The Collective 016: Badgers & surgery, CX National Trophy and plans for 2019.

“What happened to you?!”

The answer to that question, which has been asked by many people, is one that always makes them laugh instantly. The fact they then check to see if I’m alright with this reaction afterwards is testament to how ridiculous the story is. I don’t mind, I see myself as being very lucky and I’ve also got a decent story to tell…

It was my first proper dark MTB ride. 4 of us headed out onto the South Downs Way- kitted up with proper lights and having an awesome time. The atmopshere at the top of Chanctonbury in the dark and mist is something else. It was all going brilliantly, until I started on a flinty descent. I was hopping between mounds as I went down, hitting 25mph on a nice wide track. It began to narrow and as I was landing, a flash of white/grey appeared in my peripheral vision. Before I could do anything, it went into my front wheel and the bike instantly threw me up in the air. At 25mph on a downhill, you travel pretty damn far. From what I can recall, I hit the floor on my left hand side and then rolled in every direction, hitting every part of my body before I came to a stop- the bike was about 30 feet down the track. I’d hit a badger- and yes, it was fine and ran off.

Taking account of my injuries as I sat there in shock, confused at what had just happened- I’d hurt pretty much everything- most notably my left knee- which had taken the main impact by the looks of it- a huge chunk was missing out the side. Adrenaline kicked in and I managed to sit on someone elses bike with a dropper post and get down into the nearby village of Findon and into a pub.

Loooong story later- I needed surgery as my knee was exploded open and full of chalk, dirt and general rubbish. It could have been so much worse- my helmet and Camelbak definitely saved the day. The fact it was so sudden probably helped as I was still pretty relaxed when I hit the floor!

Big shout out to fellow TCC riders Chris, Michael and Clint for helping me out.

I won’t post pictures for those who aren’t into seeing injuries but here’s the link:

TCC Badger Watch

So I’ve gone from the best fitness and bike handling skills I’ve ever had, to not sitting on a bike for a month. I’ve only just started walking and driving again. Being on crutches and not being able to even so much as bend my leg for nearly 3 weeks has been maddening- it’s the longest I’ve not cycled and I’m raring to get going again. People have ‘offseasons’ but for the amount I ride a week, I don’t think there’s any need for one- I just need to keep hitting it hard. Gotta avoid those badgers though.

This week I should be back on the turbo and then it’s back to full sesh. Winter for me is all about Zwift racing, intervals and MTB smashups in prep for the 2019 race seasons- road, crit and XC is the plan.

HSBC Cyclocross National Trophy Round 3

I popped down to watch the CX as it was only 5 minutes from my house. The course was incredible and the racing was briliant. It was

super muddy and fair play to all the people racing. I’ve recently got a new camera and this was the first test-run. Better videos of TCC adventures will be up as we get them…

It really got me in the mood for racing- especially XC.

 

2019

2019 is going to be a very exciting and busy year for us at TCC we hope. I want to get to as many races as possible whether I’m on the start line or getting photos and supporting others.

The plan is to be at/or racing at: Preston Park, Goodwood, Surrey League Road Races, Guildford crits, Brass Monkeys XC races, Big Dog and many others.

We also have our own plans currently underway to host an event ourselves… something that we think people will love that emulates the great ideas of races we love so much with our own TCC twist to it.

More to be announced on that soon.

We also have 2 or 3 other announcements that are coming real soon too- so keep an eye out.

More updates on if my knee implodes or magically has an extra 30w top end due to BADGERPOWER as things develop.

Sam

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