Chris Beattie……Slayed by the badger

The Badger!

Tenuous I know but I hope you get the badger reference.

If you read my previous post about Chris Beattie you’ll know he had a massive year ahead. All that came to an abrupt end after a horrific crash. Thankfully Chris is now recovering and aiming to get back on the bike over the next few months.

Girona brought 2017 to end as planned with rides of over 200km for the last two days of the year so perfect and all went to plan. January at home was pretty poor.  While not extreme weather it was consistently wet and freezing in the mornings, not perfect for the bike! Enter a turbo trainer block plus a few endurance rides before a return to Catalonia at the end of the month.  More miles, more climbing, great job and reunited with the Legor Cicli!  Again February at home was bleak, wet and icy was the normal pattern until a late spell of super dry weather toward the end of the month.  So of course I made the best of it, every bit of it. Thursday 22nd February was a clear evening, bone dry, nicely above freezing and little wind so it was to be a 55km ride home after work. Perfect, then with 4km to go – wallop and I am on the deck as quick as that.  Instantly I tried to get to my feet pushing up on my hands and wrists as I lay in the middle of the road.  My leg stayed where it was, I could sense it crunching inside.  I knew it was all over.  What happened? A badger emerged into my headlight from the grass verge, no reaction time, no swerving, no bunny hopping just bang, like hitting a concrete block, 40kph to zero instantly. My season was over before it started and it was out of my control.

One broken femur bone, one operation and one ‘nail’ running down the inside of the bone from the hip to the knee, it was grim.  Pain beyond what I had every endured before. Twelve days post operation in hospital before being well enough to be discharged, I was back to basics, trying to walk! It was going to be six months before I would be back to full fitness.  This was hard to come to terms with, it was demoralising.

My three Ultra events for the season where out the window, along with RAAM qualification.  I felt I would be letting down all my supporters for the season, it seemed a disaster.  However after careful thought on the subject I realised it could have been worse.  I could have injuries that I would not have returned from or worse I could have been hit by a vehicle coming along behind.  Suddenly I felt lucky!  It was time to pick myself up and focus on a full recovery for the 2019 season.  My family, friends and supporters all give me the encouragement and support I needed when I was at my lowest.

So I know I will not be training hard for some time, racing the competition or enjoying a Sommet cycling trip in a stunning European destination any time soon.  I will however be 100% focused on recovery with plenty of coffee drinking time on my hands so it is not all bad!

Stay safe, expect the unexpected and live for today! I will keep you posted with progress.