Back in August 2021 I went for a rip while on holiday in Scotland. I was riding on my own, but my wife and kids were in the area if needed. The start of the ride went great, I’d managed a 3000ft climb on rough terrain and done 15+ miles of scooting about. The views at the top were amazing. Probably the only decent day in Scotland last year 😊.
The ride had taken longer than expected, so I was really behind schedule. I was in a bit of a rush to get back down the wife had called saying she was waiting in the car park at the bottom (it was our anniversary after all).
Anyway, on the trail back down there were these large stone blocks every 20-50 meters that spread across the width of the trail and are either flush with the ground or raised a couple of steps to force rain water off the path to stop the path being washed away in the rain. Generally, these are quite small but every now and again you come across one that’s been washed away exposing up to 1 meter or so. On the way down I was riding reasonably fast but not flat out. I remember my hands were getting sore from being on the brakes so much, but as it started to level out, I eased off the brakes and let it rip. This was when I came across a big rock that ended up being at least a 1m drop and maybe slightly longer. I went to pop over it and noticed it was real deep, so tried to adjust my body but I was too late. My rear wheel hit another offset bolder that was pointing upwards and sent me catapulting into the air and off the trail.
I don’t remember exactly what happened while flying through the air, but once landed I remember opening my eyes and I was face down on a bolder just off the side of the mountain with blood dripping everywhere. I was a few meters down from the side of trail so I tried to get up and suddenly realised my leg was broken. I dragged myself up to the top of the trail and sat on the side waiting for either some walkers or a rider to help. While I sat there, I called mountain rescue who located me and started arranging my recovery. I also got the first aid kit out and started cleaning myself up. By now the pain had really started to kick in.
After what felt like 30-40 mins, a couple walking back down came across me…. Relief! Just in time too, as I could hear the helicopter coming in the distance. I’m not going to lie, they were a little shocked to see me in this state and even more shocked that I was only interested in my bike. They guided the chopper in and kindly agreed to walk my bike back down to my worried wife waiting in the car park.
Long story short. Chopper picked me up and took me to the hospital. X-rays taken and I had a confirmed broken nose, a fractured rib and a spiral fracture of the tibia that went into the ankle. I wasn’t completely happy with their conclusion and proposed solution, so after 48 hours in the hospital and having a full leg cast put on, I decided to get myself back home and get a 2nd opinion.
I have private medical so kicked off the process in the car on the way home. The 10 hour journey home wasn't fun but at least I had an appointment booked for when I got home.
The next day the consultant saw me and sent me in for additional scans that showed the break was worse than expected. I was taken in for an emergency operation. I was under for just under 5 hours. A few plates and screws later....
I was out of hospital that day and I had 6 weeks of no weight bearing, which wasn’t fun. I've had physio twice a week since then. Now I’m load bearing and able to spread 50:50 weight bear across both legs in an air boot. I’m still not walking, but hoping to start on the 18th of Jan when I see my consultant again. I have a lot of daily pain that is slowly easing off as mobility comes back. The worst part is the nerve damage from the operation. They had to remove about 8 inches of nerve, that they put back in but was damaged as they chopped away smaller bits of nerve. It feels like someone is pouting boiling water on my skin. It’s not pleasant.
I’ve been able to ride a static bike on a reasonably light resistance setting for 3 weeks now just trying to build up the muscle again. It’s amazing how skinny my leg is now. While the other is massive as I hop most places as it’s the fastest way of getting about 😊
I’ll come back and update as I go through the rest of my recovery. Oh yeah, the worst part is that my GoPro wasn't recording at the time. It's old and the bettery sucks! Gutted.