Community spirit supports riders down

Riders resting on ground after a MTB race

Camaraderie: a club provides a lot more than racing. Photo: Steve Blake AKUNA PHOTOGRAPHY & DIGITAL IMAGING BENDIGO

Avid watchers of the Tour de France would have this year witnessed their fair share of thrills and spills in cycling ranks. It is a sickening sound when in a bunch there is the shattering of the peace when metal, carbon and skin make contact with the road surface. It is much the same when we hear of a rider down. The immediate fear is who is it, what are the consequence of the incident, that could well be a serious inquiry, lacerations and broken bones resulting.

These are the times pride is set aside as the pain and suffering has an overwhelming influence not to mention the far reaching shock that can be just as hard others in our immediate sphere of family and friends. These are also the times we come to appreciate the many in our community that feel the pain with us and come to ensure that we are well provided for and made comfortable and appreciated. The following is an account that happened a little while back when one such rider was down and it was not from falling off a bike but being involved in a bike club event preparation.

If you have ever found yourself wondering what would happen if you took a star picket then broke it and let the remaining piece spear you through the leg then I am the man you need to talk to. On the weekend I was setting up for a state round of mountain bike racing which had me putting star pickets in to run a temporary fence from. Three quarters of the way through my task I had a picket break clean in half and strike me in the leg.

I can now say that I know firsthand what the inside of a leg looks like and let me assure you that it is a little bit gross. So… off to the hospital we go to have four stitches put on the inside of the wound and eleven on the outside. Leaving many hours later with instructions to use crutches for three to four days, elevated for two and nothing strenuous for three weeks (there goes my riding for a while).

This is the sad story of my weekend. However there is always a silver lining to all stories and mine comes via mateship. You see although I have been involved with the mountain bike club for about a year now and I have made many like minded associates I have never really sat down and thought of any of these associate as terribly much more than that, a fellow person whom I have a relationship with that revolves around riding bikes. How truly naive I have been, for the very next day I was bombarded with phone calls and genuine offers of help and assistance from the tightly knitted community of what is my club.

I had the president personally return two bikes that were left there bearing a well-wishing gift of chocolates then the very next day another member arrives also bearing chocolates and a magazine (remember elevated leg equals sitting doing nothing). You see although a have thought of these people a friends of mine I have never taken the time to put a classification to their friendship and for that I have been foolish.

As for belonging to a club that is more like a community, I cannot hold with higher respect for it is these amazing individuals that make being a part of a cycling club worthwhile, so whether you ride on the road, track or in the bush I highly recommend that if you are not a part of our community what have you been waiting for? A written invitation? I just gave you one.

Toby Parkinson
Bendigo MTB Club

Being a member of cycling is packed with many benefits many of which we never come to fully appreciate and come to realise until a crisis is faced.  It is OK that we don’t recognise them as when the need does come we can be assured we are not alone but have many kind hearted and compassionate like minded people that come to our aid as good Samaritan and as friends. It is a healthy measure of the community and club spirit not that we seek for incidents or accidents to happen often to prove the point.  These are more part and parcel of any vigorous sporting activity the balance of probability is that it will happen one day.

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing


One Response to Community spirit supports riders down

  1. l’excellent matériel.

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