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Just get out and ride

Just get out and ride
At Christmas time, it's traditional to reflect on times passed. Using long worded conjecture and circular discussion to give a cleverly crafted passage that lets people think, rub their chins;


Either that or think the writers an idiot and skip to the end. It's the time when writers scrape the bottom of the barrel with thoughts of those not so lucky as ourselves. Well sod that.

I'm writing this with one arm, with laptop balanced precariously on my knee. My armpit smells like a wrestlers jockstrap and people are staring at the strange lump up my jumper.I'm four weeks past some shoulder surgery which will, it seems, have me off the bike "proper" until April.It was an "open anterior stabilisation" which is where they cut you open, drill holes, bang in pins, and stitch bits of your shoulder socket back into place. You are then immobilised with a sling for five weeks before gentle physic over the next few months, but "full contact sports" - which largely describes the art off falling down hillsides in Calderdale - cannot be persued until four months hence. At earliest!

Ionically, I've never damaged my shoulder during a crash or riding. I smashed my collarbone to bits racing World Cup ranked downhillers down Molfre DH track. But this operation was to fix a dislocation problem which has happened since I picked a stone out of a stream for my two year old daughter. It had quite an effect on her, and a few weeks later was heard to tell a friend "My daddy hurt his arm. He fell in the stream. He said FU*KING H*LL".

Since then its popped out quite often. Dramatically on a waterslide at a middle class forest park. The pool attendant seeing a skinny man with bones poking out in odd places and a shoulder all out was somewhat shocked "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??" but I explained the collar bone damage was "meant to be like that" it was just "this bit has fallen out of there".

So anyhow. Enough of my narcissistic ramblings. What's the point? The point exactly like a great friend of mine once came out with when we needed a strap line for a magazine we were trying to launch… "Just get out and ride!". He's right. I can spend £90 on a new set of running shoes and wobble up Stoodley Pike with one arm, but it's nothing like the buzz or fun from riding. Rain, mud, "embrace the slither" and just go ride. Fit them in, fit them around your family and friends, don't wait for those new tyres or moan that your rebound damping is wrong. Just pedal, brake, steer, smile. Borrow your granddads folding bike… just ride. It's magical. If you're laid up like me, then all the best.

I can't wait for April and am already planning first ride's back in my head, but if you can ride, then do ride. Don't be sat there just reminiscing.

25 December 2011