The second ’10’ of the day was the Icknield RC ’10’, on the Brogborough-based F15/10. By the time Tony and I rode over the to HQ at the Marston Vale Forest Centre, we had lovely warm and sunny conditions, with what promised to be a light head wind back (much lighter than I had had the previous Saturday).
I rode from the HQ to the start with Tony and then kept riding to and fro for a bit before getting to the start. After the usual banter with the time keeper, I rode off down the hill, quickly getting into a nice big gear for the opening descent. I had a pretty quick ride out to the turn (maybe averaging over 29 mph), marred slightly by traffic at the roundabout half way to the turn. But then again, that roundabout has an annoying kink that I always slow a little for.
After the turn, I settled into trying find a rhythm that I was comfortable with (not comfortable in!). I was tooling along at around 25-26mph when I saw a couple of children ahead of me, wobbling along the road on what appeared to be bmx bike and one of those stupid scooters. They wobbled particularly as the rider ahead of me passed, so I thought nothing of it when the looked back at me and wobbled some more. To my horror, this turned out not to be a wobble at all – the kids veered straight across the road, colliding with me and projecting me across the road as a 26 mph tangled mass of carbon and shredded lycra and flesh, right into the path of an oncoming car.
Fortunately the car stopped in time. The adults in the car got out to see if I was OK (the kids responsible for my crash seemed relatively unhurt, but somewhat shocked). I didn’t have the heart to bawl them out – asking them just what they thought they were doing seemed to have a bit of an effect on them. I was clearly bleeding, with a shredded skinsuit and fractured helmet. The bike seemed reasonably OK, though the handlebars were out of alignment.
I rode back to the HQ somewhat gingerly, where, after, retelling the incident to the organiser and others, I was prevailed upon not to ride home and to accept a lift home. The butchers bill is really just an astonishing array of grazes, scrapes, cuts and bruises. No broken bones, fortunately. It’s all rather painful – I don’t understand how professional riders can go on day after day after crashes. Maybe being younger and being paid to do it helps!