The road to recovery and back to the UK

May 20, 2016

It’s been nearly 6months since I broke both arms crashing my bike into a tree while play riding on my local Nelson trails. My right required surgery, placing two plates to hold together the many fragments of the shattered radius and ulna. After 6weeks completely off the bike I was able to start ‘nana’ riding but I couldn’t risk falling off!

It was a bit of a rollercoaster recovery as seems to be the way when coming back from injury-two steps forward one step back! It wasn’t until 4months after the crash that I felt comfortable enough to do any ‘real’ riding.

Luckily since then progress has been more rapid. It’s taking a while for my confidence to return and I’m still wary of those trees!

As I was getting ready to try my hand at some racing again, the NZ race season had drawn to a close so I decided to head to Europe a month ahead of hitting EWS #3 Wicklow. Unfortunately luck was not on my side again and upon arriving in the UK I was off my bike for another 2 weeks with some kind of virus (probably from over 30hours in the germ tubes otherwise known as planes!).

So my first race back was a week out from EWS and a bit of a dive in at the deep end – The British Enduro Series at Dyfi. Although most of the UK was forecast to have a heat wave West Wales managed to provide its more typical weather. Of the 6 stages only one was a bike park built to endure the Welsh winter, the rest being a mud and root fest and two big days of 30miles and 1400m of climbing!

Classic conditions at EWS Dyfi

Classic conditions at EWS Dyfi - Image courtesy of Ed Kerly

Some riders were bemoaning the conditions, but I was absolutely loving them! Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy I had a fair few offs as I tried to remember how to ride mud. I was happy my body held up and to come away with a 4th place against some quality British girls.

So second race back and to EWS in Ireland! Although I’d ridden at Wicklow last year and loved it I was still pretty nervous in the lead up. A few runs had some very tricky sections and Ireland always draws large crowds, which can be pretty intimidating when you’re dropping in!

Strapping on an EWS plate always feels great

Strapping on an EWS plate always feels good - image courtesy of Ed Kerly

I was a little paranoid about breaking myself again! In practice I had a few moments of ‘why am I doing this?!’ When you’re on the top of the techy rock sections with heaps of other riders doing the same, looking down trying to decipher the best line and just hoping you can make it to the bottom in one piece!

However, come race day the atmosphere was amazing; I was excited to get out there! The crowds came in droves- the Irish know how to spectate in style- fancy dress, cowbells, horns and chainsaws!  There was a friendly group of girls racing and we had a lot of fun! I’m really happy with a top 10 finish, I didn’t expect it. I still have a lot of work to do on my confidence, fitness and strength so it’s a great confidence boost.

Great to get on (the small) box with these riders

It felt great to be on (the small) box next to these great riders - image courtesy of Ed Kerly

I’ll now be targeting the major multiday enduros with my first being Trans-Slyvania in the U.S. in two weeks’ time. I’m looking forward to my ‘series’ of week long races – Trans Savoie, French Alps; TransBC, Canada and TransCascadia in Oregon! I love the big days out exploring a new area, racing blind, meeting new people and seeing old friends. For me they are the ultimate enduro!

Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 113-119cm 122-128cm 65cm

Women's Shorts

UK USA Waist Hip Length (inside)
6 2 70-73cm 84-88cm 34cm
8 4 74-77cm 89-93cm 35cm
10 6 78-81cm 94-98cm 36cm
12 8 82-85cm 99-103cm 37cm
14 10 86-89cm 104-108cm 38cm
16 12 90-93cm 109-115cm 39cm
18 14 94-97cm 116-122cm 40cm
20 16 98-101cm 123-129cm 41cm

Men's Tops

Chest Length (front)
X-Small 87-91cm 55cm
Small 92-95cm 56.5cm
Medium 96-99cm 58cm
Large 100-109cm 59.5cm
X-Large 110-119cm 61cm
XX-Large 120-127cm 64.5cm
XXX-Large 128-135cm 66cm

Men's Shorts

 Waist Hip Length (outside)
28" 69-73cm 84-88cm 60.5cm
30" 74-78cm 89-93cm 61.5cm
32" 79-83cm 94-98cm 63.5cm
34" 84-88cm 99-103cm 64.5cm
36" 89-93cm 104-108cm 65.5cm
38" 94-98cm 109-113cm 66.5cm
40" 99-103cm 114-118cm 67.5cm