Optimism is always the best policy, but sometimes reality has different outcomes planned for you.
I had a pretty busy weekend that overflowed into the start of last week, three days of riding with a mixture of friends on the usual techy descents around the valley. As I mentioned last week it was something I’d been looking forward too, the chance to share home turf with friends usually ridden with in other peoples countries.
Monday was no different either, with a sun and blue sky day of hitting up the trails straight out of the ST Towers front door.
Perfect ground conditions, good company and more than decent riding. There’s not much that can better that combination. I was happy with what I thought would be my off road to recovery. But at the bottom of each descent there was still that niggling ache and hint of swelling going on. A mention of this at the Doctors saw a visit to the local health centre for an X-ray, which led to a visit to A+E, and two days later to Fracture Clinic. In the short space of a morning I’d gone from fairly mobile, to plastered up, to no riding for the foreseeable future.
And the cause of this? A fractured and displaced scaphoid. A tiny kidney bean of a bone below the thumb that seems designed to break and cause complications.
“At least it happened in the off season”
I’ve heard that a lot and I have to disagree. Sure it could have been worse if it had happened in summer, but the riding at the moment is second to none. Plenty of traction, perfect trails and fewer walkers and other riders. That’s a lot to give up. And it’s proving hard to give up. Five days in and I’m missing riding already. Offers of turbo trainers and “sufferfest” just don’t do it for me. I need to ride outside, I don’t do indoors very well. It’s that lack of the delayed gratification gene coming back to bite me again. I know I need to ease up and let things heal, but I’m also busy dreaming of the what ifs.
Not the what ifs of if it hadn’t happened. I’m happy with the cause and effect of riding bikes off road. There’s a certain inevitability of injury at some point, it’s a statistical thing isn’t it? Like the Patagonia Worn Wear campaign that’s currently running, I like the idea that my worn and scarred body has a story to tell. Moments captured in scar tissue, that tell the story of a life lived outdoors, trying stuff out and not always succeeding.
And sometimes just riding along…
No I’m busy with the positive what ifs; the what if I put sticky tyres on the Orange Five and ride the steeper local tarmac for a bit. The chance to work up a sweat out in the real world instead of hidden in the cellar. The cast that encases my arm is set at just the right angle for gripping bars and grips. With a Pike soaking up the bumps surely a little saddle time wouldn’t hurt?
What did you do this weekend? Where did you ride?