The Summer holidays ....
Well, they started out with a 'real' win having been 'allowed' to take a folding bike to the Vendee to stay 'bike fit'. Ok, big runs were out, but a quick dash to the local patisserie of a morning to bring back the Sacristan (A freshly baked long twisted crosissant pastry filled with creme patisserie and dark chocolate bits and topped with sugar crystals - Yum yum bigger tum) and Flutes was deemed 'OK' and non one would be any the wiser if I 'stopped for a coffee' Nudge Nudge Wink Wink...
But folding bikes with 16 inch wheels are not as sturdy, stable or forgiving as real Mountain Bikes - especially not Konas built for Clydesdales - which even still need an occasional service!
So a lovely 'dash' to check out the bike track through the pine forest between the road and the sand dunes and sea on day 1. And it was marvellous 6 1/2 km, smooth with some bumps and a variety of surfaces, road, gravel, hard packed mud and bark chippings. A few bikers (all silently laughing at the wierd thing and the strange bike) joggers and walkers and no traffic. 45 minutes there and very very nearly back ...Lovely, lovely, great, happy smile, feeling great, 'top move this bike' ...
Just a bit of laldy up the small hill to turn left into the 'compound'. Check behind, arm out, Ohhhhhhh No! No! Ouch! Expletives all round.
A pothole, covered by loose gravel, the front wheel wobbled and went one way and stopped, the bike went on, a bit, and I went wumph left elbow, right knee and then chest into the gravel - a bit faster and harder and a darn sight less elegantly than I'd have liked!
But did you know it is French law that you must stop and offer assistance at the scene of an accident? And that on the whole people on holiday are keen to help?
So baby wipes cleaned up the initial mess, thank you nameless very nice young french lady, after (of course) stopping the flow with my cap as an initial reaction. And after profuse apologies in very bad mangled and jumbled Franglais back to the cottage - or it would have been if jumping on the bike, the seat hadn't fallen off nearly impaling my 'bits' in the jagged ends that hold the seat in place. Phew, a narrow escape. But off we trog, cap on head, dripping a trail like you seen in the worst Hollywood B List films towards, an inevitable 'I told you ....'
But with my hat on the nice Dutch couple cycling the other way as I wheeled the bike, dripping blood from my elbow and knee, stopped and enquired if I was 'OK' pointing to the large bloody patch on my head. Oops. Another mangled apology, more shame, thank goodness it wasn't skin tight lycra - though at least the red top wouldn't have shown the blood.
And then to face the Dragon ...
Who frowned, asked if I was OK, and then took 'some' pleasure in washing the grit and general grot out of the grazes and sent me to wash. And then the nice bits ...
Savlon stings - lots and lots on big grazes. Artificial skin (or spray bandage - same stuff) stings even more as the 'super glue' sets on contact with the blood and forms an instant scab - though not always fully set... And you need to keep applying it if you are bleeding lots! Lovely But after a few hours no more bleeding biker!
But instant bandage in layers takes time to dry ...
So 3am and Argh - I am glued to the bedsheets! and can't move until I am cut free - now with a postcard sized scabby thing on one elbow and a bedsheet glued to the other knee! Top start for Mr Popular!
But sun, sea, neoprene, ibruprofen, paracetemol and a sense of humour meant there was negligible impact - other than being forced to stay away from the gilrs in public until I stopped walking around with a bit of bedcloth on my knee! (2 1/2 days).
And then I'll not even try and explain how to request a neoprene elbow support in French in a Pharmasist without a Phrase Book but it can be done - though with little 'Street Cred' - thank goodness there are no videos!
Back home a week later and the elbows a bit stiff, and the SMO says 'Go to Accident and Energency (A&E) and get an X-Ray'. Oh Oh.
Fortunately the fracture consultant says it is not broken or chipped just a case of 'extreme bursitis' (aka badly sprained) and take more ibruprofen (yippee) and RICE (Rest Ice and Compression and Elevation) and the Antibiotics to deal with the small infection - shame they are Horse Pills the size of door stops and rip your insides apart like a bad dose of something caught from a bit of Sushi supplied by Mr Unhygenix.
Next stop back to A&E for the wheezy chest .... X-Rays complete and no phone call so a win?
There are several points to the story:
0. Don't fall off your bike.
1. Have a First Aid Kit and know how to use it.
2. Have a sense of humour and 'do not lose it'.
3. Damn glad its happened now not later.
And last not least - The pain has started - and it's still there!
The woodland part of the cycleway to the bakery.
The seaside bit
A French Tart