It started off like any other Hayfield Hub ride with a prompt 7:30pm start, and by 7:30 I mean 7:45, and by start I mean general mince around waiting for someone to take the lead and purpose a route. One man did come to the fore and suggest a route so bonkers that it just might work. A route that consisted of nothing but 'up'. Even the downhill sections were up. If you weren't going up then you were stationary, it was as simple as that.
The author of such a ridiculous adventure was Ben and like cows to the slaughter house we blindly followed Ben on his "Chinley Double". We totalled nine in number and also in total. Nine just happened to be the temperature in the car park.
Despite the fact it wasn't raining, rivers of water were still draining off the hills. Water was everywhere and even the dry bits were wet. Waterproofs and mudguards were second only to webbed feet and gills. You could say, it was wet.
Ben's journey was the illegitimate love child of Niagara Falls and Mount Everest and after nearly two hours, one rider decided to speak up. That rider shall simply be known as Ross for that was his name.
Naivety, stupidity and a mild case of trench foot led Ross to suggest a diversion. Driven on by the club moto "stultus ideae sunt bonum" Ross suggested we do 'The Campsite Run'. This idea was dangerous! For starters it was not 'up' and that would mean pedaless motion. This was a move which would surely anger the clammy and moist gods. Their revenge for such a brazen act would be cold and sweaty. However, any sort of detour off a cold wet peak at that time was as appealing as a curry when you're pissed and therefore could not be avoided.
We headed for the Campsite Run and one by one we began going 'down' for the first time all night. I started my descent and picked up speed. I had only built my bike the previous night but it was going superbly. It relished the bumps like a five year old on a bouncy castle until at a critical point I choose the wrong line and disaster struck!
Maybe I got carried away, maybe I'm just too awesome for my own good but I was drawn by siren calls into a rut that been carved out by the rain. With too much speed I instantly knew what was coming. In a scene resembling that bit in Star Wars where an X-wing crashes in a Death Star gulley, I clipped the side and then hit a largish rock which was illuminated with every one of the one thousand lumen's streaming from my light. With no chance to pull up I was ejected over the bars and I remember the rocky ground speeding towards my precious face at an alarming rate.
With my arms slightly bent and supermaned out in front of me, I waited microseconds for the initial ooohhhffff and following tumble to a stop.
Once my motions had halted I knew I'd hurt myself. My wrist tingled a fair bit but I was sure it was just a scratch, a hair stretch at most! The troops behind stopped to pick me up and we were massively comforted in the knowledge that there wasn't a scratch on the bike. Whoever had built such a steed had done a first class job and is available for other bike building/restoration opportunities at competitive rates.
As we rode the final mile or so back to the car park Ben hung back to keep me company and also to remind me in graphic detail that it clearly wasn't his fault in any way. Ross was to blame and maybe a call to the ambulance-chasers was worth a punt on the clear proviso that his testimony would only cost 50% of any compo.
Once back at the car park I managed to get everything loaded and drive home with what can only be described as a hurty wrist. The next day was fine. Rattling with ibuprofen I completed a full day at work with only a slight glimpse of non-man like behaviour. As the afternoon drew on a swelling appeared on my hurty wrist which was turning some interesting shades of black and purple.
I decided that no good could come from having a 'goth arm' and that I should probably get it looked at. A quick pootle up to A&E was in order but only once I'd had tea.
At A&E reception I checked in and received my first of five "ooooh that looks nasty" from the medical professionals. After only about ten minutes of EastEnders on the TV in reception I was suicidal but the triage nurse rescued me and called me into her room. "Ooooooh that looks nasty" was how she greeted me "would you like some drugs?". The NHS is awesome I thought but it turned out to be some more ibuprofen. Once assessed I returned to the reception and its dismal TV soap scheduling.
The next two hours waiting for a doctor just flew by with the help of some improvised games like 'guess the illness'. The woman opposite clearly had problems 'downstairs' and I surmised that she had got a case of the clap from a chance liaison with her boss on the promise of future promotion. She was from that point on known as 'Dirty Cow'. The man behind her with the grimace on his face every time he moved I nicknamed 'Something Up His Anus'. Doctor House has nothing on me!
After finally seeing a doctor, some more 'oooohhh that looks nasty's and yet more waiting in X-ray and reception the conclusion was that I had in fact hurt my wrist. They really don't miss a trick up at A&E. After an extended gander at the X-rays it was highly probable that the Grand Canyon sized crack in my scaphoid and the free floating bone bit near my Radius probably meant it was broken.....or something.
A back slab cast was made while a visit to the 'Fracture Clinic' was requested for the next day. I never did find out what happen to Dirty Cow and Something Up His Anus but here's a pic of me finally leaving A&E.
My appointment the next day was for 9:40am so naturally that meant 10:28am. Fracture Clinic is a strange place. It was rammed with the really old and the really fat and the really old AND fat. I had a whole demographic all to myself which was nice.
When I eventually saw a doctor he took one look and referred me to the hand specialist type person. My scaphoid had broken near the bottom and was going to need some metalwork to hold it together. A date was made for next week, blimey I thought, that was quick for the NHS. I made a mental note for the future to only require hand surgery on a Thursday as this is clearly the day when decisions are made.
A minion from trauma was dispatched to read out some do's and don'ts although I spent a large portion of the time asking to borrow the life sized skeleton behind them for Halloween. I was politely told to get stuffed, someone from cardiology had already put dibs on it. Dammit! So close!
I have no idea when I'll be back on a bike again but here's how it looks now.....
......and here's an artists impression of what I'll look like after hand surgery.
To be continued.....