Oh yes, I was feeling proud. Proud of all the hard work I’d put in leading up to this point. To feel fit and know if I wanted to, I could ride all day.
Not arrogant tho, I was just enjoying a feeling of quiet accomplishment that comes after months of tough training.
Waitangi day dawned fine and calm, perfect weather for the ride Scott and Nerena had planned around Riverhead. With no weight on the bike I was feeling strong and loved being out with the crew. We had been joined by my good buddy Cathy who is training for Spirited Women in March this year – also a great effort only eight months after having her third child. It’s almost her fault I’m even doing this ride. Before she got her fitness freak hands on me I was a comfy couch potato who commuted 3km to work.
We’d just made our to the opposite side of the forest away from our cars when a young pine tree reached out and grabbed my handle bar. This coincided with a rut and before I could say ‘Christmas’ I was down. Somehow my handle bar end was between my ribs and the ground, instant pain.
I was badly winded but tried to give warning for Nerena and Cathy coming down the hill behind me. All I could manage was somewhere between a wheeze and a grunt. Nerena suggested I sounded a bit like a bush pig. They’re quite noisy so good success with the noises then...
After some supportive words from the girls I managed to stand, and with Scott walking my bike out I made my way down what I now know is called Tossers Track. It tossed me off for sure. I even twisted my saddle off axis.
Getting back to the gravel road meant I could get back on my bike and make it to the nearest access road for a pick up. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt to ride until I started to put some effort it. Breathing was bad.
Cathy’s husband Craig met me at the end after an SOS text and I drove home feeling a bit miserable. It got worse the longer I drove so I called in to the local A & E to put my mind at rest since there are only 12 days to go until the start of the TA. The lovely doctor agreed that I had probably cracked some ribs, but since my lungs sounded fine she suggested no x-ray was required, and sent me on my way with a script for some good drugs.
Luckily the pain in my ribs distracted me from other injuries since until I had a shower I didn't realise I'd managed to give myself a third butt-cheek: a haematoma from when I bent my seat around.
Here’s praying for a good nights sleep. Breathing is still a bit bad. Laughing is worse so luckily I’m not finding it very funny yet.