Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sunday 2nd January 2011 - Oh dear, what I have I done now - part 1

The new years here at last, the mince pies, xmas cake and booze are all done with and it's Sunday which can only mean one thing, yup it's the club run. A 40 odd mile flat route was decided upon bearing in mind the extra calories (fat) some of us may be carrying around the midriff and the blunted fitness of the overindulgers. I was looking forward to this ride as I had been doing mostly turbo seated base miles and now is the time to take it up to the next level. My fitness was spot on and I was ready willing and eager for real rides on real roads over varied terrain.

Meeting at Stretton as normal for 9 am the weather was cool, just around freezing and enough of us to warrant splitting into two groups. I somehow was nominated to lead the first (I think it was because I had a Garmin) and off we set riding down familiar roads and lanes of our beloved Cheshire countryside. Caution was called for in places because of small patches of ice that hadn't cleared from the sub-zero temperatures of the previous night and regular calls of 'ICE' sounded from the front. For the first few miles of the ride I was on the front with Graeme as we trundled along Summer lane, Newton Lane, Morphony Lane and then crossing the A49 at the bottom of Marsh Lane. Graeme was at the back now gassing with Anthony and I had Ade for company at the front so once over the main road we travelled Heath Lane turning right onto Ashhouse Lane then once again crossing over a busy A road, the A533 onto Smithy Lane.

Its over the previous few miles I had noticed the icy patches seem to be intensifying and here we had to do a left onto Willow Green Lane. I had been talking to Ade about the ice and our recent falls and how we will have to careful because we are about to ride down a hill. Here's the left turn, I'm to the right of Ade on the front and ahead on the apex of the bend there is a pothole full of ice and as I loudly shout "ICE" my front wheel disappears under me and I land heavily on my left side.

Nothing hurts at first, just dull aches and numbness, my bike has slid over there somewhere and somehow I manage to get into a sitting position awaiting something to happen with my elbow which starts to hurt ever so slightly and my left leg which is just numb, I move my arm slightly and it now it starts to hurt quite a bit, not screamingly but enough for me to not want to move again. I'm sat in middle of the road and some of the guys are around me saying that it would be safer for me to be at the side of the road whilst I'm waiting for my left leg to come alive. Someone offers me a hand up but just an inch of upwards motion has my leg in agony so it's back on the cold ground with my left arm supported by the other and my left foot hooked over my right foot. I'm sat there not knowing what to do, am I a hospital case or am I just badly banged up. My cars only a few miles away so I'm thinking that everyone should carry on and I will head back, I move my left arm to feel bone rubbing bone, now I think a visit to the hospital is on the cards, someone drapes a rain jacket over me, don't know who, don't recognise the jacket.

The other group arrive and quickly Phil Jones calls for an ambulance and within a few minutes there she is coming to my rescue and I feel slightly cheerier knowing I will be soon taken care of. Somebody mentions my bike but I don't particularly care about it, I'm in a world of my own. As the ambulance men deal with me I ask Ade to take some shots for this blog just to make light of my situation and perhaps have a few shots to go with this post and then I'm whisked off on gas & oxygen.

A fairly quick trip to the hospital with the ambulance men making an initial assessment of a broken and dislocated left elbow and probably a badly bruised left leg but my leg looks wrong as my foot is pointing sideways, the gas & air is taking the edge of the pain, then it's into A&E where I'm assessed yet again and now it's not a bruised leg but a broken leg to go with the elbow injuries. There's blood on my elbow, apparently one of the broken bones popped out through my skin so that's cleaned and dressed. Next comes the palaver of my shoes and 3 nurses trying to get them off, they are Specialized BG's (the shoes not the nurses!) but they can't work out how to press the red tab and pull out the strap at the same time, eventually they manage it and then everything comes off fairly easily bar one underlayer of the three that had to be cut off. A cannula is stuck into my good arm and then it's the bliss of morphine where I am tossed and turned being checked by three different doctors for additional injuries - there are none.

A nurse comes in and starts drawing arrows on my arm and thigh just so the surgeon gets it right, another doctor talks to me about the ball of my femur and that the break is high up on a neck of some sort, he makes mention about a possible death of the head and how we won't know for a year or so if death of this head thingy does occur and if so then it's a hip replacement, too many words are being thrown at me with lots of it just going over my head. My elbow is broken and dislocated, the bone has broken through the skin so extra care is needed in cleaning up the wound so infection won't become a problem.

Then it's consent forms and at approx midday I'm sort of whisked to surgery with the next available slot at 2pm. At 6pm I'm finally on my way as two other more severe cases push my surgery back. At midnight I come to in the recovery room with a cast on my arm and a 7 inch dressing on my leg, I'm taken up to my room.

Ades writeup
Phil Jones writeup

To be continued...

ps if you're wondering what took so long with this update, well the enthusiasm had to come back first and then it's one fingered typing, a long drawn out affair..


  1. Hope you get better and back on the road soon. I just found your blog this week after 'googling' cheshire cat. Very inspiring blog i had to buy three books from the book depository that you mentioned.... time crunched, base building and the training bible. I wondered which piece of kit you use for all your heart rate measurements. Thanks. Graham Townshend

  2. Hi Gray, I use a Garmin Edge 705 which does everything bar power and can be hooked up to all sorts of software to get loads of nice graphs. It's expensive but well worth it and has helped me with my training. There are other lower priced Garmins like the Edge 500 or the older 305, similar in functions to the 705 but no GPS maps.

  3. Hi Mark,
    I found your blog in Google: Dynamic Hip Screw. My name is Frank, 45 and I live in Haarlem / Holland. I took my racing bike to go to my dentist in Amsterdam last Friday. On my way back my front wheel got stuck in tram-rails. I had a little more luck than you: only my hip bone was broken. I did get a Dynamic Hip Screw like you. I got home from the hospital yesterday. We planned to go skiing in France this Friday, now my wife and kids will go without me, I will stay home alone.... Nice to read your blog and to recognize a lot of things.
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Frank,
    Ouch that's must have really hurt. If there is a flip side to all this then it's good to know that there are a lot of cyclist that have been through this out the other side and in some cases back on the bike within months so even though it may all seem like it's all doom & gloom, to use a clichéd saying there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    If you've done a google search on DHS then you probably found this thread on BikeRadar;

    If you didn't then it's well worth a read.

    Good luck with your recovery

  5. Hi Mark - I'm a fellow cyclist (or ex fellow cyclist if you really have hung up your wheels as you say in your latest post - hope not) and I was hunting around on the web for a suitable photo I needed - cyclist/ambulance/ but person appearing to be OK and I eventually came across your 2nd picture above. Sounds like a couple of nasty breaks you had - hope it's all healing nicely by now. My reason for commenting ...
    Would you mind if I used a small version of it? (small enough so that no-one is identifiable) I'm a photographer myself (, and don't like people using my stuff without asking. It may be just a temporary need until I get the chance to take something similar myself - I'm also a British Cycling Commissaire for road races so I imagine the chance will present itself pretty soon!
    The website is for a sporting ID product that will assist in situations like your accident - bit like RoadiD but with bells and whistles!

    Thanks very much

    1. Hi Colin, sure go for it but stick a link here so I can go see how famous I am when you are have it on your website :)

  6. Thanks very much Mark, Here's a link to the website where you now have pride of place!
    If you like the idea of something like that let me know and we'll sort you with one once we launch. Thanks again.