Posted by Si
From Two Wheels to Two Sticks1 SEP
Being a biker certainly comes with benefits; even the cheapest gear makes you look rather cool; most parking spots are free and much more conveniently located; and insurance, parts, petrol and tax are all a fraction the cost of a car! Then there's the big perk - overtaking! I'm not talking about that caravan on the dual carriageway, I'm talking about those traffic jams on a warm summer’s day and that 'sweet spot', just big enough for two wheels!
Riding isn’t without drawbacks, though. Exposure to the elements in a failing British summer and, by default, there’s little luggage space for your waterproofs, but by far the worst disadvantage to riding is the ‘invisibility cloak’ and a greater threat of injury in a collision. As such a frequent rider I was well aware that, statistically speaking, it wasn’t a matter of IF I had an accident... it was a matter of WHEN! On July 13th 2013, just outside of Malton, I began to gain on a slow moving car that was holding up another and thought I could take a ‘sweet spot’ safely. I was quite, quite wrong.
Into my manoeuvre the car at the head of the pack began to turn left, as it did the second car pulled out to overtake it. Unfortunately I was already well alongside that car, and as we couldn’t both occupy the same road I was forced further right. After a brief moment of disbelief I quickly realised I was about at to hit an oncoming car… to which I remember shrugging. This turned out to be ‘lucky’ as I was thrown clean over the bonnet, into the windscreen and over the roof before landing back on the road. My bike, meanwhile, slid a few meters before coming to rest in flames.
After being tended to by a witness (who, by another stroke of luck, was a doctor), I was air-lifted to St. James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, suspected of breaking… well, a lot! I was assessed over a few hours but had (quite miraculously) escaped breaking my neck, ribs, back or any limb! What I did manage to do, however, was break my pelvis – an ‘open book fracture’, they called it. Judging by the X-ray that’s quite an accurate description, but if you imagine the book as a Polo mint you realise you can’t simply ‘open’ it without breaking it either side as well.
Two operations kept me bed-bound in hospital for a few weeks. During which time I received some great gifts to occupy my time of which I was very grateful - not least a Cornish gift basket from PMA Communications, a wooden bike construction kit from Roebuck Productions, and more biscuits I could eat in a year from everyone at brightfive. The well wishes poured in and I am most grateful for all the kind words and support. My bosses have gone above and beyond most of all, in their support and in taking all my work related worries away. All that was left for me to do was recover and rebuild my relationship with my PlayStation.
The support continues now that I am back to work, but I do wonder just how much longer I can get away with being served coffee to my desk without returning the favour. I can safely say I’ve missed the desk, the email, the telephone calls and, most of all, my comfy, upright chair! I’m still in recovery so I’m mostly desk-bound, but it beats being stuck at home. I very quickly tired of not actually doing anything and I am very glad to be back at work. In fact, I missed my job almost enough to never again mount two wheels… almost…