As we enter March the weather had turned into blistering heat (well 15-16deg) and this meant that training on bikes wasn’t so much of a mud fest.
I had received an e-mail from Red Bull in New Zealand inviting me to go and ride the City Scramble in Auckland (would I like to go? Do bears Sh1t in woods!) The Red Bull City Scramble is an event held in Auckland which is a man made Endurox course, 10 laps 10 riders on the line flat out over rocks/skips/logs out onto a jetty into a mx style loop.
I was super pumped to be one of the few European riders to be invited along with Graham Jarvis, Andreas Letinbeckler and Paul Bolton and with Chris Birch there too it was lining up to be a great event.
So with this in mind and the weather turning almost Mediterranean we were out training lots. With one of our favourite places being Fat Cat Moto park, the only thing was Fat Cat is deep sand, so we decided that some hard pack faster practice was needed.
Little did I know that this was going to change the rest of my season for a long time…
It was a fantastic sunny day and I had been flying on the chosen track mixing it up with fast hard pack and the slower endurox course, even jumping in the 20 tonne digger to make the jumps bigger!
It was decided that the step up jump needed a little work doing to it so with the 20 tonne excavator heading off to adjust it I headed toward the step up taking in the table tops on my way! Then hitting the last table top a gust of wind slightly blew me and I stuck my left foot out on the landing, BANG I stamped my foot down hard and immediately knew something was wrong..
I rode back towards Ben and said “You’re going to have to take me to the hospital I think I’ve broken my foot”
After a bit of light swearing and cursing Ben had the bikes loaded into the Vito Sport and off to hospital we went.
I was discharged after my x ray didn’t pick up any breakages with a bruised foot. But I knew it was more than that as when I put my foot down it all felt very loose inside.
The next day I went and saw my Physio and he looked at it, after about 3 minutes he had rung a friend of his at the hospital and another appointment was made this time for a CT scan.
So the CT scan picked up 4 broken metatarsel bones and 3 dislocated bones in the mid foot or more commonly known as a Lisfrank Injury.
Things were going from bad to worse!
I would definitely miss the City Scramble and now it looked like I would miss the Scottish 6 day’s trial. I had to wait another week for the swelling to go down before the Foot specialist could make a decision on how to fix it.
I met Dr Fardon at Harrogate hospital and he was great, explaining exactly what I had done and how he would repair it. The breaks are no drama but the dislocation would need 2 screws to hold my big toe in place and 2 plates to hold the rest of the foot together.
But the really bad news was 6-8 week none weight bearing then 6 week partial weight bearing then the screws come out then after 6 months the plates come out! It was looking like a whole season missed!
So at this point I’m 5 week in and things are looking good! The surgeon has put me in an air cast boot so I can start ankle movement and swimming for fitness and the sugary went well.
Just at the moment my goal is to go to Erzberg my favourite Event of the year as last year there were only 9 finishers out of the 1700 starters 3 of which were all family! Doug Lampkin 2nd, Ben Hemingway 4th and me 6th.
It’s going to be close as even if I can convince my surgeon to take the screws out early I will have had no bike time at all just straight into the iron giant Erzberg.
As I write this I have started some gym work upper body only and I’m starting swimming next week the beginning of May, It’s gonna be a long road ahead but I will make it to full fitness and cannot wait to be back on a bike!
See you at Erzberg
Read the earlier blogs by Dan Hemingway here