Myself and Ann McLoughlin took part in the Manchester 100 on Sunday 1st September, in support of the Christie Charity.
We chose to do the 100 kilometre ride rather than the 100 miler (were we wimps or just sensible?) and the main reason (for doing the ride at all) was for it to be a milestone (no pun intended) for Ann.
This is because four years ago there were about 10 Bott and Co staff doing the ride alongside the Bott and Co cycle team (the team went the pace of the staff, rather than the other way round) and through no fault of her own, unfortunately, Ann had a massive crash.
Ann stopped breathing for several seconds and sustained serious facial wounds, subsequently having sixteen stitches and months of treatment.
She was going down a hill (just after the Anderton rest and refreshment stop) and a stone or something else got into her rear mechanism and caused the chain to get stuck.
Ann went over the handlebars and hit the tarmac face down. She was temporarily unconscious and in quite a bad way.
Touch And Go
She was ambulanced to Leighton Hospital in Crewe with me in the front with the driver.
Ann stopped breathing for several seconds and sustained serious facial wounds, subsequently having sixteen stitches and months of treatment. From the day of the incident,
Ann has nothing but praise for the ambulance and hospital staff.
It took quite some time for Ann’s injuries to sort themselves out, and via rehab and mental strength, she recovered. A medical professional told her that had it not been for her £50 helmet, she almost certainly would have lost her life.
As an aside, in one of those “small world” moments it turned out the driver was using Bott and Co for a Flight Delay claim, and the feedback was extremely positive.
Anyway, back to the Manchester 100, so Ann got back on the bike and this year was ready to revisit the scene of the trauma.
We tootled around at a leisurely pace, searching desperately for a tail wind. The weather was “changeable”, sunny, gusty, rainy, overcast, so a typical English summer day.
It was also great to cycle with a colleague who has not let her previous falls stop her having the courage to get in the saddle again!
We both managed to finish the ride so the unfinished business is now officially finished although it nearly turned out to be ‘unfinished’ unfinished business due to Ann cycling through what she though was a puddle which turned out to be a massive pothole.
She caught her front wheel on the edge and took a tumble when we were only about 8km into the ride. Although she hit the side of her head on the road her helmet took the impact so she was momentarily dazed and only suffered cuts and bruising to her middle finger, right leg and road rash on her right elbow so in the greater scheme of things way less than the last time!
It started pretty cool and windy and with showers but brightened up towards the end so that we managed to at least have some photos en route in our team colours.
Ann was tiring a bit near the end so I acted as a wind barrier for the latter stages as the elusive tail wind never seemed to arrive.
It was really great to see so many people, those that had borrowed bikes of all types, shapes and sizes to the ultra-keen serious road cycling warriors, riding for such a great charity. It was also great to cycle with a colleague who has not let her previous falls stop her having the courage to get in the saddle again!