Since my operation my arm had been feeling great. Some aches and pains here and there from the arthritis that had manifested itself in my elbow, but nothing that would keep me off my bike.
I was still falling off my bike, but spending nearly every day/evening/weekend riding it was becoming less of a regular occurrence, apparently. In December 2016 I finally made it down a race run without falling off or being carted to hospital before the race had even started, (a previous race I caught my shin on my pedal and made a rather large hole during practice) the cycling gods were finally looking down on me!
Naturally, after this success I decided I needed a faster bike. I bid farewell to my Yeti SB66c – a sad day, before I even started to ride I had always wanted to own a Yeti. When I purchased it I couldn’t quite believe it belonged to me and felt wholly undeserving due to my lack of skill and grace on two wheels!
Enter the YT Capra….
December 2016. Bike Park Wales.
Having never been to Bike Park Wales and armed with a weapon of a bike there were mixed emotions. Not having uplift we pedalled to the top and took a blue run down so I could get a feel for the bike. Nobody told me that I had in fact purchased a space rocket, the speed it rolled down the hill and charged at everything was quite unexpected. Time for a red run, so back to the top for HotStepper.
About 2 minutes later I was on the floor, hard. Apparently not paying much attention to the trail in front of me I failed to see the approaching drop. I felt my front wheel drop and with no time to react was catapulted about 5ft through the air, landing on a conveniently placed slab of rock. From the nature of these posts, you have probably gathered I fall off quite frequently. This fall was a little different, the kind of fall where you aren’t sure if you should move or not. So, I stood up and promptly fell to the ground in unbearable pain – thought I would just make sure (not advisable).
A man ran over to me as I lay comfortably on cold rock and mud and I asked him if my bike was OK, informing him it was brand new and carbon. He politely ignored me and asked if I was OK, I then asked him if any bones were sticking out of me as there was blood and I couldn’t move either of my arms. He reassured me he couldn’t see any bones, which was nice.
My bike squad (James, Tom and Forbes) made it back to me, you can somehow always tell when someone else knows you probably aren’t OK, they informed me they were calling an ambulance. Not wanting to be a hassle I told them I would ride back down, if not ride I would walk. Being in a state of shock, combined with adrenaline I wasn’t really thinking and eventually I got picked up by a lovely first responder in a 4×4 from BPW and delivered to the ambulance at the bottom.
Once in the ambulance they promptly put me in a spinal board, again apparently the shock and adrenaline potentially masking any injuries and let me loose on the gas and air. I got offered morphine but knowing the affects it can have on me I declined – when I had my surgery and had morphine I thought it was hilarious to try and show the nurses my bum every time they came to see me in case they wanted to check for bed sores.
Once in the hospital I had my X-rays and was told there really wasn’t much wrong with me, a potential broken elbow but my elbow was so messed up anyway the doctor really didn’t know what was a ‘normal’ elbow for me.
So I left hospital not being able to move my arms, not convinced with my diagnosis but overall thankful that I was walking away from such a big crash.
A couple of hospitals later that week, I finally found out I HAD broken my right elbow and also fractured my left shoulder. Cue an interesting time of working out how to manage everyday activities with two broken arms.
My elbow eventually came out of the sling to get movement back and my shoulder came out a few weeks after. My elbow didn’t feel right, every time I flushed the toilet my arm did that recognisable collapse. I explained this very technical self diagnosis to my consultant and he agreed that I may have ruptured the ligaments in my elbow again.
The only way to make sure is with an MRI scan, which is what I am currently waiting for. 4 months of no bikes so far and a brand new Capra sitting in my bedroom….
Welcome to good times indeed YT, welcome to good times.