A look at 2016

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A head on collision has pretty much brought an early finish to riding in 2016 for me.  Now is as good a time as any to reflect on the year thats been.  Right from the start of the year I was battling knee and achilles problems.  Life was hectic and I pretty much burned myself out.  This led to injury after injury after injury after injury.  I worked hard at recovering and at the end of June, I was able to get out for one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had on a bike.   Having the chance to do a snow ride with my mate Geert, pushing through 6km of snow up the rear side of Mount Donna Buang. It was like being a kid in a candy store & it was a truly surreal experience. Moments that you wish could go on forever.

Mount Donna Buang

This one didn’t. At the time I didn’t realise that I had strained my Achilles tendon pushing my bike up through the snow. It took me until mid August till I recovered from that injury.  I was good and strong for a grand total of 3 days before I came down with virus after virus.  6 of tem all up, which kept me sick for a grand total of 12 weeks.  This pretty much was the story of 2016.

Image taken by Doc Ryan

It just wasn’t my year.  I remeber in late February. I was working hard to recover from an Achilles injury to Sherpa for Ewan Hilsdon on Mount Donna Buang. The day before I had a freak accident pulling the rear wheel off the bike. The wheel jammed, and when it came loose, it came loose fast. The spokes went through my thumb, and severed it.  Yet another visit to the Emergency department at Dandenong Hospital. I did a real number on my thumb and was told I was incredibly fortunate that I missed the tendons by millimeters & would have required surgery on my thumb if had done that.

Oops

I had to pull out of so many rides throughout the year.  The rides I was able to do often led to further injury and illness, which continually forced me off the bike.  This was a year where I experienced a total of 11 whole weeks where I couldn’t even touch the bike once.  You take your health for granted, and losing so much this year I really appreciated how much I love to ride.

Image courtesy of the Climbing Cyclist

The fitness that I’ve worked hard for I ultimately took for granted, and you don’t know what you’ve got until you loose it.  Last week I had gone 3 weeks without mishap.  A record for 2016.  An inexperienced rider riding down the wrong side of the Eastlink Trail around a blind bend had other ideas.  A head on collision will see me off the bike for at least 3 weeks.  Game over.

The best & worst of 2015

Best:

Mount Donna Snowuang

The Demon’s Double

A Hells of a time in the Dandenongs

Mount Hotham

Mount Buffalo

 

Worse:

Search for the Bunyip ride (mechanical forced me to pull out early)

Slicing through my thumb on my Cog Wheel

Head on collision

 

A look at 2016

                                                               2015                           2016                      Difference

Total distance travelled:              12,616km                      5,893km                 ↓53%

Biggest ride:                                       366km                           186km

Total elevation:                                 211,079 metres            83,774 metre         ↓61%

Maximum elevation:                      9,289 metres                4,424 metres         ↓ 53%

Reflections

Whilst I wasn’t able to ride anywhere near as much as I usually do.  And injuries and illness kept me from my beloved hills most of the year.  I still got to ride.  There’s nothing more special than that, and I have continued to grow many friendships over the year.  The great thing about looking forward to 2017, is that I have so much to grow from.  So much to make up for.  Bring it!

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