Can any good come from a mountain bike crash?

Damage to the bike is never good (unless you're in the market for a new one). Broken bones? No. Deep tissue injuries, which can take a long time to heal? The same.

On Waitangi Day, I experienced my first (and, hopefully, only) mountain bike accident where I couldn't ride out afterwards.

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Even smacked up ribs haven't stopped me, before. The worst mountain biking-related injury I've sustained was when I was riding shotgun on a tractor and trailer loaded with barriers while setting up the start/finish line of the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials Championships course.

The tractor hit a bump and I landed on the side of the trailer. The result was seriously busted ribs - and nine, very long days running the championships media centre on a diet of Tramadol, coffee and Red Bull. They still ache in winter. But I was mobile.

Back to Waitangi Day. After some successful physiotherapy on a troublesome and painful left hip by Elijah Areli at QE Health Wellness and Spa in January, I was feeling stronger than I had for years.

Maybe that was why I was charging a bit too hard and lost the bike on Be Rude Not To.

What was certain was I couldn't weight up my right leg. Cue a call to the Emergency Response Unit.

Budgie Woods from Peak Safety was on that day - someone I know, which was very reassuring, and he shuttled me out to the Waipa carpark.

Hospital and x-rays followed.

It was over a week before I could apply weight to the leg without a lot of pain - and pharmaceuticals were my friends, again. Fortunately, there were no fractures. However, I learnt a lot about how damaging deep tissue injuries could be.


Elijah was very busy, so my physiotherapist at QE Health was John Yang. Elijah is Samoan and John is from Korea. They share the same expertise and thoughtfulness. They are both soft-spoken, even when gently correcting my attempts at the exercises and stretches they gave me.

Continuing these has made me stronger on the bike than before the prang. Part of that seems to be getting both hips and legs in balance. Climbing feels effortless. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. However, the squats have definitely increased the power band.
And that's one positive outcome of a crash.

• There is a trails working bee tomorrow, Sunday, May 6, on Rosebank. Meet at Waipa Mountain Bike carpark at 9am to walk in. Tools are supplied or BYO. Snacks and drinks are from Holiday Inn and there's almost always cake. Give something back and get some trail-building therapy.

• The Big Bike Film Night 2018 screens on Thursday, May 10, at The Blue Baths. It's another wonderful, inspiring, entertaining line-up of short films reflecting the range and diversity of the wide world of cycling. Tickets are available online - - or at the door on the night.