Four weeks ago today, I woke up in hospital in Thailand.
At the time, it appeared that I just had a broken collarbone. Since then, I’ve been repatriated to the UK. The medics here have found nine more broken bones in my shoulder and back, plus damage to my neck. I’ve had time to reflect on what happened to my cycle helmet when it was hit by the truck. And I’ve realised just how close my injuries were to being, at the very least, life-changing.
I’ve had four weeks of gentle improvement, slowly reducing pain, and gradually increasing mobility in my damaged arm. But also four weeks of almost total physical inactivity as a depressing contrast to my previous life on the bike.
And then, this afternoon (Monday), this happened:
It wasn’t for long (about fifteen minutes before my back decided enough was enough), and it wasn’t exactly comfortable. But I was pedalling again. I wasn’t going very far. But I was definitely pedalling.
This is, in no uncertain terms, progress.
Along with rediscovering several even more advanced capabilities in the last week (including lifting two coffee cups at once, pulling t-shirts over my head, and drinking a handful of pints of cider without falling over), it looks like the rehab is getting properly underway.
I’m attributing this to a cunning tactic. I’ve already taken delivery of the Replacement of the Beast, to give me an incentive to get better quicker.
Like my recovery, it’s far from complete yet. It’s a Kona Rove (kind of half touring bike, half cyclocross bike), which, because it’s a 2014 model, was reduced by over 40%. So it seemed like a good idea to get it now. In its current spec, it’ll be perfect for the long distance day rides I intend to target as my condition improves. It should be a good bit quicker than the old Beast.
As I hopefully get myself together over the next little while, I’ll use the money it was reduced by to turn it into a proper custom tourer. New wheels, tyres, gearing adjustments, racks and so on. It’s one of the very few types of shopping that I enjoy, and it gives me a little project to focus on until I’m fully mobile.
And I’ve been giving a little more thought to what to do next. I guess my last post on here probably reflected my far more limited physical condition a week ago. I said the trip was over. I put up some modest targets to get me moving again.
But the more I think about it, and the better I feel, the more it seems to me that I’m going to have to go back to Thailand and finish the trip eventually. I can’t just leave it half done.
There are a few issues with this (not least, how I’d afford it). But I guess I’ve still got a bit of time before I’m fit enough to go back.
So time to get the thinking cap on about how to make it work…