The weather forecast for yesterday was dull with very little sunshine and maybe a little rain late in the afternoon. That is just how it appeared when I dressed and set off for yesterdays ride with Team MK. Shorts and a tee shirt under a sleeveless shirt were the order of the day as it was quite warm even at 8:30. I decided against the rain jacket even as a means to just keep warm as it was unnecessary.
I was about halfway to Stony Stratford when I felt the first tiny drops of rain. It can’t be be much I said to myself as its not forecast and anyway I am wearing so little it won’t take long to dry out. It was still raining when I reached Stony Stratford and was still doing so by the time we set off for Carlton, the days assigned coffee and cake stop.
There were twelve of us to start the ride but we picked up somebody else en route making it up to thirteen. I remember making some flippant remark at the time about that being an unlucky number. However we were an orderly group and going at a good steady speed. We had come down into Denton village, near to Castle Ashby when IT happened, en route to Grendon and then on to Wollaston and Carlton.
I was riding in the middle of the group, along the village high street thinking about the climb ahead, back out of the village. I remember spotting a manhole cover in the middle of the road and pointing it out to the riders behind and moving over to avoid it. The next thing I knew I was losing control of the bike for no apparent reason and I knew I was coming off. There was nothing I could do about it, I just instinctively did what I could to protect myself as I went down and hoped for the best as the person behind me clattered into me as well. There was nothing they could do about it either. I gingerly got up as soon as someone realeasd me from the jumble of bikes and checked myself over for damage. I could feel pain in my left shoulder, upper left thigh and left arm. I was fairly sure, despite the sharp pain that I hadn’t broken my collar bone as I could move my arm OK. I didn’t look at my thigh but my shorts were not torn so I expected some kind of friction burn there, I would check that out later in the privacy of my home !! I could see a big graze on my arm that was sore but not too much blood. When we checked the scene of the accident we could see oily ‘rainbow’ patterns pattern on the wet road and there was also an adverse camber on that bit of road so I think it was just an unlucky combination of events.
After a few more minutes of recovery and analysis and some bike checks I decided I was fit enough to carry on with the ride. As it happened I was only about six miles from my home at the time despite having ridden about thirty miles since I left home, so I could easily have given up on the day I guess. The rain stopped for a while soon after we restarted and then it was intermittent for the rest of the ride. When we reached Carlton I could have just carried on and not stopped for refreshments as its quite near to my home. I did stop though because the journey back to Olney was into a headwind and I thought I would take advantage of a little shelter, riding in the group.
On later inspection I was right about the friction burn, about three inches diameter of exposed flesh on my left thigh. Sleeping last night was a bit tricky with my painful shoulder as well, I had to lay in just the right position and a few times I woke up with a start when I happened to move the wrong way in my sleep. The pain is right around the shoulder joint so if its not feeling any better in a couple of days I will probably go and get an x-ray.
I am hoping I am going to be OK for the planned 200km Audax ride next Sunday as I was feeling in pretty good shape to tackle that before my fall. I will hopefully try a bike ride tomorrow and see what hurts and hopefully by the end of the week there will be a big improvement.