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Chris L 08-09-11 05:51 AM

Touring plans cancelled
This seems like a good enough place for it. I had been planning to take off in September for ride through France and Spain, taking in the Atlantic Coast, the Pyrenees and Barcelona. I won't be doing this now, as just under two weeks ago a red-light runner ran me down (or so I'm told, I don't actually have any memory of the incident). I spent 12 hours unconscious and five days in hospital, eventually emerging with two broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

Normally I'm the sort of guy to try to race the clock and get fit in time to do the tour anyway, but this time I'm thinking it's better not to try to push myself this time. Hopefully I can get myself back on the bike eventually and think about a couple of weeks in somewhere like New Zealand or Tasmania in November/December, but even that's a long way off right now. I am slowly recovering and seem to be regaining some movement each day, but damn this sucks!

The one positive is that my (now deceased) bike was insured for quite a bit more than it's actually worth, so I may be able to get something new when I recover.

Rowan 08-09-11 07:23 AM

This is not good news. When the hell are you going to move out of that place to a more civilised area of the country? This might be the wake-up call to move to Tassie like you've planning for a while now. Apart from that... keep the healing going and hope you're on the road again soon.

I feel a bit bad that we set off on Thursday for three weeks in Canada while you're laid up like that.

RIP the bike. But long live the new one. eh?

Gus Riley 08-09-11 07:39 AM

Chris! Damn that was a close one for you! Sorry to hear of it. Heal well, you're making the right decision concerning taking your time with the healing only heal correctly once. Man I'm shocked that you had this accident, but relieved you're pulling through! If something like this can happen to "Iron Man" Chris, it rams home the realization that we are all vulnerable! Get well, and back on the bike soon!

We're off across the U.S.A. again in May 2012. You're welcome to join us...if you don't mind slowing down a bit! LOL!

Gus Riley 08-11-11 04:31 PM

Hope all is going okay Chris. Give us an update when you get some time.

Chris L 08-11-11 09:34 PM

Hi Gus,

There isn't really much to update at this stage. I'm just taking my time with everything, and hoping to get some insurance money in the near future that might buy me a new bike. I'm hoping to go for a bit of a walk around a big park near home on the weekend to be up and doing something. I'm back at work and can do a few mundane things around the house that I couldn't last week, but that's about it at this stage.

Across the USA next year does sound intersting, but I don't think I'll get enough time off work to go the whole way.

Louis 08-11-11 09:42 PM

Ouch! Damn! Sorry to hear this Chris. Did the driver stop? Was he/she given a citation etc. etc.?

Recover quickly and fully.

Cyclomania 08-11-11 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by Chris L (Post 13056016)
The one positive is that my (now deceased) bike was insured for quite a bit more than it's actually worth, so I may be able to get something new when I recover.

At least you'll have a better ride. But at such a cost! Here's to a speedy recovery and more tours!! I suggest renting a couple of Spanish movies while you recover. Not quite as good as travel but close. "Talk to Her" is one of my faves.
Of course "Bicycle Thief," but that's in Italian, oh well!

antokelly 08-12-11 09:54 AM

well at least your here to tell the tale thank god a speedy recovery chris and make sure you get the very best touring bike you can through your insurance , hope you have legal help.

lucille 08-12-11 09:58 AM

Yikes! Glad you're OK. France and Spain will still be there next year. Get better and enjoy shopping for a new bike.

Chris L 09-08-11 04:29 AM

Well, I'm now officially back in action, after six weeks on the sidelines. Last night I took a quick (i.e. 6km return) ride to get a hair cut, then went out for a quick 25km early this morning. There was no pain, and everything seemed to go reasonably well, except for the fact that I'm shockingly unfit right now. I did see a very nice sunrise over the South Pacific at Currumbin this morning, but I have no photos of that, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Oh well, Life can move forward now.

twerney 09-08-11 05:30 AM

So sorry Chris, You sound positive, hope the recovery goes well. keep us informed. Thanks and wish you well.

Gus Riley 09-08-11 07:17 AM

You were well fit six weeks ago after several years of consistent bicycling. You'll be fit again in a very short amount of time.

antokelly 09-08-11 10:07 AM

Chris sounds like your well on your way great news buddy ,now you can start planning that tour again .

