Feb 012015

I’ve been waiting a long time to post this and finally I can……

Max vs Aygo

Max vs Aygo

The ‘Driver’ that hit me on August 1st, causing the crash that left me with a broken collarbone, multiple cuts and bruises, a broken bicycle and a destroyed helmet pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving and was fined and given five penalty points on his licence.

Justice, as they say, has been served.

So, here are a few more details…..

The car that hit me is shown on the left in its final position after the driver stopped, as you can see in the photo, I was obviously in the middle of the road on the roundabout, not, as was postulated riding around the far left lane. If you look carefully you can see that there is some glass on the floor behind the rear wheel – that it from the impact. The door glass shattered when I hit it. Continue reading “Guilty (Of Careless Driving)” »

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 212015

As I have posted elsewhere on this blog, I was knocked off my bike on August 1st.

Since then, I have gone through two surgeries to repair my collarbone.

My recovery is progressing slowly, some days I think that I am not getting any better, other days I realise that it is less painful nowadays than it was, say, a month ago.

Then I move awkwardly, my muscles spasm and I have pain tearing up my upper arm and my shoulder and tears in my eyes.

The current status is that I have seriously restricted movement in my left shoulder.

Standing straight up, I can raise my arm forwards to about 80*, I can get to about 60* sideways and maybe 10* backwards. When I reach those limits, I get significant muscle spasms in my upper arm and a  sharp pain that stretches from my left ear to my elbow.

Obviously I try not to move my arm too far. Continue reading “Crash Recovery, continued…..” »

 Posted by at 7:35 am
Nov 032014

I almost went out on my bicycle yesterday. It would have been very appropriate, three months and a day since my crash. 2014-10-26 08.33.50

I got a new helmet on Saturday (November 1st) to replace the one that took the brunt of the impact last time out. I decided to get the exact same helmet as before. I reasoned that as the previous one did such a good job, why change ?

I did not go out as it was very wet and incredibly windy. Not ideal cycling conditions really and certainly not good conditions to take the first steps after a major crash. Continue reading “Crash – Recovery Month FOUR” »

Oct 012014

Today is the start of month three of my recovery.

As you will have read in previous posts, I was knocked off my bike on August the 1st 2104.

One plate and six screws

One plate and six screws

While I had several other, relatively minor injuries, the major one was to my left collarbone. which was broken fairly badly.

I underwent surgery on August the 14th to stabilise it. They inserted a titanium plate and six screws into the bone. For the last few weeks I have been recovering slowly from the procedure.

Unfortunately I am not recovering very quickly, I am struggling with quite badly reduced mobility in my shoulder and severe stabbing pains and muscular spasms when I move the wrong way – or indeed too far. I also have significant pins and needles that stretch from my shoulder to my little finger on my left hand.

I have an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist next week to discuss further options which looks to include additional surgery. Continue reading “Crash – Recovery Month Three” »

Sep 012014

Note: This is part 2 of my recovery, for the first part, read this post first.

Monday September 1st 2014
(feeling very sorry for myself)
A full month has now gone by, it feels a lot longer. The first few days after the crash were miserable beyond belief, I could barely do anything at all, any movement sent shocks of pain through my body, As the bone was broken and separated it was especially painful when movement would cause the ends to touch.

I was somewhat happy to be considered for surgery, but frankly I totally underestimated just how huge an impact it would have on me. I assumed I would be in and out of the hospital and that I would be back to normal in a few days.

Healing really nicely

Healing really nicely

I am now over two weeks into my post-surgery recovery and I am still not back to normal, not by a very long way.

I almost cannot imagine riding again this year. Maybe in a couple of months I will be fine, but by then the weather will be crappy and it will not really be the time to go out.

I just made a physiotherapy appointment, it is not for three week, so even if PT is a miracle cure, I have another three weeks of limited mobility and a doubt about how it will heal and if it will ever return to normal.

All in all, it could be a lot worse, I am sore and in pain a lot and I have limited mobility. I am looking forwards to fixing my bike and I am looking forwards to getting out there again in the future.I just wish it was sooner rather than later…

Continue reading “Crash – Recovery Month Two” »

Aug 202014

[Warning – this is a bit graphic]

Over the years I have been incredibly fortunate to have been able to cycle many thousands of miles and stay pretty much on my bicycle. Sure over the years I have fallen off a mountain bike, but it has always been my fault, often a combination of too much speed and not quite enough talent in the dirt.

On the road though I have been either very lucky, or very observant, managing to avoid a road-crash for at least the last thirty years. I think that the last time I fell off my road bike was back when I taking my O-Levels.

Now I have a Titanium plate holding my collarbone together.

This is the story the crash and of my recovery so far…
Continue reading “Crash !” »

Oct 162013

I see lots of people pontificating about some new wondrous diet or other and how they have lost endless weight by following them. There are some seriously strange ones that are popular at the moment too.

I may have eaten too many pies

You may have eaten too many pies

I also see endless people hopping from faddy diet to plain weird diet and failing to lose any weight at all. Or more often, losing a bit, then putting it all back on again and again.

Here is the secret.….

If you are over-weight and you want to weigh less, eat less food and burn more calories.

