The knee get’s it again: (See Truculent Motorbikes)

It was a cold wet February evening in 2003 and I was out for a quick 20 miles after work as part of my preparation for a ride with a few friends from Montpellier over the Ventoux through Paris and back to home in the UK to was to celebrate us all hitting 50 (years old that is, not miles per hour).

Anyway, there I was, screaming down a hill at @ 30mph when a cat ran in front. I hit the cat, I went over the top, the cat squealed, the cat ran away. I rolled in a heap. Darn it I though, I’ve scratched my handlebars, bent my wheel and my arm hurts.

Actually my arm hurt a lot so off to casualty I went.

They looked at me, held my hand and said I was a silly boy for cycling so fast especially in the dark and wet then added that they suspected I had dislocated my shoulder and it was going to hurt when they it back in place. That was just what I wanted to hear (not).

Naturally I was all wrapped up for the cold weather so getting stuff off was rather painful so they used scissors on best cold wet weather top. It was then that I mentioned that my left knee felt wet, so they used scissors on best cold wet weather bottoms. they came and there in all its glory was my entire left knee cap: The knee has split from one side to the other. X-Rays confirmed that while there was no structural damage to the knee I had indeed dislocated my left shoulder and broke my left arm. Bugger, I thought, looks like I’m not going home tonight. Looking on the bright side though, they gave me a general anesthetic while they fixed me so I didn’t have the pain of the shoulder being put back.

Anyway, I went for a ride on a hospital trolley, loads of people in gowns and masks bore down on me and I went to sleep. By the time I woke up, magic had happened and after three days in hospital and six weeks in slings and things, I got better and I got back on my bike (April) and restarted (gingerly at first) my training and in June that same year, I and a few others, flew to Montpellier, were reunited with our trusty steeds and cycled home via Mont Ventoux (see ‘The Fondue Ride’) in 10-days.

Don’t look if you’re squeamish.

The Ventoux was a struggle but I did it.


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