Serious Bike Crash in Walsall

Sometime, you have to pay for someone’s mistake, it seems it was my turn. July 2014, around 16:00 hours, I am clocking up the miles from work, on my usual 10 mile circuit, into the fifth mile on a major A road and a taxi cuts across the road (a minor road) and wipes me out, literally.

Head over heels. Poor Whitney (my Triban 7 Decathlon bike) went flying like a kite while I hit the passenger side of the taxi and then the ground. The ladies of the beauty saloon Cuttingit where so kind to keep me safe in the road. They kept the traffic away from me, called the Police and even took on the taxi driver!

I ended up with two fractured ribs, busied lungs, a broken right shoulder and fractured sternum. I could had died! What was that idiot thinking?

This is an x-ray of my shoulder some time in August:

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This is what it looked like in September, just before the hospital decided to do surgery.

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So, into hospital I went for about another three days. I had I think what was called a keyhole surgery. The staff did a great job on me. Took a tendon from the left inside leg and tried up the bones of the right shoulder, literally. Saw some colour photographs once at a checkup – disgusting looking holes!

Check these photographs:

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That’s me with my wounds of cyclist vs taxi!

 

Injuries

September 2013

Was riding the Barrie Williams Challenge 2013 route when I came across a wide trail of cow shit across the road in a sharp corner a bit from Levedale on the Levedate road towards Bradley. I was actually speeding through the corner and got caught in the shit! Lost the rear wheel (they were Schwalbe Lugano tyres) and went head over heels off the bike! I don’t know how but I did knock my head on the ground at least once. I was a good distance from the bike when I looked around. Nice chap who I had passed just moments ago on a MTB helped me up and out of the shit.

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This is why it’s vitally important to have a good helmet on when cycling! Also, have a mobile phone too. I was able to call a mate to pick me up. A very good mate too, as I was covered all over with cow shit! Three weeks off week that cost me! Another thing to have on long rides is a first aid kit. This is what I had in my saddle bag (another important item not to leave home without):

Masterplast Compact First Aid Kit

Masterplast Compact First Aid Kit

At only £1.30 plus free delivery you can’t argue with that!Only to be found on Amazon for that price:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003JZ0KM6/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A33EWFX0HR9EQ I have seen numerous first aid kits on the internet, from Wiggle, Evans Cycles and others both cyclist specific and general purpose that can fit in a saddle bag. None though at the great price. I was very happy I had it with me, as I was able to clean my wound (I had to, it was shit in the cuts!) and bandage it until I got home.

The knee had remained swollen for weeks. Limped around the first two weeks with a cane. Even now occasionally I am limping and still feel pain in the knee. I guess the second accident is the may cause of that. Yes there was a second accident about a month after Levedale.

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This is the left side of my bum. Nasty large bruise that took a long while to heal. No time off work this time. Had to suck it up and get on with it. This injury was the result of my front wheel getting caught in the tram lines in Bilston. It taught me a very important lesson where tram lines are concerned. Cyclist make sure your heads are screwed on when riding over these things! I landed on my injured knee then the bum. Slid for a short distant hence the bruise. The tights was damage bad enough not to wear again which is surprising when you think about the bruise I got. It took me a while to get up and pull my bike out of the road. Traffic was almost non existent  as it was an early Sunday morning, but there was a tram approaching from ahead. He actually stopped and asked if I was okay which off course I said yes.

This injury proved the undoing of my recovery of the previous injury and I think I may be carrying this one to the grave. The knee is still weak, I suspect the ligaments took a bashing on both accidents hence the long road to recovery. I am back on the bike nonetheless but taking it easy and slowly. So far the longest distance ridden is 30 miles and that was just yesterday – 29th December 2013.

Garmin 510 GPS Cycle Computer

It’s been sometime now that I have gotten the Garmin 510 Team Bundle Blue (since June 2013). It replaces the iPhone with the Panobike Speed/Cadence sensor and Cyclemeter.

The Garmin 510 bundle including all fittings, sensors and power.

The actual computer makes me feel like a pro:

So far I have found it not easy to set this up to my liking, but I have done it. I love the data this thing throws in your face. Add to the fact that you can actually navigate with it by preparing the route on sites such as http://ridewithgps.com/ making sure you create cue sheets and save the route to a TCX file format (Garmin file format actually). You can get on the bike and ride! No detail maps though not on the 510 but direction arrows with time and distance along with street names too. Just amazing!

What I love about the bundle is that you get the out front holder too. This thing by itself cost £35! It’s just ahead of the bike cockpit right where you are looking anyway. Just the perfect position.

This is the reason why I choose the Garmin 510 instead of the 500. The idea that I can be traced by my family was a deal breaker.

