This weekend I only managed half a bike ride…
Saturday was originally planned as a rehabilitation ride from my tendon strain around my ankle a month or so ago. However, as the weather was set fair and only Graham was available, I thought we’d head down to Swaledale for some mountain biking: he enjoyed our last trip in the North Pennines so much!
Things started out with the enormous climb up Fremington Edge. As I was recovering from a cold, I had no qualms in pushing most of the way up. With that out of the way, I knew we were in for an amazing cross country section through the old mines around Hurst.
With that over, we head towards Fell End Moor. Despite getting lost for a while (note to self: always leave the GPS map page on display, and better yet, always switch the GPX file to display on the map). The ride off the Fell End is beautiful, wide and grassy with so many route options. Eventually it narrows down to a path heading down into the quarry. This is full-on adrenaline, with a steep and narrow rocky descent. On of the Strava segments has the name “Not likely to cause or lead to harm or injury,” but we survived. On leaving the quarry, we join the steep and grassy descent to Storthwaite Hall. This gives us a short cycle along the valley, and we’re at Langthwaite and The Red Lion for a pint and a pastry in the sun.
Eventually we realize we must get back on the bikes, and we head down the “main road” towards Reeth until we meet the old mining track up Cringley Hill. All is going well as we descend to the road. A short section of road divides us from the next miners track up Reeth High Moor, Surrender Moss and Great Pinseat.
But it wasn’t to be.
On the road, there is a small cobbled ford. I’ve ridden it many times before. This time my wheel must have gone from under me. I fell. I was unconscious for a minute-or-so. According to Graham I didn’t make any sense for five minutes.
I was lucky, as a group of three friends (medics, nurses?) were picnicking nearby, and were quickly on the scene. As I came around, and they checked me over extensively, eventually they decided we didn’t need an ambulance, but would take us back to Reeth and look after us. I still didn’t really know what was happening. Anyhow, eventually we ended up at Richard’s at Swaledale Outdoors, and he and Sarah were also looking after us.
It took me an hour or so to get some semblance of normality – with missing gaps: “where had I parked the car?” Graham followed me home in the car, and saw I was behaving normally (avoiding the grouse running out into the road), so was reassured.
So one day later, how do I feel? My head has one of those feelings you get after a big hangover (don’t shake or nod my head), my ribs are bruised (probably not broken, as I’ve had that before). My elbow and shoulder are skinned, and my hip is heavily bruised. Thank god for the knee pads, so I avoided my usual knee injury! It’s going to hurt for a while, but nothing permanent.
Graham, Richard and Sarah were great looking after me, but the biggest thanks go out to Michelle, Greg and Jan, who gave professional help on the scene, made sure I was fit to be moved, and transported Graham and I plus bikes to Reeth. I guess we ruined their day.
Oh yes, I need a new cycle helmet!