I had my first accident on a Belgian road this August!!  Funnily enough, it happened just outside the Apoteek on the Rink at Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. The shiny cobbles were a bit technical for me and whilst I did my best to concentrate on keeping the wheels out of the grooves, alas, the cobbles had different ideas for me…  The front wheel seemed to bite into a series of deep grooves and I had a flash premonition it was time to hit the ground 🙂  The car behind me must have had the same thing too because it didn’t run me over, luckily!  Anyway, I quickly plucked myself and my bike off the ground, checked the wheels still turned and headed off again onto the cobbles. Only later did I realise some damage: handlebar rips, pedal shreds, missing plug… and the following day I sported bruises on my leg, wrist, hand and bum! As in a previous accident some years ago, I was really upset for my bike… poor poor bike… :-/  A trip to the bike mechanic is on the cards!

So to counter any potential negativity for the mishap I trained harder on the Tacx trainer, accompanied with longer yoga sessions to prevent any tightening up of the limbs and aid recovery. This seems to have worked pretty well because the following weekend I felt pretty strong later on in the ride during the Grimbergen-Hombeek route, despite the killer temperature. In the beginning of the ride I was pretty nervous on the cobbled and pot-holed roads, and I found myself over-braking on many corners. Its amazing just how deeply connected your bike handling skills are with your road confidence. Halfway through the ride I decided to talk myself into riding harder and braving the descents/corners and it seemed to work!  Arriving back at the car a few hours later, with the sun on full firing, I was happy with the overall performance and glad I’d recaptured some of the daring you need to enjoy a good bike ride. Back home, I had the recovery banana and oaty bar and then treated myself to a long siesta 🙂  All’s well that ends well I say…

Zenne waterways (Grimbergen route) – tongues out for the cameraman!

Originally published: Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 21:32 in Living matter, Monologues

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2 Responses to “Initiation of the cobbles!”

  1. Hypersext says:

    What you didn’t say above is that you were tough. You picked yourself up and got back on the bike like a proper Flandrien. Proficiat!

    • Thanks Hypersext. I think the saving grace at the time is that you don’t realise the damage until much later on… and only then do you need to be really tough, as I found last weekend when I had to work more on my mental state than the physical!

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