Journal for 12 March 2001

Another biking accident

Oops - it's a dangerous sport! I'm writing this one-handed having broken my collar-bone in a crash a week ago.

It was the regular Sunday morning ride. About 7.15am, pushing hard around Nedlands on our way back to Freo. Doing around 35k near the back of the bunch. Les in front of me punctures, bike slews across me, and I have nowhere to go. I go right over the top of him, do a half-somersault and land on my right shoulder. Sit there in the road for a moment, a bit dazed, while the peleton stops and comes back to see how we are.

Les has scrapes on arms and thighs, but nothing broken. I'm beginning to realise something is wrong with my shoulder. I ring Katie on someone's mobile and catch her getting ready to go out sailing. Predictable irritation at stupidity of hurling oneself at the road, but she sets off to get me. I strip off my shirt - gingerly - and discover raw patches down back and lump on shoulder. Use an inner tube as a sling.

Katie arrives - exhibiting more sympathy - and drives me to casualty in Freo. Pleasant and efficient, and I'm put in a proper sling and x-rayed. Pop back to the waiting room and discover several friends have arrived from Old Papa's to check how I am - one of whom is an orthopedic surgeon: the RSBCA is home to a wide range of useful talents! Ian Pawley says he'll drive me home, so Katie dashes off just in time to make the start of her race. X-rays reveal collar-bone is broken, and after some to-ing and fro-ing I'm booked in the next day for an operation to have it pinned.

Spend much of the afternoon re-arranging plans for the week - I was going to drive 400k to Albany the next day to give a talk on Tuesday. Arrange a flight instead (but in the end have to cancel altogether). Arm not too sore so long as I don't do anything with it.

Operation next morning goes smoothly - a screw put in, to be removed in about six weeks. Back home the following morning. Arm in a sling, with instructions to keep it there. Frustrating that typing is difficult, otherwise I could operate fine from home. Managing OK with one hand: it's little things like taking contact lenses out that are really difficult. A bit immobile since I can't drive or bike - Katie had to drive me in to university on Friday for a meeting and a seminar.

This Sunday, I walked down to Old Papa's since there was to be a team photo, and the RSBCA was presenting a cheque to a local charity from money raised from the sale of this season's shirts. Lots of interest and sympathy - but a worrying number saying "when I fell off in 199"

Still, I'll be back riding as soon as I can - I've already borrowed an exercise bicycle for use in the back yard.

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