Cannock Chase

Wonderful day at Cannock Chase on the Bank Holiday Monday May 27 2013. The Sunday before I did 35 miles on a round trip to the Holyhead Road near Cosford to Walsall and back home. Did 8 plus miles at Cannock Chase but it felt like it was 20 miles, rough terrain does make a difference.

Cannock Chase Blue Route

Cannock Chase Blue Route

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The Ride To RAF Cosford

I aim to ride with Whitney to RAF Cosford. I have been advised that I should do so in stages, so sometime ago I rode to Pattingham Golf Club. Then on the second trip I only made it to the heart of Wolverhampton and had to retire – a double puncture that had me walking home. Well not so this morning.

http://app.strava.com/activities/56310770

Now don’t go believing everything Strava says, their algorithm is a bit off. Cyclemeter reports 35.87 miles in 2:15:15 hours. I know this isn’t Grand Tour time for 60km but I am an old man!

Whitney at the A464 Holyhead Rd sign 26/05/13

Whitney’s New Sensor

So Whitney (my beautiful B’Twin Triban 7) has had an upgrade. I got the Topeak Cadence and Speed Sensor yesterday and installed. First run this morning to work proved everything A-Ok. Max cadence: 94 rpm Avg: 53 rpm. Have no idea if these are good figures but it’s good to know that it’s working.

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My New Road Bike

So here it is, my first road bike and off course it is from Decathlon. Its the new 2013 model B’twin Triban 7 April 28th 2013

B'twin Triban 7

B’twin Triban 7

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Here are the road shoes I got from last year for a bargain!

Shamano R105

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New pedals Keo Look Easy, had to change the Wellgo pedals that came with the bike – they were just too tight no matter how loose they where set. It became too dangerous to ride after causing a number of very near misses and a fall right at Decathlon door when I was proving that they were no good. I should had gotten a refund! The look so much better then the original pedals!

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The decals from NamesonFrames.co.uk  I did ask for the roundel that Sir Wiggins has on his bike but they didn’t do it. Even so, this looks really good on Whitney and does well to announce to the world she is hot and on the road and is certainly my girl!

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Replacement brake shoes and pads for Whitney – Clarks Multi-compound brake pads

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Cycle Update 2013

Well its been almost two years now of cycling, guess that makes me a committed cyclist! I have changed or more likely merged over to road cycling. The Rockrider 8.0 has had a changed of tires in August 2012, the rear tire was almost smooth, the front has a good amount of wear let in it. These are the original tires that came with the bike. They are the mountain bike off-road 2.0 tires. Very good I must say. Well changed both. Using the Decathlon branded tires for on and off-road use – 1.75. With the same tubes too! I have done my fastest speed this week off the hill in Wednesbury –  34.74 mph. I couldn’t get over 32 mph with the other tires. weight has change too. I have to get a road bike! I have clocked just under 3000 miles – 2925 miles to date. Took the car in for service and they tell me there are faint cracks in the rear tires due to the car been standing still too long! Now just think of that, you just can’t win!

Service new 1.75 tires

2012 service with new 1.75 Decathlon tires

I haven’t changed anything else on my trusty steed. I am thinking of a Churd mudguard. Haven’t gotten round to it yet. Guess I haven’t been messed up badly enough to get one. Although I came close last week when my mate and I went to Sandwell Valley. I am so angry with myself for not taking any pictures then. Its a beautiful place to cycle or ride a horse too – there was a lot of err cowboys 😉 there. Next time might just might get the mudguard, it has to be a Crud Race-Pac and white.

RacePac_White

I actually got a new helmet. The Decathlon one was getting tatty and worn. So I got a Specialized Echelon II 2013 model. Its really cool and it maybe heavy according to some reviews but compared to my old one its really light. Oh it reflects light too, although I don’t know how that works.

My Specialize Echelon II

Love the work Team Sky has done in 2012. They have really put cycling in the forefront for the UK. Sir Bradly Wiggins and Lord Mark Cavendish (and he really should have been knighted too) are my undying heroes.

Cav and Wiggo

Lights

Its been ages since my last update! Winter is here, hard drive prices gone right out the roof! Still riding, although I am worried about the car. The battery almost didn’t start the car the other morning – I only drive it three times a week now. I just can’t stop riding – I love the new body!!! At 83kg and loving it. So long dark nights are on us, hence the title lights.

I don’t work a lot so with a budget of no more than £30 I am really shopping around for the best value. The Cateye brand got my hopes up. So I got the UNO 1 Opticube EL101. It has a single LED. The chap at the local bike shop said when asked to compare it with the EL135 – Its the one that will allow you to see, the other to be seen.

Cateye UNO 1 Opticube

I must say I am not happy with it at all! I would say its to be seen – certainly can’t use this to actally see that will without street lights.

Interested in bike lights see the following links:

British Cycling

London Cyclist

BikeRadar