The long road back: Part 18

The race between the ears.


Things continue to progress very slowly. Every day the shoulder gets a little stronger, and every couple of weeks the weights I’m doing get just that little heavier. But there’s still plenty of lingering stiffness and discomfort, especially whenever I skip doing my daily exercises and/or stretching routine. WORD OF ADVICE: DO NOT DO THIS.

I ended up cancelling my most recent appointment with the orthopod last week. Apart from saving myself $200, by his own admission the only real reason to see him right now is to organise the operation to get the titanium plate removed from my scapula – and, as much as I want it out asap, I don’t have the money. (Mind you, if I did have a spare $4,000 I’m sure I could find something carbon I’d rather spend it on than paying for his next o/seas holiday or the anaesthetist’s home renovations!)

I’ve had a few more club races now and the actual racing part has proven reasonably easy. I’m certainly not in peak condition, but my race fitness seems okay and I can hang with the bunch no troubles. Getting myself involved at the pointy end of bunch kicks is proving a very different story, however. There’s this nagging voice in my head that keeps telling me to leave the dive-bombing, elbow jostling and half wheeling to the other crazy bastards. So far I’ve listened. Self-preservation has certainly assumed a much higher priority nowadays.

Beyond racing, I currently also have zero desire to take the bike if there’s even the slightest hint of wet roads. I’ve never had an issue with riding in the wet in the past, I actually find it quite a cathartic experience, but my all-new post-crash thought process reminds me: (a) wet roads are slippery, (b) I am breakable, and (c) I have a bloody good smart trainer. Why push my luck out in the dodgy elements when it’s considerably safer in the warm, dry lounge room? Rule #5 and cement pill BS aside, this seems logical to me.

With winter starting to close in here in Sydney (despite what you may think, it can get bloody cold here – especially in the west) I suspect my riding will be more modest for the next couple of months. Certainly the 5am mid-week starts are proving far harder to get motivated for. However with a few lofty goals for the Spring I know I can’t afford to be too idle.

Until next time…

 Days since op: 163
Days since crash: 179
Shirt removal pain-o-meter: 1/10 
(Winter compression undershirt removal pain-o-meter: 5/10!)
Weekly riding: 150-200km



3 thoughts on “The long road back: Part 18

  1. Great read. I’m 11 weeks after an accident that nearly cost me my life. Arrived home yesterday after a long hospital stay and saw my bike for the first time. ( clearly not my crash bike) while the body is 6 months away from riding the mind still has the desire. Although just like you my attitude to riding in poor elements has changed. Good luck with the journey. David

    1. Thanks David. Sounds like you have quite a journey of your own to navigate. Hope the next few months are smooth and not too frustrating for you. Hang in there.

  2. Pete it’s now 6 weeks since I hit the deck on my motorbike. I damaged the same shoulder I had reconstruction on 30 years ago. It probably won’t feel like it belongs attached to your body for another 12 month lots of tissue and minimal blood supply. So I will see you back at the rack in about 6 weeks or so. Rain rides only if caught out in it otherwise I’m walking the dog. Keep stretching and find a good massage therapist.

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