Published on May 9th, 2019 | by Admin


Crash, Bang, Wallop!

As a cyclist, especially for those us who tackle long distance cycling which often involves tens of thousands of kilometres each year there is of course risk of injury. In the longer distance brevets we’ll cycle through the night on unfamiliar roads, often tired and fatigued. But the reality is no sport is without risk! I have friends who are runners who have suffered injuries. As have friends who play football, rugby and even tennis. No sport or activity is without the risk of injury! The stark truth is that anybody who gets onto a bike, no matter how far they intend to cycle, runs the risk of getting knocked off it or falling off it.


From the group of cyclists in my circle of friends I can recall hip fractures, a broken neck, arm and leg injuries, facial injuries to mention just a few. And I’m sorry to say even one death. Here in Spain I believe cycling carries a lesser risk than cycling in England but for sure there still is a risk.


I’ve never been in hospital due to a cycling injury, well that is until now, I’m writing this post, lying in a hospital bed recovering from an operation to fix facial fractures in both cheeks. Looking in the mirror I look like “The Elephant Man’s” understudy as my face is so swollen. Luckily or not, so to speak, my body is just bruised as my face took the full impact so if I have no further complications then I still hope to ride my final PBP qualifier in 9 days, the Massamagrell 600k.


So what happened I can imagine you are thinking? Well it was just a stupid accident. I hit a little pothole in the road that jolted my front water bottle from its holder. I tried to stop it falling but knocked it under my back wheel and rode over it I think.  I can only remember losing the steering and flying through the air. I know I hit the ground hard because although I was conscious. I was extremely dazed for a good few minutes. By the time I got myself together Anne had me in the recovery position and there were policemen diverting traffic around me as I was in the middle of the road. I can remember telling them I could move off the road if they helped me which they did.


To be honest the longer I waited for the ambulance the more I was thinking I did not need it. I could feel the swelling on my right cheek and could see a small pool of my blood in the road, I was sore but ok. I was thinking about just going to a local health centre to get my cheek cleaned up. But the ambulance turned up and the paramedics on-board rightly took the decision away from me. Off to Murcia Hospital I went.

Pre-op photo. The post op photo is far too scary to post!

Pre-op photo. The post op photo is far too scary to post!

At the hospital I had my cheek treated swiftly before waiting for x-rays and a cat scan. My x-rays were fine but my cat scan showed major problems. Later when I sat with a doctor he showed me a 3d image of my scull on his computer. I could see a fracture on my right eye socket which travelled right down to my chin. On the left cheek there was another fracture from the impact and a further old fracture on my right cheek which was from another off a few years earlier. The doctor told me that the fractured were very serious and needed to be dealt with that night or in the morning. I was shocked. I had no idea how serious my injury was. I was fully expecting to be able to go home.


I was soon put on a pre-operation ward and for the first time I managed to look at myself. The right side of my face was badly swollen. The left side looked ok but was painfully to the touch. I can remember being prepared for the operation, getting my pre-meds and feeling utterly terrified. I’m not sure why, but I don’t think I’ve ever been even close to feeling that ever before. I did though quickly get myself sorted by just thinking for a few minutes about my daughter who is doing a remarkable job fighting cancer which makes me so proud and made me realise my fears were in contrast to hers foolish!


Anyway I had a 3 hour operation to fix the fractures. I was awoken in the post operation room and told all had gone well and was soon on my phone WhatsApping the news. Soon after, I was on my way to the ward to recover. I’m lying here now just wanting to go home so I can sleep as I’m struggling to do so here. Just 9 more days to the Massamagrell 600k which I’m desperate to ride.  I’m already researching full face helmets!


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3 Responses to Crash, Bang, Wallop!

  1. So sorry to hear this. Have a complete and speedy recovery.

  2. Laurent says:

    I just found this PBP blog and read your post. I was moved by your mishap and I wish you a speed recocery. I also wish to address a special thought and support to your daughter.
    Hoping to see you in Rambouillet.

  3. Ian Heron says:

    Wish you a quick recovery Tony. Enjoying your PBP blog, hoping to be there for my 1st PBP this summer. All the Best Ian H

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