It is actually that simple.

Your body needs food in order to function, but if you over-feed it, then it turns the excess food into fat and stores it for use later.

If you consistently over-feed your body, you will continue to add to the fat stores.

When you move around, when you heart beats, when you are awake, when you are asleep, your body uses energy. If there is not enough food available to burn, then those reserves of fat are raided.

Again though, if there is more food available than you need, then the excess is added to the fat stores.

Depending on how old you are, what sex you are, how much you weigh and how active you are on a daily basis, your body will burn a reasonably calculable amount of calories.

For example, At my age, given my relatively sedentary lifestyle and my current weight, I need around 2500kcals per day on average to maintain my weight. Continue reading “The Top Secret Weight Loss Formula.” »

Aug 312013

Some time ago I bought a single-speed bike.

I love the idea of a simple, honest bike that needs little maintenance and is easy and simple to ride.

[EMAREN] the bicycle

[EMAREN] the bicycle

So I bought a nice, SE Racing, Draft. It was pretty nice, a steel frame, coaster brake (no hand brakes), nice, simple, easy.

Except that I realized that I did not really like the coaster brake, several very near misses later I added decent brakes to it. which lead to lighter wheels.

This changed the dynamics of the bike.

Some Aero Bull-horn bars with a double layer of cork tape, a carbon seat post with a decent seat made it ever lighter and faster…

The latest changes have seen the crappy original bottom bracket replaced with a nice Shimano unit and the steel crankset replaced with a polished alloy FSA unit.

I added some nice custom graphics as the bike is no longer an SE Draft, it is an [EMAREN] branded bike now 🙂

So, how does it ride now ?

It is fast, but I spin-out at 26mph now. I might have to change the gearing to 44T/15T vs the current 44T/16T. The 16T is pretty much a standard though, so 15T cogs tend to be a special order. Perhaps I will see how it goes on longer rides.

I am pretty happy with it….

Apr 012013

A tale of three bicycles……


On Friday night I made a late decision that I would go for a ride with a local cycling club on Saturday morning. My intention was also to go out on my Mountain bike on Sunday – which meant a quick change of wheels and a tune-up.

I started with the Mountain bike, the front dirt tire was flat, at some point it looks like I had managed to run over a drawing pin. This was an easy fix. Ten minutes, no tools, job done. I also lubed the chain, checked what few bolts there are and declared it ‘fit for purpose’. The front brake pads are a little worn and it really needs a wash, but it was functional.

Then I moved on to my road bike – actually it is a Triathlon Kestrel bicycle that has a serious personality disorder due to the chaotic way that I mixed and matched parts – thinking that it would be a good idea to check it for issues – simple things can slow you down, make sure that there is air in the tires, lube on the chain and things were generally in good shape. The first issue was a show-stopping one, the front tire was flat. Undeterred I pulled the wheel, removed the tire and examined the tube. There was a huge hole in it. The Stan’s ‘no tubes’ limit was well and truly exceeded, there was no way that this huge hole could be sealed. So I patched it with a ‘scab’, checked the inside of the tube and found a thorn and pulled it out. I then put it all together, inflated it to 120psi (yes, really), then lubed the chain, adjusted the cables and called it a good job.

On Saturday morning, I woke early as usual and pulled on my cycling gear, hoping to head to the 8AM meeting point and join the ride. The first thing I noticed on reaching the garage was the stupid front tire. Sadly it was flat, again. I did not have time to change the tube once more and as I suspected that the issue was probably not as simple as adding another patch I realized I would need so much time that the ride would probably be long over by the time I was finally ready, so I left it alone and grabbed my trusty mountain bike.

Continue reading “29.5 Miles later….” »

Mar 182013

I have recently taken to the idea of a Sunday morning ride.

For the last three Sundays I have ridden one of my bicycles around 22-25 miles on one of a variety of loops in the area. I am not the only one, there are a lot of people out riding. I often catch up with a group or a couple of riders and tag along until we go different ways or I run out of legs, or they drop back. Regardless on my previous couple of rides on my road bike there has been a level of camaraderie among the riders. We all speak to each other and often wave.

What I did not realize is that you need to be a part of the clique. If you are riding a road bike or in my case a ‘bitsa’ Tri-bike, then fellow roadies will wave and smile and encourage you to join them.

Now try exactly the same ride on a mountain bike, albeit one with city tires.

On Sunday I rode a slightly different loop, my usual loop sees me riding north, then east, then south and then west to get home, this time I followed the north trail and it took me towards the cost (west) before I eventually turned left and headed homeward. At about the twelve mile point I encountered a group of riders, they were all in their 30’s and 40’s and all riding multi-thousand dollar road bikes.  They were all dressed in various team replica gear, cycling shoes, ‘sponsored’ helmets, the works. As I moved through the pack I said ‘good morning’ to the rider that I was alongside. They pretty much all look away, or straight ahead or otherwise ignored me. At one set of lights I turned to the rider that pulled up alongside me said ‘I guess I am the odd one out huh ?’ He said ‘you could say that’ and looked away.

The reason that they ignored me is simple, I was not conforming to the rules.

Continue reading “Roadies vs Mountain Bikers….” »