Rowan 09-09-11 01:12 AM

Sounds like a typical accountant... bottom line says... all the figures add up, I am back in action, now lets get moving on improving the profit (fitness).

Great to hear you're back riding. But you've been remiss in not telling us about the bike replacement and how you felt emotionally on the bike among the traffic.

Gotte 09-09-11 01:19 AM

If it's any consolation, I cycled around the Aquitaine Coast this summer and it's great. But even better, it will still be there for whenever you're ready to take it on. When you get there, stop off in Montelivet. IT's a great little town on the coast made up mainly of grids of little beach houses. They've got a main strip with cafes, shops and bars. Get there in the morning, and they have a great street market which includes some excellent oyster bars. It's got a real cosmopolitan feel. Hourtin, just down the coast is also a great stop off.
You'll love it.

valygrl 09-09-11 06:56 AM

Glad you're back on the bike Chris L.

Blues Frog 09-09-11 07:44 AM

I hope you heal well. Your fitness will come back. God Bless.

Dahon.Steve 09-09-11 06:52 PM

Chris was very lucky and thank goodness it wasn't too serious. I hope he continues to have luck wherever he goes.

Chris L 09-11-11 04:47 AM

Originally Posted by Rowan (Post 13199714)
Sounds like a typical accountant... bottom line says... all the figures add up, I am back in action, now lets get moving on improving the profit (fitness).

Great to hear you're back riding. But you've been remiss in not telling us about the bike replacement and how you felt emotionally on the bike among the traffic.

I have been remiss in talking about those things, and I've also been remiss in posting pictures from Saturday morning's 60km ride on "Kevin 007" (the MTB purchased with funds provided by a former Australian Prime Minister that is only slighly less obstinate than the man himself). Those will follow in the next couple of days. An interesting thing did happen on Saturday: a roadie passed me while I was still re-adjusting to Kevin 007, and said "how are the ribs going?". Turns out he was one of the doctors who treated me in hospital. Then when I got into the valley that was my destination for the ride, I ended up having a long chat with one of the locals I've made friends with out there, so I felt a bit more comfortable after that.

To be brutally honest, the "nerves in traffic" thing was a bit of an anti-climax for me in the sense that I still have no memory of the crash itself. To be honest I won't be terribly bothered if I never remember what happened, beyond what I've been told. The lesson is to keep an eye out, even when I have the green light, because that alone won't protect you from collisions. I have been a bit extra cautious at intersections though, and I was a little rusty at first on Wednesday night, but I got hammered by a head wind pretty much right away, so I had something else to think about. I rode through the intersection where I crashed early the next morning, and survived that, so for all intents and purposes, I'm almost back to normal, if a little more cautious at intersections.

One amazing thing that happened in the crash (or perhaps not so amazing when you consider that it's already outlasted two bikes) was that the Schmidt hub dymano and E3 headlight both survived the crash, and apparently still work perfectly. But then, they did survive the typhoon I rode through in Japan, and probably numerous other things that I've deal with, and keeping them may influence my choice of a new bike. I had been tossing up between grabbing a Surly Long Haul Trucker or a Salsa Vaya, since they both look like sweet bikes, but the Vaya has disc brakes which, while very good, probably won't be compatable with the hub that I still want to use in the future. But then, I just got some money back from my travel agent to go with what I have saved, so perhaps I can up my budget to around $3,000AUD and consider some other options.

What has amazed me is that I went to a Brisbane bike shop just over a week ago to see what they had (because they apparently "specialise" in touring bikes), and discussed some options. They promised to email me back after spending over an hour measuring me to see what size would suit me, but I've heard nothing. And this after I told them I had a budget of around $2,000 to $2,500. And to think, people wonder why the retail sector of the Australian economy is struggling just now.

Finally, some of you might be interested to know that this is not the first time I have cheated death on my bike. In April 2009 I was minutes away from being crushed in a landslide at Springbrook, west of the Gold Coast. I rode up the mountain just minutes before this happened on the road. That said, it did turn out to be a pretty memorable day in it's own right.

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