I didn’t get to do much cycling this month as I had an operation to remove some metalwork from my ankle.
Five years ago I got side-swiped by a van whilst riding my scooter on the way to work. I flew through the air a bit and landed into the kerb. When I looked down my foot was pointing the wrong way, so I asked someone to call for an ambulance.
Luckily I had skipped breakfast that morning, which meant I could be anaesthetised and operated on that same morning. I received excellent treatment at University College Hospital.
I had some metal work fitted. There was quite a lot of ligament damage and subsequent swelling which meant I got to spend 5 days in hospital and then another week of prescribed bed rest at home, before a month of bumbling around on crutches.
Recovery was slow, but in due course I was back on my feet. I appreciated my mobility more, and felt motivated to do more running and cycling. The scooter was a write-off at the accident so I started cycling to work again. In fact the more I did, the better I felt.
Every day over the past 5 years the ankle has been a bit of an annoyance because it gives aches and pains e.g. whilst walking, and the two bottom screws poked out slightly which meant I couldn’t wear boots. Also if I ever knocked that part of my leg it was pretty painful! So I went to see my GP earlier this year who referred me on to a consultant back at UCLH. The consultant agreed to the removal of the metalwork from the left-hand side of the leg. So in June 2015 I had the op under general anaesthetic, spent a week with my foot up and then another on crutches. After that I received the all clear, so started cycling again, albeit taking things a little easy.
Other than commuting, I did just one longer ride in June with the London Brompton Club, on the first day I was back cycling. The route was a gentle, flat ride along the Thames to Greenwich. It felt good to be back
I also went to two bike-themed events at Look Mum No Hands this month.
The first was a film screening event in conjunction with the BFI. One of the films shown, Racing Cyclist, featured Barrie Witcomb. He was also at the event and did a Q&A session where he talked about his life of cycling. This included what life was like training and racing in Britain in the 60s, as well as working in the family bicycle shop and hand-building frames.
The other event I went to was the book-launch of the English language version of The Grand Tour Cookbook by Hannah Grant – nutritionist and caterer for one of the pro tour cycling teams.