You’ve crashed, you’re hurt, but look on the bright side 🙂
Being injured sucks. It hurts, it stops you riding, it stops you working and it stops you being you. And if you’re anything like me, and always turn to your bike to relieve the stresses of life, it also adds hugely to those stresses while eliminating your most efficient coping mechanism.
But you can take some positives from it.
If you can’t ride, now’s the time to do all the things you want or need to do, that you can’t do when you’re trying to maximise your time on the bike. So once you’ve devoured the first tub of comfort ice cream, and emptied that bottle of red, sit down with a pen and a piece a paper and start writing a list.
This has to be your number one priority. You’ve got time on your hands, so make sure you dedicate as much of it as possible to getting better as quickly as possible. If relevant, see a physio or a specialist. Sure, these cost money. But if you snapped your frame rather than your wrist or collar bone, you’d be spending money repairing that. And this is your body… your engine…
Then write a rehab plan and stick to it. If you have to do 20 reps with theraband 4 times a day, do them. If 5 times a day will make it even better, do 5. If you need icepacks then use them.
And don’t forget the rest of your body. Ask your physio, or your local fitness instructor, or even a specialist mtb fitness instructor, to write you a program that will help keep the rest of your body as fit as possible without slowing your recovery. And then do it.
This will also help you avoid putting on weight.
2. Improve your credit rating
List all the things that you can think of that you really need to do in your everyday life that will at some stage in the future keep you off the bike. Can you do more of these now? Can you get some credit now for some extra bike miles when you’re up and running again? Work’s an obvious one, if you have a flexible job, but what about other stuff? Here’s a few for starters:
Book keeping, accounts, tax return
In-law visits (major on this one if necessary!)
There will be many, many more…
3. Room for improvement
If you’re anything like me, there will be loads of things you could do, that you know would improve your riding or increase the amount of fun you have when you’re out on the bike, if only you had time. Well you do!
Studying sports psychology
Watching Danny Hart’s Champery run from 2011 (again!)
First aid course
Join a local advocacy group
4. Service your bikes (This could come in no. 2)
Yup, fine-tooth comb time. Grease/replace all those bearings, replace your cables, clean and lube the chain, service the pedals, send the shock/fork/seatpost for servicing. Do everything you can to make sure that when you are riding again, the bike isn’t going to keep you off the trails. You could also look at the odd upgrade to cheer yourself up (assuming you’re still working or getting sick pay)
5. Other stuff you never do
There must be other things you’d enjoy if you lived in a parallel universe and didn’t ride?
Big walks in the mountains
Sunning by the pool in the Bahamas 🙂
Once I start this list, I find it’s almost never-ending. In fact, I’m almost sad when I am fully recovered and back on the bike.
Tom Hutton is a mountain bike guide, photographer and journalist. He has been the route researcher for mbr magazine for 17 years, provides classic route guides for Singletrack magazine and has written a number of guidebooks.
For more info on Tom Hutton MTB Guiding, our holidays, weekends and guided rides, see our website