The Centennial Rally in Carlisle was the one we had all been waiting for. Organised to celebrate the centennial of the International Six Days Trial or ISDT (now called the International Six Days Enduro or ISDE). It first started in Carlisle in 1913. The Rally promised three days of racing with one day of over 200 miles and a City Centre paddock, it looked set to be a good event.
Towards the end of Lap One (Picture © Ann Ross-Tuson)
All went well for the second and most of the third (last) lap until the final special stage. Turning up a fast rocky ascent, the front wheel caught a big rock and the front of the bike reared up and the handlebars hit me full in the chest! I then was flung over the bars and crashed down on my hip (a few naughty words were said at this stage)!
After getting my breath back I discovered I had ripped the threads out of the handlebar mount, leaving the bars flapping loose, unable to repair them, had to ride back very slowly. Stopping to use some plastic course marking tape to tie the bars in place, so they didn't let go altogether.
I eventually finished the lap and by now the adrenaline had worn off and I was in serious pain from my hip and chest. My other friend Michael helped Ann get my kit sorted and loaded the bike. My hip was now seriously swollen and sticking out several inches compared to the other so Ann took over the driving duties and took me straight to A&E at Shrewsbury Hospital.
An evening of Hip, Pelvis and Chest X-rays and an ECG ensued and eventually I was pronounced bruised but otherwise OK and allowed to go.
Ann drove me home in the Land Rover and even gave up her bed for me as it was more comfy than the spare room, where she retreated to! A real mate indeed!
The bruising was extensive and very painful and whilst the amazing technicolor display has long gone, eleven weeks later the swelling still hasn't fully gone away and my hip is still sore and movement limited. The bruise eventually spread from my chest to my ankle and right across my body front and back.... not good!
So definitely the end of my racing career for 2013.
A week later I moved into my new house, carrying furniture around was not enjoyable to say the least. Since then it has been loads of domestic stuff like buying furniture, fitting blinds and stuff but I have eventually got round to sorting out a bike to race next year.... watch this space as they say!