Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Oops Pt2

Well that was interesting! The consultant wasn't too pleased that I'd been walking on a broken fibula for a month - I wonder why. Good job I didn't tell him about the bike rides :-) Basically the leg/ankle and fracture are stable so there's no further meddling to be done. I've now got an air cast which makes me look as if I'm getting dressed to be an Empire stormtrooper in a Star Wars movie! At least I can take it off if it gets itchy or to have a bath.

Two to four weeks wearing the cast then four to six weeks of getting things back to strength - the consultant did mention "impact" sports such as running so I'll just have to see how things go with regards cycling. Basically broken bones take three months to get back to full strength unless there are complications or the fracture is particularly serious or extensive. With luck I'll be fine in six weeks or so.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


For once fine weather coincided with a weekend. Rather than head in to the Dales and do lots of hills I decided to head out towards Wetherby for a "flatter" ride. First there was the little matter of getting the car headlights fixed - both had blown within a matter of days. Guess which lights on the car aren't user replaceable? Fortunately the garage didn't charge for fitting.

So, on to the bike ride and everything went well for the most part. I didn't get quite as far as Wetherby, turning round after around 26 miles as I haven't really done a lot of riding recently. Having gone out via the back roads I returned using the main road up Wharfedale. Even though I was on my own I was making good time averaging around 17-18mph. Everything went well until Ilkley where I bonked having not eaten enough and the last ten miles over Cringles and up to home weren't a pretty sight. Oops!

Sunday was even better weather wise but the ride was a bit of a comedy of errors. Firstly I needed some oil on my chain so as we were going close to his house in Embsay, I nipped in to Andy's for some lube. I'd misheard which route we were taking so headed off up the climb to Halton Heights trying to catch the others who had actually gone via Bolton Abbey. Still I got a PB on the climb:-) It was only after finding out at Kilnsey that they were behind me (waiting for a slow rider!) that we met up again.

The plan had been to head up to Halton Gill but time pressures on various members of the party had led to a change of plan and they were now intending to head from Arncliffe straight over to Malham. Unfortunately there's a very steep hill in the way, one which I'd never actually managed to ride up before, with a still delicate ankle it and also recovering from Saturday's debacle it wasn't something I was exactly keen on. So it proved as I ground my way up the incline at the back of the group. Amazingly I actually managed to ride it in one go with no getting off :-) There's a long drag after the main climb to get to Malham Tarn and with a strengthening breeze it was getting harder and harder work, I'd no energy in my legs at all. Even the slight inclines on the way back to Skipton felt hard work.

Monday, I rode to and from work for the first time in nearly two months and my ankle felt quite a bit worse than previously but the discomfort eased over the day. Tuesday morning and the ankle was again swollen and painful so I arranged an appointment with my GP who put me in for an x-ray at Airedale hospital. Thus on Wednesday lunchtime, x-rays duly done, I'm waiting in the Radiology department for the preliminary results when I'm told to head to A&E because they've seen a fracture. It's then a wait for triage (daytime TV is truly appalling!) who send me on to the minors facility (I think it's minor injuries rather than minors as in young people).

Once my name is called, the doctor wants to send me for an x-ray until I tell her it's the Radiology dept who've sent me to A&E. When she pulls up my x-rays it's plainly obvious that I've a break in my lower fibula. Bugger! If I'd headed to A&E when I'd done it then apparently I'd have been in plaster for around 6 weeks. The fracture is very similar to look at to this one: A bit of plaster work later and I'm on my way home with an appointment for the fracture clinic tomorrow (Friday). We'll just have to see what the prognosis is. Oops!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cool Riding

With bad weather forecast for the Sunday, I was keen to get out and do something on Saturday. I didn't want a route with any steep climbs as I (correctly) didn't think my ankle would be up to much out of the saddle efforts even though it's nearly a month since I sprained it.

I settled on a route from Gargrave over the tops to Settle then to Clapham and over Cross o' Greet to Slaidburn then back via Bolton by Bowland.

It was pretty foggy in the valleys so flashy lights front and back were the order of the day and I made decent time to Airton then it was turn left and the long climb. All this was OK but as I approached the cattle grid on to the moor the road began to get snowy. Fortunately it was clear where vehicles had been so I carried on past the herd of Highland cattle who gave me very funny looks as if to say "Where's me grub?" to the summit. It was here where the fun began and as the descent steepened I remembered an antipodean attempt at snowploughing and decided to walk.

About 200m later I could get back on the bike but the descent still needed care and it took me as long to descend the two miles to Settle as it had done for the three miles of the climb :-( Time to reappraise the plan. Cross o' Greet is about 50m higher than where I'd just been and isn't as well a travelled road, it was likely to be a bit on the tricky side. Direct line to Bolton by Bowland seemed like a better bet as it kept low. 

So head down for a bit of personal TT'ing to Rathmel then on to Wigglesworth. Climbing out of here I was passed by another lone cyclist so with him in front I made good time down to BbB. In fact I lost about 200m in total on my unknown target.

The cafe at Bolton by Bowland was open but I was the only customer: "Want a paper to read?" enquired the owner! After a cuppa, it was just the usual long drag over to Halton West and then back via Nappa and Bank Newton. I got back to the car in just under two and a half hours. The first ten miles had taken an hour, the last twenty five an hour and a half.

Due to the state of the roads, my bike was absolutely filthy - I've been mountain biking and come back with cleaner bike! My ankle wasn't too bad, certainly easier on it than the social ride last week.