LEJOG (well, LEHereford, which has less of a ring to it)

LEJOG was started – and I did get to John O’Groats, it’s just that I did so by way of home and an airport and a car after I had to pull out of the ride after a crash.Another rider was so admiring the scenery along the Wye Valley that he clipped the grass verge and went sprawling. I managed to avoid him, but didn’t manage to avoid going down – rather heavily, on the hip that already has issues. That day, it didn’t feel too bad – the biggest annoyance was a bent hanger, which meant the bike was all too musical in the granny gear as the rear derailleur was pinging against the spokes of the rear wheel. Thankfully, the crash was less than 5km from a pit stop, so I walked the steep bits and rode the rest not in the granny gear.

The mechanics fixed the bike, the doctors gave me painkillers … but my leg had stiffened up enough that half a mile out of the pit stop was enough to have me turn back again and get a lift on the broom wagon to base camp.

Started the next day and things were clearly Not Ok. No power out of the right leg, and the hip was aching badly. I decided to get to pit stop 1 and re-evaluate … what I’d forgotten was that this is the day where pit stop 1 is not at 35-ish miles but, instead, at 44 miles. I was already in rather a lot of pain, but 9 miles of wondering where the hell the pit stop was, mixed with hoping it was just around the next corner, was just icing.

So I abandoned the ride – no way this was going to improve, really. Prescription-strength codeine meant I slept, but all was still not functional the next morning. I’m stubborn, but not stupid. I’ve done the ride before (twice) and it’ll be there to be done again. Better to heal up and do it another time.

So that’s what I’m doing – have discovered that swimming works pretty well for loosening/strengthening the hip flexors, tendons and various other things that have been taking a battering from the back/hip problem: the first 10-15 minutes of any swim is a bit of an ache but then it eases out. Still working out what I can do in the gym as well.

Also back on the turbo – and the hip seems recovered there as well now, a couple of weeks on from the crash. I’m going to start a TrainerRoad base build plan, with the intention of working my way through winter on the trainer. Also planning to rebuild my least-used road bike as a ‘gravel’ bike – off-road capable, but bridleways/trails and not MTB technical stuff. I’m not particularly interested in technical MTB stuff (and no good at it either, unsurprisingly) so something with reasonable tyres and disc brakes (which the bike already has) seems like a good way to go, to use the trails etc around here when bored of the road, or the weather seems a bit iffy for road riding.

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