Archive for the 'Injuries' Category

“Are you OK?”

I looked up at her with what must have been a look of blind panic across my face. I had absolutely no idea where I was, what the hell was going on, or indeed who she was. Why is everything blurry?

Mr Hodgson? Are you OK?
Erm… wha?

I can see now. Oh, hang on. I know this place. You’re a nurse aren’t you?

Um, I think I must have passed out.

You see, about five minutes earlier, they’d taken that fetching blue plaster off of my hand (mmm, yellow and smelly) and handed me a leaflet explaining what might happen. The first thing in there?

You may find you feel faint or nauseous — don’t be alarmed — this is because your limb has been in a cast for some time.

I wandered out into the waiting room, then almost immediately got called into another room to wait for the doctor to get around to me. So I sat down to wait for a while. Next thing I know, I’m looking up at the nurse, wondering what the hell was happening. They moved me onto the adjacent bed and put an oxygen mask on my face.

I was feeling relatively normal after about ten minutes, so the doctor came back. He said it’d continue to hurt for a while (he’s right, it does) because I haven’t used it for weeks. No bat or raquet sports, pneumatic drills or power-tools for the time being. Jogging or swimming is fine though (boring!). Come back in a couple of weeks for a check-up.

I asked about mountain biking and he said I ought not to for a little while — but my commute on the road ought to be OK. That amused me, given the state of Cheltenham’s roads. I may also have neglected to mention I have a tendency to hoon off speed bumps and and down flights of stairs en-route to work. I might have a spin on the Cove tomorrow and see how it feels.

Oh, I still appear to be operating left-handed. What gives?

A fetching shade of blue

This is what happens when you fall off your mountain bike.

So I went to see the fracture clinic today.

I explained to the doctor how it happened, obviously telling the whole story, because I’m starting to feel a bit silly every time I say “I fell off my mountain bike“. He took a look at the x-rays and frowned. “Hmmm” he said, before going to get the other doctor.

Ooooh-kaaay then. What the hell does that mean? I’ll just sit here and worry for a while then.

They returned and had a short dicussion before deciding that they didn’t need to operate after all. “We’d like to, but only because it’s more fun. These heal up perfectly well in the vast majority of cases.”


So they gave me this shiny blue plaster. I go back in three weeks to have the plaster removed and a bit of physio on my fingers. Hopefully it’ll all be fine…

Later on, at work, Maxine commented that it looked rather festive. Maybe I should have asked for red?

Proper broken!

Well, my busted hand didn’t seem to be getting any better, so I took a trip down to casualty to see what they thought. Obviously I was armed with stories from friends along the lines of Oh, there isn’t much they can do, they’ll just strap your fingers together or something.

Some hours later, I emerged with a cast from my fingers most of the way up to my elbow. Great. Still, the break looked ace on the x-ray. I’ve snapped the outermost metacarpal (I think) good and proper.

It’ll be interesting to see how I cope with work for the next few weeks. I guess I’ll have to become ambidextrous with the mouse…

Our bicycles are cursed

We’re riding in and around Morzine in the French Alps. It seems the trail-pixies up here don’t like Orange 22x bikes for some reason:

  • Nick fell off his Orange 222 in a big way within thirty seconds of starting his first ride out here a week or so ago. He broke nearly every major part of his bike and he’s covered in scabs and bruises, but at least he’s out there riding.
  • Gary fell off his Orange 224 while riding the Mega Avalanche, busting a rib. He can’t sneeze, cough or laugh, let alone ride his bike.
  • Anton re-opened a large wound in his leg whilst riding his Orange 224 into a tree somewhere near the Super-Morzine on Tuesday.
  • Charlie fell off his Orange 222 on the way back from Chatel on Wednesday. He went down hard on his front, before bike came down square across his shoulders, doing in his clavicles. He’s on his second day off the bike.
  • Literally two minutes after he got back up, I fell off my Orange 222 in a big way (trying to overtake him) and busted my right hand. Simon told me that was the biggest crash I’ve seen in a long, long time. I too am on my second day off. It’s feeling a bit better today though.

Of course, everybody else in the group is still in one piece. It’s quite clearly because they’re riding Santa Cruz, Mr Big, Ancilotti and Intense bikes.

My theory is completed by Mr Steve Peat, who fell off of his Orange 224 on the last corner of his World Championship run two years ago. At the time, he was a good couple of seconds ahead of the eventual winner, Fabien Barel. Where was this? Why, it was just up the road at Les Gets.

Thankfully, the two days riding that preceeded the accident were fantastic fun, including a great run right from the top of Les Gets’ Mont Chery course (the lift doesn’t go all the way up – you have to walk from the top of the bike park lift) and a stormer of a day riding in Chatel with Colin Williams of Team Yeti UK fame. The 303 DH rail bike does work after all, and it’s a really lovely thing in the flesh. Another one for the wish-list: I bet it doesn’t pick up enourmous rocks and fling you over the handlebars…


Seeing as both Owen and SBG had both got themselves shiny new bikes (the former an Orange 5, the latter a Scott Genius), and it was a lovely (rainy, blustery, miserable) day, we figured we’d go out for a ride. It was a good ride, all in all. We just went for a quick play up Lecky and had all sorts of fun, right up until the very last downhill of the day.

We rode out of the car-park and down the old tramway. I pedalled away like a maniac and proceeded to scare myself just about all the way down, forgetting that I don’t have gert big Saint brakes on the Cannondale – I nearly fell into the hedge on just about every corner. I came out into the final section (where Brett had the spleen incident back in the day) like a ballistic missile.

Oh, crap, there’s a new jump and I’m doing a million miles per hour! SPROING!!!!

I went up, came down, hit the second one with the back wheel still in the air and then came back to earth. Smoooooth. Quite how I got away with that, I don’t know. I stopped and shouted a warning to Owen who was descending some way behind me. He braked, rode around the jump and straight into the fence. We laughed at that for a while before Séan arrived.

Despite my shouts, he managed to hit the jump at full speed and launched head-first into the ground, spanging himself and firing his bike over his head and into the big metal fence. He then proceeded to scream all manner of profanities for a short while, before scaring the hell out of us by going into shock and shaking violently for a good few minutes. Thankfully he was just bruised and grazed and in need of a new helmet.

We eventually came to the conclusion that he was going to be OK, so I went to pick his bike up out of the undergrowth. At first it all looked OK… except the handlebars didn’t look quite right. They may have been riser bars on both sides before, but now they’re retro drop-bars on the left, with a nice crease in them underneath the flappy gear/brake lever.

Nice one Séan, that crash was the stuff of legends.