite a sight to behold…).  So, with Benny safely taken care of, we were able to go forth and bike and the same time!  Huzzah!

Not together though! Mr Toast wanted to hit Follow the Dog* straight away, whereas I decided to take it easy on the blue.  As it turned out, we did almost the opposite – I decided to do a bit of Follow the Dog, and Mr Toast decided to try and catch me up on the blue… which he couldn’t, because I wasn’t there.

Instead, I headed out from Birches Valley onto the blue.  As I passed the Stegosaur, I thought, “Well… I’ll go to up the fireroad hill and do 9, 10, 11 and 12”.  So I veered off in that direction instead.  It started out quite well – I pootled up the the fireroad hill steadily, and always in middle ring, with less trouble than in the past.  It looks like the commuting over winter has definitely boosted my fitness, even if it hasn’t kept the weight off!

I did the first part of section 8, then followed the diversion to section 9. So far so good.  I was riding well, even managed to overtake a few blokes…

THEN HORROR!

The first boardwalk on section 9 is an innocent little thing.  It has a clear run onto it – no awkward roots or large pebbles – you just ride in a straight line onto it.  I’ve done it loads of times.  I’ve done it a few times on the rare occasions I’ve been biking this year, on my 29er.  So what went wrong?

Well, it seems that I slowed too much on the approach, and was in too high a gear.  The front wheel veered off to the left, but I managed to catch it and get my foot down on the ground.  Unfortunately… I’m very small.  The height difference between my left foot on the ground and the rest of my body being on a bike on a board walk a few inches higher was too great, and after stopping, with grim inevitability… I fell over.  I’m not entirely convinced that falling off the bike once you’ve stopped is classed as an ‘off’, but… well, it’s a bit of a moot point really.  I ended up on my arse, legs in the air, entangled in my bike.  And those guys I passed?

Yeah, right behind me.

At the time, it felt that my pride had taken the main blow.  My leg had a couple of nasty scratches and a few specs of blood, but I just got back up and dusted myself off, and continued.  I pondered just getting back on the blue, but decided that was stupid, because I’ve been riding FtD without incident for years, and there’s no point getting a complex now.  So I carried on with 10, 11 and 12.  Without incident.  So there!

Crossed over the road (without incident) and took to the blue, but veered off for some cheekiness down the German cemetery which was a lot more rideable than last time I attempted it.  I guess not being covered in snow and ice does wonders for a trail.

I looped back and rejoined the blue. By this point my leg was starting to smart a bit, and the nasty scratches were starting to look a bit nastier.

20130420_180052Now, I’ll never be a Pretty Polly model, but the swollen red welts weren’t a good look.

Still, I’d had an awesome day and it was fantastic being back out on the trails.  Can’t make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, etc-

OH SWEET MOTHER OF ZEUS!

20130422_220612Sunday was interesting.  I got out of bed, and almost immediately fell over due to not being able to put any weight on my leg.  Eventually I managed to stretch it into a usable state, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.  I got the bus in on Monday…

But today I’ve biked backwards and forwards from work, including extra sessions at lunch to check on Benny.  Other than a slight bit of stiffness, it seems fine, and the bruises are yellowing nicely!  I AM WOLVERINE! \o/ Except he’s the best at what he does.  I’m not the best at mountain biking. 🙁

Despite my comedy injury, I’m really looking forward to more biking this year.  We’ve got Dalby and Glentress planned for next week, so hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy those trails without anymore comedy offs…

* I nearly worded this statement “Mr Toast wanted to hit The Dog”, but given the previous paragraph I worried that people might take it out of context!

 

All the gear….

Right!  Quite a while back I added a tag entitled ‘All the gear, no idea’.  The aim of this tag was to discuss when I bought something new, but I also planned to do reviews.  Mainly because the bulk of my purchases are biking clothes, and reviews of biking clothes are somewhat in short supply if you favour women-specific stuff.  So, without further ado…