Saturday, 2 August 2008

My first crash!

Now this is important and most of you wont understand why. You see, when riding a bike, the thought of crashing is something you have to put out of your head. The fear slows you down, stiffens your body and generally makes you ride worse than you are capable of. I have known from the beginning of this trip that I am going to crash. Multiple times. And that has worried me. Your body forgets pain and it is the fear of pain that causes you to worry. Obviously. So getting that first crash out of the way, for me anyway, is a significant line that had to be crossed.

So 3 nights ago (I think it was 3) I decided to head out of Istanbul (the hostel sold my bed and I couldnt be arsed finding a new one) and do a little exploring around the back country. I headed upto Sile on the D020 and then went to Riva via the costal road which isnt really so much a road as a very muddy/sandy track. At some points you have to ride along the beach and sometimes through the forest. It was a good 2 nights camping in practically untouched wilderness. The first days ride was pretty uneventful. The going was difficult but I was getting to grips with the weight of the bike and the handelling on sand. The second day was a forest stage and I had really got into the swing of things. Launching over "ramps" and letting the bike do the work. I was doing about 50mph when it happened which was way too fast even if I was any good. Suddenly the hard dirt turned into very soft wet mud, back into hard dirt and then mud again. The first mud almost had me and if it had been maybe a meter longer it would have but the bike sat back up right on the hard ground. The second stretch well..... The back wheel started to overtake me which is never good and I just froze, the front wheel went up the mud bank and the back down it and it was all over. Except it wasnt. See if the mud had stayed wet I would have had a nice soft landing maybe a bit muddy but it didnt it turned into hard rock. One pannier ripped itself off the bike and the bike landed on my leg.

The damage to both was pretty minimal. The pannier has a big dent in it and will need to banged back into shape so that it fits nicely on the bike again. The brake pedal.... Well the brake peddle reached for god in its final moments and now I cant actually use my rear break without lifting my foot off the back and kind of reverse dog legging it and the handelbars look like they are turning right when I am going in a straight line. All of that will be fixed with a hammer.

Me, I caught a rock to the knee and a rock to my middle finger. Also my arm and shoulder but I had armour covering those parts. So I have a purple finger and a red knee now but what I am most pissed off about is that I ripped my trousers and will have to buy a new pair. Or maybe keep them so I have an ice breaker at parties!

All in all a good couple of days! :-) It was really good to do a bit of travelling again though. 3 weeks in Turkey now and I have barely left Istanbul! I might spend the whole of tomorrow uploading pictures and putting comments next to them. Should pass some time! Only 3 days left till I point the bike towards Iran and get to see what the road has to offer again!


Unknown said...

Iranian visa confirmation code has arrived. I should get the actual visa tomorrow morning. Irony of ironies, I now have to wait for the work on my bike to be finished before I can leave!

Stupid dirt track!

But YAY anyway!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ol
Enjoying your blogs. Far better than watching Eastenders!!
We were holding our breath on the day of the bombings,waiting for your phone call. So glad your are safe.
I would think Mark and Richard can relate to your crash,they were doing it all the time when road racing and motor-crossing except in not so exotic a track.
Keep up the good work and enjoy it, we are all so proud of what you are doing.