Saturday, August 30, 2014

Post TAXI blues and smiles

It has been a trying few weeks since my tangle with the taxi, in fact it is a month now and I have still not fully recovered. My lower back has been giving me lots of grief after I managed to get back on the bike a week or so after the accident. In hindsight, this was far too early and my lower back has still not recovered from the whiplash/impact with the taxi.
Out of frustration I went to the Physio this week and was informed that I was to stay off the bike for a least another week while he treated me. Now this is when I hate Strava as I can see all the people I am following riding up a storm whilst I am sitting at home just clocking up the kilos and not the kilometers. Lets hope that this treatment will sort my back out and I will once again be pain free and be able to enjoy this wonderful sport once again.
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to do a MTB race with my son Caiden. We did the 13km Auto Aplino race at Nigel. It was a cold and windy race,  but incredible to be able to do the race with him. I was so proud as he has done no cycling in the past year and managed to keep up with me the whole race. Awesome to share this experience with him.
I was freezing at the start but Caiden refused to wear a jacket, much tougher then his dad
The cold wait at the start of the race 
Team Dawkins proudly showing our medals afterwards

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thank my lucky stars!!!!

A few things were different last Saturday - firstly I normally ride on a Sunday as my boys have hockey and secondly I normally only mountain bike. No Hockey and the MTB group was leaving too early for me, so I dusted off my road bike (only the second time using it this year) and headed out to join the road biking group for a nice long Saturday morning ride. Under the astute leadership of George, we headed out towards Edenvale, Modderfontein and then towards Midrand - down Allendale road. It was really great to be on the road bike again, my few weeks of limited winter activity were well felt when climbing up a few of the drags. It was so great seeing all the riders in the group again, they really are a fantastic bunch of people.
I lost the wheel of the group when they were speeding down a long down hill (about 15 meters behind) and as I started the climb up the next rolling hill - WHAM!!! I got taken out from behind by a mini bus taxi. I can't really explain the feeling, it was surreal, it was the last thing that I expected to be suddenly hit from behind and hit the ground. Fortunately I still had some momentum from the downhill, I was doing about 30-40km/h so the impact was not as severe as it could have been. The taxi pushed my bike out from under me and my back hit the front of the taxi before I landed on the ground. Fortunately he braked and did not ride over me, as I landed rolling and screaming from the sudden agony in my lower back. I managed to crawl to the side of the road and lay withering in agony from the pain. Thinking to myself I really hope my back isn't broken. The rest of the group turned back to assist me and Johan and his son in law, who witnessed the accident from behind in his car, pulled over in front of the taxi so it couldn't drive away.
The taxi driver got out and started to say that it wasn't his fault, it was the truck that he was overtaking (using the emergency lane on a dual lane road) - go figure that one out. Anyway to cut a long story short the group was really awesome they kicked into action straight away, making sure I was comfortable, my wife was contacted (thx Mandy) and that an ambulance was called. I ended up having 8 emergency vehicles, including a fire engine. I was put on a stretcher and my bike and me were loaded into the ambulance. Fortunately the closest hospital was about 1km away so it was a short journey. The doctor assessed me and was happy that I was stable enough to be sent for x-rays.
The x-rays showed there were no breaks or fractures, just extreme muscle damage on my lower back from the whiplash etc...As I write this 4 days later, my back is still sore but a lot better after a few sessions at the Chiropractor, rest at home, lots heat/cold treatment and of course drugs. I realize now, how blessed I am to have survived such a crash, not have any other major injuries, have a group of  fantastic friends and a wonderful wife. My bike surprisingly came out unscathed just a slightly buckled rear rim and a bent rear derailer. The driver was arrested as besides breaking the rules of the road and riding in the emergency lane his taxi had no license plates on etc... 
The wheels of destruction
Thanks once again to everybody that assisted me, especially the Checkers road biking group they really are a special group of individuals.