For months the only bike I’d been able to ride was the commuter, fitted to the turbo and with increasing difficulty staying motivated to ride, no matter how many Netflix shows I tried to get into. Eventually the time came to get out in the real world again and with considerable help to load and unload the car and, it turned out, to carry my bag I headed for the woods.
It wasn’t a long or tough ride but it put me back on a bike and back in the woods:
The ride left me with mixed feelings. I’d not been able to carry a rucksack on my damaged shoulder, which would still limit my adventures, but I had ridden and broadly been able to do so with no pain. There was work to do on the strength in my shoulder and any impacts were a teeth-gritting experience, but it was a start.
I followed this up with starting to ride to work again. This was nerve-wracking as it involved the same route that I’d crashed on, and I can’t remember ever being so scared riding the streets of London. However, the week went on and my shoulder strengthened up noticeably, while I continued to be unable to wear my usual bag, I invested in a courier-style one to save the tender bits but let me carry my work stuff.
A week in to riding I took the next step, this time to the local BMX track to see how everything would stand up to a bit more dynamic riding. Keeping the wheels on the ground I was able to ride the loop and felt like the extra shoulder movement had done no harm, and was probably even helping to build strength and flexibility.
No records were broken but progress was distinctly made. I followed it with another week of riding to work, punctuated by eminently sensible breaks when after-work drinking went over a level that I was comfortable with. I made it to the weekend and repeated the BMX ride, going a little bigger and faster.
No videos here as I was too scared of the kids throwing fireworks.
So, that brings us up to date, apart from today’s ride. I headed back to Swinley with the Process to see how I got on on a rougher ride. I’m pleased to say I rode it all, with some pain through the braking bumps and impacts, and in no sort of impressive time, but it was definitely doable. I still can’t wear the bag, but I feel like I’m 80% towards being back. This good news and makes me broadly happy. The target I set myself of riding Bike Park Wales in mid November still looks achievable.