Not many posts this year, I guess. But maybe quality is better than quant.... ah.... best not finish that sentence. Yep, it would seem that 2010 has been my busiest blogging year since 2005 and no mistake. Some of my silence has been intentional, but other bits of it, less so.
In mid August, I was all set for my traditional two week holiday and the only thing I'd decided I really wanted to do was get back out on my bike again. I've been a keen, long-distance cyclist for most of my adult life, but have almost always stuck to roads. And unlike most of the "cyclists" Five-Centres encounters, I have always obeyed the Highway Code, stopped at lights and junctions, and remained courteous to all road users and pedestrians alike. In spite of having never "met my maker", I am usually met with sharp intakes of breath whenever I discuss my cycling preference with friends or colleagues ("Yer takin' yer life in yer hands oan thae roads, pal").
Anyway, what better way to kick my holiday off - and stay safe - than a bit of a off road mountainbiking? Sunday 15 August 2010 is a day I'll never forget. In fact, it's a day I keep reliving when I close my eyes at night... It was the first day for weeks that it hadn't rained; the skies were clear and blue and the sun blazed. I was persuaded to join a few colleagues on a trip to the famed mountainbike trails of Glentress, Peebles.
I won't bore you with all the detail, but suffice to say after taking an hour-and-a-bit to cycle to the top (at a leisurely pace), I was flat on my face within the first two minutes on the way down. Quite how it went wrong I'll never know, but essentially there was a jump where I didn't know there was one. And it wasn't just a pissy wee thing either; the lead-up threw me in the air and because I didn't know there was a drop on the other side, I didn't have time to level the bike up for landing. I went over the handle bars at speed...
Broken nose... severely bruised ribs... torn rotator cuff (right shoulder)... broken left elbow... one week (including my birthday!) spent in hospital... an operation to pin my "shattered" elbow back together... and six weeks off work. How on Earth I've still got two front teeth, I'll never know. Thankfully my nose still looks the same, even if it feels totally different, the ribs are fine and my right shoulder is healing steadily and surely. My elbow is making very slow progress and will continue to do so. I can't bend my arm upwards, can't hold a fork to my mouth and can't scratch my head, but I am assured by the hospital consultants and physio that I will regain this movement through time. I really hope so.
It's not all doom and gloom. This is my third week back at work (albeit on reduced hours) and I'm now finding I can drive the car again (moving the gearstick was the problem - I didn't even have the strength to move into 1st gear before). And most of all, in my heart of hearts, I know things could very well have been far, far worse.
Oh yes... and I've got a right bastard of a scar. You should see it, it looks as hard as fuck.