I had a bike crash almost three weeks ago. The manner of the fall is almost trivial but the severity of the injuries meant I was not able to get straight back on my bike, something that has been gnawing at me for quite some time now.
It all happened while on a trip to (almost) Cambridge and back with a couple of friends. I won’t give an account of what happened here because 1. I don’t actually remember it and 2. Andy wrote about it far better than I can. Suffice to say I hit the ground hard and was knocked out, got concussed and suffered temporary amnesia. The whole event was a very odd and surreal one, not being able to remember the most basic of information. The worst feeling of all was knowing that I should have known the information and not being sure if I would ever recover the memory. It all sounds very melodramatic but in the moment it was rather scary.
Luckily it didn’t take too long to resume normal cognitive function but it did make me dwell on the loss of memory and dementia. The utterly brilliant Grayson Perry touched on the subject in the latest episode of his programme Who Are You? where he met a couple coming to terms with living with Alzheimer’s. I had been vocal to Halina about my views on the disease and if I was to ever be unlucky enough to develop it which led to quite a debate on ethics and euthanasia which is far too serious and dour to write about here.
All that being said I was incredibly happy to heal very quickly with swelling going down and most abrasions disappearing within a week. I fractured my cheekbone and upper jaw which hasn’t been very pleasant as I haven’t been able to eat on the right side of my mouth and yawning seems to be the enemy of recovery, splitting the bones when they try to heal. I also can’t blow my nose for six weeks so apologies if you see a dripping mess.
I had sliced my eyebrow open from the arm of my glasses snapping and carving a rather deep trench. I got stitched up in hospital with Halina for company who felt very faint while watching the doctor-cum-seamstress. She likened the process to two lips chapping together while Andy said it looked like there was a vagina on my forehead. Classy. After the stitches came out, which wasn’t an altogether pleasurable experience, my face looked almost back to it’s beautiful self. The cut will probably take quite a while to disappear but it’s looking likely that it’ll leave a
badass ugly scar.
So the accident was nearly three weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get back out on my bike yet as I am currently waiting on a new helmet through Kask’s replacement scheme offering a 50% discount. I was originally delighted to discover this as the thought of forking out for a new helmet as well the new glasses and bike repairs made me a bit wobbly and short of breath. My annoyance has grown through having to get the tube and busses everywhere which is especially grating as it is currently half term and my commute to university goes through Westminster and the Tower of London. The amount I have had to pay for public transport will cancel out the replacement discount if I don’t receive my new helmet soon.
Today the urge to cycle got too much and I set up the turbo trainer desperate to spin the pedals and get the good feeling back again. It worked. I only went for half an hour but man did it feel great. I’ve previously eschewed the turbo as I live on the top floor of a block with walls and floors made from Bible paper. Today I had to say ‘screw the neighbours, I need this!’
If you fall off your bike, you need to get back on as soon as physically possible. This isn’t because the psychological trauma will manifest itself into an unconquerable monster, its because riding your bike is one of the best feelings in the world.