This is a bad luck story, it happened just a few weeks ago and there hasn’t been much bad luck in JB’s sporting career… I questioned the wisdom of bananas for breakfast – he didn’t seem to… know that bananas are banned on game fishing boats! Very bad luck stuff. And putting those two wheels on the frame, instead of leaving them leaning against the truck, just added a touch of inevitability to what happened….
Seven 13km laps – mainly flat but with an ugly little 13% hill section of about 4.5km. 91km in total – around the little Sunshine Coast town of Yandina.
Lap 2 – starting the hill section, he’s leading the main pack and looking good.
Lap 3 – hill section again – he’s still in the main pack and still looking good.
Lap 4 – still in the main pack and still looking good. He calls for food and water on the next lap – so we head down to the feeding station.
Lap 5 – Main pack approaches, where IS that boy? Ah here he comes, not too far behind, but traveling too fast to take on food and water. He yells “dropped my @&#$% chain, food next lap, got to catch them.” He smiled (was it a grimace?) as he passed me, and took off after the main pack…
The Lap 6 lead group came past without him, and we waited at the feeding station – and waited…
He had again dropped his chain – and crashed heavily. He appeared, running up the hill, and pushing his bike. I was too far away to hear the detail (or see the damage) but his coach helped him refit the chain and he rejoined the race. We then drove back to the finish line to be there when (if) he arrived. As he passed me on the finish line he looked quite good (wonderful stuff adrenalin!) but then I walked up to him from the other side…
Think it’s time to get him to the ambulance tent!
Coach Stan worked on his head – while the St Johns ladies worked on his body. The adrenalin wears off – the ice pack and bandages take over. He’s sitting next to a pile of sandwiches, and he’s not eating, this boy is not well… The bike is only two weeks old, and already looking a little second-hand. Wonder if we should fit training wheels on this thing. Think he’s going to need a new helmet too.
Personally, I’d be very happy if he took up game fishing, or rowing – but I know he won’t!
Footnote: He didn’t, he decided to become a triathlete and, within 2 years, he turned professional (he DID learn to ride a bike) – read on.