Well that didn’t go to plan!
I was somewhat nervous as I had been told it was hilly and anyone who knows me knows hills are not my favourite but I also know that the only way to get better at them is to do them so I had signed up both myself and my husband and we would be riding together! We had completed the Ride London together earlier in the year but because of my training and his Ironman training we have not done that much together and it was, quite frankly, just nice to get away and be doing something together!
We’d arrived the day before and visited the bike expo at the NEC before heading into the city centre to collect our registration packs. I had assumed these would be in the same place as I was assuming it would be a similar set up to Ride London but this was not the case and both were at different arenas and I will admit the registration for the Velo was an anti climax with most people, including us, walking in getting their packs and leaving as there was not much there.
After a meal with fellow club members on the Saturday evening we were all ready to the ride. Sunday morning saw an early start and we were in our loading pens by 7:40am with an 8:10am start time. I’d taken the pic above and loaded to my social media with the note ‘ok Velo Birmingham be kind’ and little did I know it would do the complete opposite!
Unfortunately the start was somewhat delayed due to either an accident or obstruction on the route – not sure which as we were told both. This meant that when we were off it seemed a lot more congested than a normal cycling event.
It was lovely to see so many clubs out with numerous members cycling together – we even grabbed a cheeky pic with another local club to us Hornchurch CC.
Having groups from clubs together did result in more cycling 4, 5, 6 abreast and not adhering to the usual cycling etiquette allowing for overtaking on the right due to lack of space and when you called ‘on the right’ which is standard to indicate you would be overtaking there was no movement and often quite rude responses that were totally uncalled for.
There was some shocking cycling that I witnessed and within the first two miles the group of four i was in was in two sometimes three individual groups but this is to be expected on larger events.
Unfortunately four 4 miles in, as I was chatting with my husband, something in my left knee just went. I had no idea what was going on but the pain saw me immediately stopping although as I put my left foot down there was nothing there in my leg to hold me up and I ended up in a heap on the floor. I was, however, still clipped in on my right foot and my husband stopped as I was screaming at him to get it off me.
And that was my ride done and thanks to the support of my husband, who stayed with me, meant his ride was also over.
I can’t fault the event staff at all, they were fab! The ride itself had volunteer domestiques and several stopped to check I was ok. A medic was called and I was put in an ambulance with my bike and taken away to be seen to. My husband cycled back to meet me, beat the ambulance and meant he had completed a whopping ten miles (only 90 short of what he had intended to do).
I was told that I had displaced my knee, torn my medial collateral ligament and had crepitus. After lots of painful movements I was strapped up with rock tape and sent on my way – just as I remembered I had left my bike in the ambulance!
My husband got my bike and our car and picked me up and feeling pretty sorry for myself, and after a lot of tears, we started our journey home. This was not how this weekend was supposed to end.
I’ve heard that the feed stations ran out of food and water and that locals had put nails and oil on the roads in protest and I’d seen some pretty shocking comments on the facebook page for the event. I can’t comment as my four miles is not exactly going to paint an accurate picture.
I hope those who took part enjoyed it and I hope the support on the route was well received as I am sure the money raised for different charities will be.
I think for now after coming off my bike in Newcastle last year and now in Birmingham, both of which seeing me ending up in the back of an ambulance, I have learned the north do not want me to cycle there!
I am not letting this set me back though and there will be blog posts about my recovery I’m sure. I’ve had a cry, know that there are some events I will be silly to try and take part in so will miss those, but I’ve pulled up my big girl knickers, dusted myself off and back to thinking positive!