It had ben a good ride. 10 minute warm up, then 1.5 hours in zone 3. I’d a few routes in mind, I prefer it like that – go where the mood takes me. My last few miles brought me into Hatton of Fintray, then the long drag up to Kinmuck and finally the run in through Keithhall and back in to Inverurie. The legs were feeling good and I’d averaged 220 watts.
I raced to the power station at the top of the 10% hill – that was my finish. Doing 35 mph I cruised down the hill. Maybe going a little fast, I started to break as I neared the corner. That’s when it all went badly wrong. I must have hit a patch of black ice or oil on the road. My wheels locked and the bike jerked violently. Down I went, hitting the deck hard. I was only 2 miles from home!
A couple of cars stopped and soon I was in the passenger seat of a Discovery. John, my Good Samaratin, was taking me to the Health Centre, with my bike in the boot of his car. By the time we got there I was in a lot of pain. I knew the collarbone was broken by now. However the ladies on the desk refused to do anything to help us, they wouldn’t even phone an ambulance!
So we went back outside, John putting his jacket around me to keep me warm. I was shivering by now. John called 999 from his mobile, whilst I called Joanna to let her know what had happened.
In no time both Jo and the ambulance had arrived. I was in a lot of pain now, so Andy & Steve the paramedics tried to get a line into the back of my hand to give me some morphine. 5 times they tried, but my hands were so cold they couldn’t get it in. I look like a junkie now! “We’ll just have to give you gas & air”, said Andy. It was good stuff.
As we drove through Inverurie I felt every bump. I was biting down on the gas & air and taking big slugs. The pain was becoming unbearable even with the gas & air, so Andy said we’d have to stop and get the morphine in. That meant having to cut my jerseys off and fit it into my arm.
What a difference the morphine made. Andy was great – he talked to me all the way in to A&E and kept my spirits up. I can’t say enough about him.
Andy & Steve got me onto a bed and wheeled me into admissions. A few minutes later and I was in a wee room and Marie, a lovely student nurse was checking me over and asking loads of questions. Despite the morphine I was still fairly lucid, so managed to answer everything – what day was it, where was I, what was my name, my address, my dob, what was the year.
Next up was Dr Julie, who was a lot younger than me. And cute too! She got the scissors out and cut the rest of my tops off. I wasn’t too fussed about the club kit, but was sad to say goodbye to my new Prendas long sleeved undervest. I tweeted about that this morning and the guys from @Prendas tweeted back offering to do me a deal on a replacement! How’s that for customer service!
Once the jerseys were all off, and the doctor had checked me over it was time for the x-ray. This showed that I had broken the collarbone in 3 places. That would explain the pain! The good news was that the ligaments were still holding everything in place and I wouldn’t need an operation. The prospect of that had been going through my mind in the ambulance!
A few minutes later Marie was back with another nurse and they fitted a special sling that would hold my arm in place. Then I was told I was free to go home.
And so it was, 5 hours after I should have been riding back into the drive, I finally got home. In Jo’s car. And a lot more banged up than I’ve ever been before.
It had been a hell of an experience. I’d experienced pain that had brought me to tears. More importantly I’d had my faith in humanity restored. I have a lot of people to thank.
My Good Samaratin John, the paramedics Steve & Andy, student nurse Marie (who had told the other nurses that I was a professional cyclist – I didn’t have the heart to correct her!), Dr Julie, and of course Joanna.